About 20 years ago we bought what we believed to be an immediate post war Civilian jacket made by Aero Leather Clothing of Beacon, New York. What was intriguing was the design, knitted cuffs on a Half Belt is unique to this jacket, the style of the wind flap is very rare for a US made jacket of this era, the unusual bi-swing and the unnecessarily complex lining. If memory serves me well it was a trade in from a German customer. The odd one has shown up on ebay over the years, oddly enough usually from Eastern Europe which I recall thinking at the time was odd but now I see why. It’s very recently come to light that this jacket was one of a huge US Lend Lease order for flight jackets for The USSR, 111,566 jackets to be exact, by far the largest contract ever received by Aero Leather Clothing, Beacon NY who made these jackets on behalf of the Lease Lend deal with The USSR completed in 1944. We’d been aware for some time of a similar looking jacket issued to Soviet Aircrew during WW2, we’ve even made a few dozen replicas of it for our Russia stockist and we have an original of this WW2 jacket in our archives. It wasn’t until recently when we were asked to identify one of these Aero jackets, bought from a Soviet veteran with military provenance, that we realised it was identical to the jacket we’d had on display in our showroom for a couple of decades and noticed the similarities to the Soviet made jacket. Getting a copy of the Lease Lend document was the final proof we needed. Had we previously looked through period photos we’d probably have missed many examples, due to the fact that the original cuffs on the Aero made jacket were not of the best quality and often stretched or snagged causing many pilots cut them off, while others wore their jacket with the cuffs turned inside. This sent us back through archive photos where we found extensive evidence of these Aero “Lease Lend” jackets being used by Soviet aircrew all the through Korea and into the 1970s , even Vasily Stalin wore one with the addition of "tack-on" Scrambled Egg. We've got loads of pics, some are quite small and we are currently gathering more which I'll post a few at a time untilyou are all fed up with the subject My feelings are that the leather could possibly have been supplied by the Russians, hence the term “Russian Leather” above Goatskin on the Lease Lend doc? The fact that we are having trouble agreeing from which type of animal the leather in our archive sample derives might support that theory. On the other hand these came in Seal and Russet, the leather could be whatever Aero had left over from their A-2 production. The colour photo shows an actor wearing an original in russet while playing Vasily Stalin in the 1980 film, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears. These were once fairly common in The Soviet Union but today they are very rare and highly sought after so, yes, we are replicating the jacket, this one will be available Worldwide, our other Soviet replicas are exclusive to our Russian agent as he's the only one who can get hold of the correct zippers.