Rough Wear 42-1671-P has been found!

foster

Well-Known Member
Same zipper as the goatskin Rough Wear 18091 contract. 18091 was odd in that the contracted quantity was 17,628 - whereas most all other contracts were for some more round number (30,000 5,000, etc). I can only guess this amount was due to the amount of goatskin hide provided for the contract?

What if this small and obscure contract was for the purposes of testing some hide tanned by a different method, and using leftover hardware (zippers mostly) from the 18091 contract? This is all speculation, of course.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
I can only guess this amount was due to the amount of goatskin hide provided for the contract?
It’s possible, but I don’t know how that would happen, because the government routinely provided significantly more leather than was necessary to fulfill the contract (30% more was the estimate I heard, and it explains why there were so many civi A-2s floating around: the company would just keep making jackets after the contract was completed).

I like the idea of it being a contract of test jackets. That would make a lot of sense to me. The only other possibility I can think of is that it was used to outfit a relatively small group of people that needed A-2 jackets and did not have access to the quartermaster, for whatever reason.
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
30% of 30,000 would be 9,000 jackets. That’s a lot more than 300. Weird.

The zipper is different to other Rough Wears. The only contract with a “brown coated” M-39 Talon No. 5 zipper was the Fried Ostermann Co. W535ac-23383, from 22-Dec-41, until this RW 42-1671P example was found. (The only other “brown coated” zipper was an M-40 Talon used on Monarch Mfg., Co. contract W5353ac-23378, from 26-Dec-41.) The M-39 Talon on RW 18091 was [bright] nickel plated.

Another noticed the stitching on the military contract label is different to the civilian “Rough-in” label, so not done by the same person. This implies the civilian “Rough-in” label may have been a later addition.

Typically test jackets are made in the low single digits, so 300 is way too much. (They made eighteen before starting the entire A-1 production and that included multiple hide types across seven different vendors.) As foster noted goatskin was used on RW 18091, so this wouldn’t be novel. Does it look like goatskin? I would have thought horsehide or cowhide from the pictures. It is a bit hard to tell.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Does it look like goatskin? I would have thought horsehide or cowhide from the pictures. It is a bit hard to tell.
I agree - none of the bumpiness I associate with goatskin. That looks like a horse/cow hide jacket. In fact, the leather reminds me a lot of my original Cable 27753.

Another noticed the stitching on the military contract label is different to the civilian “Rough-in” label, so not done by the same person. This implies the civilian “Rough-in” label may have been a later addition.
I suspect that the rough-in label was added with the new lining, and that the original label was sewn back in.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
Can’t argue with that. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

For the simplest solution I would guess an ex-military person liked his Rough Wear A-2 and had the knits and lining redone at a civilian “Rough-In” shop.
Yeah, that's sort of my thinking as well. The label looks like it was some time mid-century, so maybe he had a moth infestation and wanted to salvage his old flight jacket.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
This is absolutely pure speculation on my part
Can’t argue with that. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

For the simplest solution I would guess an ex-military person liked his Rough Wear A-2 and had the knits and lining redone at a civilian “Rough-In” shop.
Well... if I may . Here’s another possibility, although it’s just speculation on my part , but I’ll tell you about what my friends dad did, in order to keep his jacket. My friends father was part of the AVG under Claire Chennault. He was from the Philadelphia Pa area, and if any of you are familiar with that area, there was a very well known Department Store in downtown Philadelphia by the name of John Wanamakers. Well my friends dad had his mother purchase a couple of their labels and send them to him. He then took one and after removing the contract label from the jacket sewed in the Wanamakers label. When he was leaving the service he convinced the supply officer than he had purchased the jacket and that it belonged to him, as a private purchase item. He got away with it and to lend credibility to this story here are a few photos of his dads A2 jacket. So is it possible something like this could have been done ... Who knows ? .......But would it be possible? ... Judge for yourself. .
771FA3D7-7263-483E-8779-AF8BDE78AE8C.jpeg
3C22B563-4CF9-4772-AC53-57B0F46E59F9.jpeg
B0CE8132-B4A9-4A89-98B3-D54D1FA78EF9.jpeg
626F0246-BF36-4F73-943A-86E25D0EB568.jpeg
 
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33-1729

Well-Known Member
This is absolutely pure speculation on my part

Well... if I may . Here’s another possibility, although it’s just speculation on my part , but I’ll tell you about what my friends dad did, in order to keep his jacket. My friends father was part of the AVG under Claire Chennault. He was from the Philadelphia Pa area, and if any of you are familiar with that area, there was a very well known Department Store in downtown Philadelphia by the name of John Wanamakers. Well my friends dad had his mother purchase a couple of their labels and send them to him. He then took one and after removing the contract label from the jacket sewed in the Wanamakers label. When he was leaving the service he convinced the supply officer than he had purchased the jacket and that it belonged to him, as a private purchase item. He got away with it and to lend credibility to this story here are a few photos of his dads A2 jacket. So is it possible something like this could have been done ... Who knows ? But would it be possible ... judge for yourself . View attachment 43647View attachment 43648View attachment 43649View attachment 43650
A great story!
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
It’s possible, but I don’t know how that would happen, because the government routinely provided significantly more leather than was necessary to fulfill the contract (30% more was the estimate I heard, and it explains why there were so many civi A-2s floating around: the company would just keep making jackets after the contract was completed).

I like the idea of it being a contract of test jackets. That would make a lot of sense to me. The only other possibility I can think of is that it was used to outfit a relatively small group of people that needed A-2 jackets and did not have access to the quartermaster, for whatever reason.
The Norwegian government in exile procured A-2 jackets (along with other flying kit) for their airmen in training at the Little Norway camp in Canada. These obviously did not carry USAAF contract labels. They were used extensively by Norwegian airmen serving in the RAF and especially the RAF administered Norwegian squadrons. They were particularly prevalent in the two fighter squadrons, 331 and 332.

 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
RW 42-1671P has unique features like any contract, but doesn’t stand out in any one area. In the days of typewriters I wonder if they wanted another 30,000 jackets for $248,600 like RW 42-1401P the week before, but misplaced the decimal and ended up with 300 jackets instead.
 
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