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Star Sportswear A-2 - found at the Goodwill outlet bins

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Wow, just saw this - incredible find, if it's an original (or, frankly, even if it's a reproduction - getting a GW, BK or Aero for pocket change? Unbelievable!).

I'm probably completely wrong here (and if I am, I'm looking forward to learning more!), but...shouldn't an original A-2 jacket have a leather nameplate? And some sort of decal on the left shoulder indicating the affiliation of the pilot? And maybe rank insignia on the shoulder straps? Or at least traces to show some of those things were originally there? Were there WW2 pilots that had "blank" A-2s? I'm genuinely curious about this.

Great find no matter it's origin!
Good question
The short answer is that yes many USAAF people wore jackets without name tags or the Roundel on the shoulders. You can find photos of them all over the photo section of this forum.
 

Edward

Well-Known Member
Wow, just saw this - incredible find, if it's an original (or, frankly, even if it's a reproduction - getting a GW, BK or Aero for pocket change? Unbelievable!).

I'm probably completely wrong here (and if I am, I'm looking forward to learning more!), but...shouldn't an original A-2 jacket have a leather nameplate? And some sort of decal on the left shoulder indicating the affiliation of the pilot? And maybe rank insignia on the shoulder straps? Or at least traces to show some of those things were originally there? Were there WW2 pilots that had "blank" A-2s? I'm genuinely curious about this.

Great find no matter it's origin!
not everyone. I have many period photos of crew wearing A-2s with no name tag or roundels or rank whatsoever. my original 5th AF 22nd BG 2nd BS has a squad patch only. no stitch holes for ever having had a name tag or rank on the epaulets.
Some guys had roundels sown, some painted on and others the waterslide decals but many nothing at all believe it or not! some guys even had the epaulet rank painted on rather than a patch type sown on. I recently posted pics of guys with their names painted on instead of a leather strip. I guess it depended on what was available or how much time you had... I think some guys probably desired rank and roundels but just didn't have time to get them put on. get a jacket, get some sleep, get in the air, get more sleep.
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
Wow, just saw this - incredible find, if it's an original (or, frankly, even if it's a reproduction - getting a GW, BK or Aero for pocket change? Unbelievable!).

I'm probably completely wrong here (and if I am, I'm looking forward to learning more!), but...shouldn't an original A-2 jacket have a leather nameplate? And some sort of decal on the left shoulder indicating the affiliation of the pilot? And maybe rank insignia on the shoulder straps? Or at least traces to show some of those things were originally there? Were there WW2 pilots that had "blank" A-2s? I'm genuinely curious about this.

Great find no matter it's origin!
I tend to prefer collecting all original A-2's with no name tags, patches or decals. They're actually harder to come by than ones with patches/paintings/tags. There are too many really talented folks out there patching and painting jackets and selling them as "original".
 
Not that I'm an expert, but I think I've moved beyond the "is it an original or a reproduction" phase". I'd put money on it being an original at this point.

I think it was most likely a desk pilot so the jacket probably never saw the inside of a Cockpit.

I have not put any magic elixir on it. its in a breathable cotton bag under my bed. The jacket seems to have gained more shape in the few months I've had it. I think it's been hanging in a closet for many, many decades prior. No longer smells of mothballs too!

I just took a peak at it prior to checking the thread, so yeah... I'm probably its bitch at this point. Lol!

Though, I still intend to get the knits darned up and wear it at the USS Hornet at some point. I'm guessing it probably wouldn't be the star sportswear's first time on board... Hhmmm...
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
I only have the one original. A Bronco (44) from Aero's historical collection I grabbed around four or five years ago. Complete with a decal, CAPT rank and stitch holes from TWO squadron patches. Contemplated getting Sean Collins to do a patch and then get Steve Sellers to put it on using the same holes. But it has just 'hung around'. If it wasn't from Ken's collection I would have had doubts as to the provenance.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I only have the one original. A Bronco (44) from Aero's historical collection I grabbed around four or five years ago. Complete with a decal, CAPT rank and stitch holes from TWO squadron patches. Contemplated getting Sean Collins to do a patch and then get Steve Sellers to put it on using the same holes. But it has just 'hung around'. If it wasn't from Ken's collection I would have had doubts as to the provenance.
Couchy
If you have some extra time would love to see a couple of pictures of it . We don’t get to see originals much these days.
Cheers
 
Took a peak at the jacket last night. thinking it's time to mend the knits.

I counted close to 20 moth holes combined. Some have some pulls. They look saveable though.

What's a reasonable cost to darn them up? I assume we're at like $100 for a tailor that's not a complete moron?

I'm in the San Francisco Bay area if anyone has suggestions.
 

Happy Hooligan

Active Member
Took a peak at the jacket last night. thinking it's time to mend the knits.

I counted close to 20 moth holes combined. Some have some pulls. They look saveable though.

What's a reasonable cost to darn them up? I assume we're at like $100 for a tailor that's not a complete moron?

I'm in the San Francisco Bay area if anyone has suggestions.
why not just spend $5.00 for matching thread and a needle and do it yourself?
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
I’ll defer to others on this, but I’d be hesitant to learn on an original, or even send it to a tailor. I’d send it to one of the repro manufacturers. Good Wear is in your area of the country. Maybe John would be able to squeeze you in on a weekend?
 
I think John says on his site he doesn't do repairs?

I think what I need is an old seamstress who can do French stitching and stuff.

I do have my local guy. He's a bad ass. Tears apart kiton and Isaia Napoli all day long. I'll see what he says.

I'd rather keep the jacket local.
 
Reco hot off the press from styleforum.

Advanced European Tailors in Berkeley does leather jacket alterations and repairs. The owner buys rare and vintage military jackets, including A2s, and repairs them before selling them to Japanese collectors. He uses original trims.
 
And not to derail my own thread, but I'm casually looking for a low cost daily wearer A2. Thinking an older size specific one piece back ll bean?

Weren't those made by golden bear in SF?

Seem like a lot of jacket for the money?
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Get yourself an old knit jumper, some thread and a needle and learn to DIY! Everyone used to know how to darn up holes and repair knits. If it were me I'd leave it alone and buy a decent used repro.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
And not to derail my own thread, but I'm casually looking for a low cost daily wearer A2. Thinking an older size specific one piece back ll bean?

Weren't those made by golden bear in SF?

Seem like a lot of jacket for the money?

I'd either buy one from Five Star, or hang around here waiting for a used Aero or Platon jacket to come up for sale.
 
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