Flying Jackets and Clothing

(click on pictures to enlarge)

AAF A-2 flying jacket painted with artwork of B-17G bomber of the 729th Bomb Squadron, 452nd Bomb Group "The Rigor Mortis Express"

A true combat veteran. While some jackets were painted after the event and before returning home, others were painted and then worn on missions. This is one of those! It was then brought home by the veteran who had a new lining and zip put in and continued wearing it proudly for many years. Consequently, much of the paint is worn thin - especially the lettering (though it is still visible) but the B-17 art and the 25 bombs representing his missions are clear. There is a leather name tag to the right chest which has largely worn away and evidence there was both a name tag and a patch to the left chest in the past. There is a tear on one sleeve near the shoulder and wear to the collar, as you might expect, but the jacket will display nicely as a genuine combat worn example. Included is the known history of the jacket (it was purchased directly from the daughter of the original owner, a sergeant gunner on this aircraft) by a collector, many years ago, and has never been offered on the market before. Identified by the markings painted on the aircraft. A very rare find these days.

$1,750 / £1,420 / €1,525   

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1930s-40s Chinese Air Force leather jacket with stunning painting of wings, the Chinese star and a stalking tiger.

Superb quality leather jacket in the typical style of commercially purchased jackets available in the late 1930s.  Jacket has zipped front (zip is broken) 2 flap pockets with leather buttons (one button missing) and leather half belt with leather belt buckle to front. On the back is painted a pair of wings of Chinese Aviation Section major, plus the Chinese star and underneath, a prowling tiger. The art is signed underneath. Jacket is filly lined in silk with the number 48 and another signature or name, perhaps the owner of the jacket, inked inside. This is 100% original and of the exact type of jacket worn by Chinese pilots flying in US aircraft with US issue flying kit and often alongside AVG pilots (see last photo for a similar jacket).  Supplied with known history, it was purchased by a collector in the 1970s and never offered on the market before. 

$2,000 / £1,615 / €1,785

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Early Luftwaffe leather flying gauntlets of very high quality.

Beautiful pair of leather flying gauntlets, well marked inside and typical of the type in use n the later 1930s and beginning of the war. Extremely high quality leather, light brown with honey coloured leather lining. The exterior colour very slightly mismatched on the back (most probably slight fading with age and exposure to light). Single strap and buckle for tightening the wrist, with the buckle heavily chrome plated. Just a lovely pair of gauntlets

$225 / £185 / €210  

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Lovely pair of scarce RAF Mosquito boots with Battle of Britain history.

Superb pair of green suede Mosquito boots, as issued primarily to ground crews but often grabbed by pilots in desert and tropical regions for flying duties. This pair in great condition, showing some use but no wear or damage and in a great size 10 UK (11US). Well marked with the Air Ministry A-crown-M stamp and named inside to Debenham and obtained by previous owner directly from the family of Kenneth Barry Lemphere Debenham who flew with 151 sq. in the Battle of Britain. He was shot down, badly burned and became a member of the guinea pig club, returning to duty in Italy in 1943 and commanding 126 sq. He was killed in December 1943. Note instead of tie tapes, these boots are secured with long ropes.

$595 / £490 / €550

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Excellent pair of RAF Type D flying gauntlets, size 9.5.

Superb condition, probably unissued/unworn and as near to a matching pair as you are likely to find!​ Both have different labels (from different factories) but both are clearly Air Ministry marked and the same size. Soft leather with faux fur/fleece lining. Nicest pair i have seen in many years. Could be worn alone or with the Type D electrically heated inserts.

$150 / £122 / €140  email to secure this item

RAF / army motor cycle desptach rider's gauntlets dated 1943.

Superb pair of motor cycle despatch rider's gloves / gauntlets made from yellow leather and issued to RAF and army motorcyclists. Similar to flying gloves (and may well have been used as such) the glove part is lined with fleece and the gauntlet/wrist section is lined with soft chestnut leather. Well marked with a War Dept broad arrow and dated 1943 with maker stamp to Ricketts Ltd. of Yeovil. Owner has written his serial number on both gloves, which, interestingly enough, are a perfect matched pair! Size 9.5.

$125 / £100 / €115  email to secure this item

1960s USAF Brown Rayon flying glove inserts, identical to WWII issue, size X-Large in superb condition.

 

These extra-large size flying glove inserts are actually Vietnam era, 1960s production which have been marked with the WWII AAF logo on the backs. Apart from the small tags sewn inside each glove, indicating manufacture by Kings Point Mfg. Co. Inc. they are identical to WWII issue. Unissued and as nice as pair as you will find. 

$50 / £40 / €46  email to secure this item

AAF / USAF Type N-2 Aircrew Mittens.

Issued for extreme cold weather flying, and no doubt intended for wearing over other warm gloves. Gloves are in superb condition, appear unissued and made from unlined brown leather with moccasin style stitching. Well marked inside with what appears to be a 1949 contract order date. US Air Force white ink stamp on back of both hands. First pair of these I have ever encountered. Interesting item of flying clothing from between WWII and the Korean War, when the AAF was transitioning into the USAF and still using brown leather for a lot of flying kit. 

$75 / £60 /€70  email to secure this item

AAF Type A-9 flying suit pants, intermediate.

 

In excellent condition, these A-9 flying suit pants show very little use, only very light marking from storage, with all zips and buttons in good working order and the OD cotton fabric still showing great colour. Designed for wear with the B-9 jacket, these were also frequently worn with the B-10 and B-15 jacket. This pair has a great label, and an unusual and uncommon manufacturer: The Paul Reed Company. Size 38. 

