Original A-2s in long?

Greg Gale

Well-Known Member
I've read a discussion on Facebook recently, where a guy firmly stated that long sizes of A-2 jackets existed in WW2. He provided pictures of original B3 labels that had "Regular" next to the size number. Consequently, he said, there were long/ large versions too. He hasn't posted any proof about A-2s, though. I'm not refuting his statement, I'm just looking for more information. Is it really something that existed?

 

Jorgeenriqueaguilera

Well-Known Member
I've read a discussion on Facebook recently, where a guy firmly stated that long sizes of A-2 jackets existed in WW2. He provided pictures of original B3 labels that had "Regular" next to the size number. Consequently, he said, there were long/ large versions too. He hasn't posted any proof about A-2s, though. I'm not refuting his statement, I'm just looking for more information. Is it really something that existed?

To be honest I’ve never seen an example in long version, highly doubt it but would be interested to see that too....

edit: an example “marked“ as a long version.
 
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Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
The regular designation was used in b-3s, to the best of my knowledge. I don’t know why, since there weren’t any long, short, or other variables. that written, I have seen the size tag on a couple original Aeros with regular under the size number. as we all now know, some a-2 contractors opted to make their jackets a little longer in sleeve and body, then others. Monarch, and doniger come to mind. The donis and monarchs I have come across seem to be consistent in their proportions through out the respective size ranges. Conversely, mid war Aeros, and Dubows tend to be shorter and blousier.
 

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
Interesting, never heard of 'long' sizes in WW2 A-2s, ever, anywhere.
As Surfer says, some contracts do seem a bit longer in proportion to other contracts, Bronco comes to my mind. But then, I also recon this varies across contract batches/ production etc.
There was a WW2 Bronco 42 on Ebay a while back that clearly had pics showing a 26" sleeve and 26" back... Some here who may have an original Bronco 42 may find thier's has 25 or 25.5" sleeves etc.
Anyway, I highly doubt they had the time or interest to make 'long' or 'short' sizes during the war. Many photos tend to show this imo, you got what you were given etc, so many different fits....
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
Nothing in Gary’s book that I know of re short, tall, regular. Interesting that ya came across rw marked s, grant. Do ya happen to ya happen to remember what the appx measurements were? if rw made long-tall a-2s, you would think that one would have been issued to Jimmy Stewart, and shorts issued to short guys in gunnery school, on their way to becoming turret and tail gunners.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
I have never seen a tag that had a "L" but as others have said, some contracts were longer. Star Sportswear 28857 was about 1/2" longer than most contracts with a size 46 being 27" long, when most were more in the 26 to 26.5 range for that size.

That RW is interesting and must be a rare example!

-Jay
 

Showerfan

Active Member
So, to sum it up, there were likely no long A-2’s issued back in the day. But there were some contracts that had longer sleeves, notably the Monarchs, Donigers and the Broncos.

Which contract stands out for having the longest sleeves, anyone know? Asking for a friend ;)
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
This excerpt is from the U.S. Army Air Force Illustrated Catalog, dated 1 April 1944, and there is no mention of short or long A-2 sizes. "Regular", "Stout" and "Long Slender" sizes were available on the flying winter type B-3, B-6, and B-7 jackets.

USAAF.JPG


I understand the H.L.B. Corp order number 37-3891P also had longer sleeves than usually found.
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Hey Vic,
Apologies for the delay and my faulty memory!
The 1401 I mentioned is tagged a 42M, not 42S. It measures slightly shorter in length and sleeves than my other sz 42 RW:
Chest: 22"
Sleeves 24 1/2"
Shoulders 18"
Back length 24 1/2"

RW.jpg
 
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33-1729

Well-Known Member
Here’s the next page of the U.S. Army Air Force Illustrated Catalog, dated 1 April 1944, showing the B-3 and B-6 sizes available for comparison to the A-2 & AN-J-4 in post #10.

B3-B6.JPG


If it’s not in the stock list it can’t be ordered, so I don’t know what to make of Grant’s Roughwear 42-1401P size “42M”. Maybe “M” for medium = standard = normal = regular? I’ve seen other 42-1401P tags with just the size number, but I guess it’s possible they labeled some with an extra character. I don’t know enough about the normal production variation to know how far measurements would normally vary in order to conclusive say one “42” is intentionally made different to another, especially since Mr. Eastman didn't mention anything in his book about custom sizing. A great find by Grant, no matter how you look at it.
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
I found this one the web, unfortunately that is the only pic available and not much of a description.View attachment 43685
Thanks! There is no mention of short or long A-2 sizes in the U.S. Army Air Force Illustrated Catalog, dated 1 April 1944, though “R” = “regular” was used on some other jackets. A consistent label would make sense, though the label in Mr. Eastman's book in Appendix B doesn't included the "R", nor does any other A-2 jacket in his book. I saw on the Good Wear Leather site a reproduction label with an "R" (below). Could the jacket you posted be a Good Wear?

GW 42-18775P.jpg
 

Jorgeenriqueaguilera

Well-Known Member
The jacket from the pic seems to be an original, besides having all the correct details of the label, all the irregular stitchings are something that you don’t find on repros (not even Good Wear), your pic is a good example. Here is a pic of an original 18775-P
80F2489A-6DB6-4352-8089-323260CC1C45.jpeg
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
I agree. It does look real, but then I know how good John can be (just a complement).

Since Aero had other jacket contracts, maybe someone grabbed the 40R size label out of the wrong bin. Another original label example is below, without the "R".

42-18775P.jpg
 

Jorgeenriqueaguilera

Well-Known Member
Yes, I’m not saying that all the Aeros or any other contract had a letter next to the size, that’s very evident. I’m just saying that it looks like some (most likely a extremely small number) had a letter next to it. Probably not officially on books, but let’s say that there were issued over 650.000 A-2 jackets and some details we are just discovering after 80 years. Both pictures I posted are from original jackets with their leathers and stitching in superb condition, so it’s easy to differentiate them from a new repro.
 

foster

Well-Known Member
Aero made quantities of both the B3 and B6 shearling jackets. The B3 was made in different lengths, so they did have labels with those designations at various times in the Aero factory (44S, 44R, 44L, etc). The A-2 was only specified in chest sizes, not length, so if they needed some labels for A-2 jackets, and had extras on hand from B3 jackets, they could theoretically just use one of the "R" ones like 42R.
 
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