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Type A-2 Page
 Introduction
 History
 Details, Part 1
 Details, Part 2
 Details, Part 3
 Originals
 Reproductions
 Bibliography
 A-2 P.A.Q.


8AF Insignia

History

A-2 logo

The Type A-2 flying jacket was standardized by the U.S. Army Air Corps as a successor to the A-1. The Type Designation Sheet lists the dates for Service Test as September 20, 1930, for Standard as May 9, 1931, and for Limited Standard as April 27, 1943. The specification number is 94-3040. The Drawing Number is given as 31-1415, but the spec labels in the jackets themselves show this as 30-1415.

The U.S. Army Air Forces Class 13 Catalog listed the A-2 as "Jacket, Flying, Type A-2," with Spec. No. 94-3040. It also describes the jacket material as, "seal brown horsehide leather, knitted wristlets and waistband (skirt)." Sizes were listed as ranging in even numbers from 32 through 54.

Wartime contract manufacturers of A-2 jackets were numerous and contracts ranged greatly in quantity. Some of the makers were:

  • Aero Leather Clothing Co., Inc.
  • Bronco Mfg. Co.
  • Cable Raincoat Co.
  • Cooper Sportswear Mfg. Co.
  • David D. Doniger & Co.
  • J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co.
  • Monarch Mfg. Co.
  • Perry Sportswear, Inc.
  • Poughkeepsie Leather Coat Co., Inc.
  • Rough Wear Clothing Co.
  • Spiewak & Sons
  • Star Sportswear
  • United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
  • Werber Sportswear

Despite the popularity and desirability of the A-2 among those who wore them, General H. H. "Hap" Arnold in 1942 destined the A-2 for obsolescence by cancelling any further contracts in favor of newer cloth shell jackets.

In the late 1980's the A-2 was resurrected as a U.S. Air Force issue item. This second incarnation, however, does not measure up to the original in either quality or appearance. The modernized "specification" calls for a fuller and less flattering fit, and the materials do not have the quality to match that of the originals. Purists may find this disappointing but, as will be described later, sources do exist for procuring excellent true-to-the-original replicas of the A-2.

A-2 Contract and Order Numbers

The following list of A-2 jacket contract and order numbers and manufacturers is derived from a list originally compiled and provided by flight jacket collector Greg Flibbert. Over the years, I have added new information and have also modified the categories to eliminate confusion arising from assumptions in the time sequence of contracts and orders.


Pre War Order Numbers
32-485unmarked label (Security Aviation Togs?)
33-1729Werber
36-1112 PWerber
37-3061 PAero
37-3891 PH.L.B. Corp.
38-205Werber
38-1711-PAero
39-2951 PWerber
40-3785-PAero
Contract Numbers
W535ac16159Rough Wear
W535ac16160Aero
W535ac18091Rough Wear
W535ac20960Dubow
W535ac21996Aero
W535ac23377Perry
W535ac23378Monarch
W535ac23379Dubow
W535ac23380Rough Wear
W535ac23381Cooper
W535ac23382Cable
W535ac23383unmarked label
W535ac27752Rough Wear
W535ac27753unmarked label
W535ac27798Dubow
W535ac28557Star
W535ac28560Poughkeepsie
W535ac29191Bronco
W535ac29971unmarked label
Order Numbers
42-1401-PRough Wear
42-1402-PWerber
42-10008-PCable
42-15142-PAero
42-16175-PPerry
42-18245-PStar
42-18246-Punmarked label
42-18775-PAero
42-18776-PSpiewak
42-18777-PUnited Sheeplined
42-21539-PDavid D. Doniger & Co.
W33-038ac1755(11631)Dubow
1756unmarked label
W33-038ac1761Bronco


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