$135 / £110 / €125   email to secure this item

Very nice RAF Suits, Aircrew blouse in a good large size with 1943 dated label.

When first issued, these RAF "battledress" suits were exclusively for aircrews (hence the name) and only to be worn while on operations - they were in effect a flying suit.  Later the battledress was simplified and made available to all branches of the RAF for everyday wear and renamed "War Service Dress." Good examples of these early "Suits, Aircrew" are quite difficult to find, especially in larger sizes. This example shows light to moderate use, with some wear to the inside, and 2 or 3 very tiny holes, but no damage (one fastening hook at the neck appears to have pulled through, but seems to be present). All buttons and good buckle in place. Rank lace of F/O and a correct period flat silk pilot wing which is probably Canadian made (many pilots completed their training in Canada and were awarded their wings there).  Size 11 which is a decent size, keeping in mind these were intended to be worn over a shirt, sweater, underwear and other layers - and were sized accordingly.

$390 / £315 / €350  email to secure this item

AAF A-9 leather gauntlets for Air Gunners .

Lovely pair of A-9 gauntlets with separate trigger finger as worn by air gunners i B-17, B-24 etc. to combat the cold weather.  High quality leather mittens with thick shearling fleece lining, showing some use but no abuse or damage.  Very good condition. These gloves have no spec. labels, just a small tag indicating size Medium and maker of Hansen. It's possble these were sold commercially or that the issue spec. tags were either removed or became detached, but there is no sign of them ever having been fitted. The gloves do however correspond to the issue pattern in every way and are of exceptionally good quality.

$75 / £62 / €68  email to secure this item

Luftwaffe Channel trousers in blue suede, complete and in very good condition, 1943 dated.

Lovely pair of Luftwaffe Channel trousers in blue suede leather with heavy cotton fabric reinforced areas and large bellows pockets for carrying survival equipment when flying over water (hence the name). Overall condition is used but very good. I can find one very tiny hole in the suede, just below the satin waistband (barely shows although I tried to show it in the photos). There is some wear to the cotton on the inside of the pockets but only on one of the multiple layers of cotton fabric. All zips are metal and in very god working order with leather tabs still attached; all buttons present although one of the buttons on the waist is a period field replacement. Leather loops for securing flares and smoke canisters present; flag pocket on leg present, built in holster for flare pistol is good. So often these pockets are removed inner tabs are missing - these are complete. Great label with RB number and issue date of 1943.

$875 / £670 / €775  email to secure this item

RAF 1941 pattern  gauntlets. 

 

A good pair of RAF 1941 pattern flying gauntlets. As is often the case, not a perfect match - but very close in appearance. One is marked size 9 and the other size 10 - though in fact there is no discernable difference and without doubt they were issued and worn as a pair. They show use but the leather is very good and soft, if somewhat grubby. There is a very neat period repair to the index fingertip on the right hand, but you have to look hard to find it. I would say these belonged to a gunner, because the right hand shows slightly more wear than the left, and is a little dirtier, especially around the trigger finger. Both zips work perfectly. Overall a vey good, used example, both nicely marked.

$250 / £200 / €225  

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WWII US Army issue general purpose OD wool and leather gloves size 8.

Heavy wool gloves with leather palms. General purpose issue for drivers, mechanics, etc. and undoubtedly also worn by aircrews especially gunners and those in exposed or prone positions. Exellent condition with good woven spec. labels in  both gloves indicating contract no. and size. No damage, light use.

$50 / £39 / €45   email to secure this item

Very good used pair of WW2 AAF B-3A flying gloves.

Nice pair of B-3A flying gloves in a good size 9. Well marked with faint AAF logo to outside and nice clear white ink stamping inside both gloves. Leather is soft and pliable with light wear and no damage. A very decent pair. Getting harder to find all the time these days. 

$75 / £58 / €68  

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WWI RFC privately-purchased fur-backed heavy gauntlet mittens.

A good example of the type of handwear worn early in the war by airmen subject to extreme cold at altitude. These mittens have long, heavy gauntlets covered with thick, dense and fairly coarse fur, with leather palms and linen linings. The gauntlets are not only long, but also wide enough to fit over the heavy leather coats worn by aviators. Though the fur has a few worn spots and some splits to the skin, it is not shedding, and is still remarkably strong. These gauntlets display very well with the classic long chestnut brown leather flying coat. There are no markings that I can see, but in the early days of war, airmen, who were mostly officers, were expected to provide their own flying clothing and equipment, and bought from leading department stores and clothiers.

$150 / £120 / €140  email to secure this item

Korean War USAF Type A-1 / E-1 series flight suit shirt and trousers made of 100% wool. 

 

4-pocket A-1B flight suit "shirt, mens, coat style" in sage wool, size medium and matching E-1B "trousers, flying, inner" size 34 waist with knit cuffs. Jacket has some moth trails (visible in photographs) but no holes except at the edge of the left shirt cuff. Trousers seem to be pretty much moth free, so overall the suit is very good and quite displayable condition. Like a lot of flying clothing from this era, these suits were produced in OD, blue and sage, this being the later version in sage green dating to circa 1953. Generally worn under heavier outer flying clothing such as the B-15 jacket. A nice set.

 

$75 / £58 / €68  email to secure this item

 

 

© 2020  Vintage Flying Helmets

Superb original WWI WRAF photograph

 

Excellent and large fornat original photograph showing three women of the WRAF in WWI. an outstanding example of the uniforms they wore c.1918-19.  Approx. 4" x 6" with slight creasing / cracking at bottom corners.

 

£28 / $35  / €30  email for more details