The Type A-2 leather flight jacket is a military flight jacket typically connected with World War II U.S. Army Air Force pilots. It is also known as a bomber jacket.
The A-2 bomber jacket was a very popular jacket in the 1940s. These are what WWII buffs wear to bed. No WWII collection is complete without an authentic A-2 leather bomber jacket.
They often decorated their jackets with squadron patches and artwork painted on the back. We have an extensive A-2 flying jacket picture gallery below. Many of the paintings featured barely clothed women and hilarious words like: Twwwaaaaannnngg and Miss Wiss Ding. Jackets also usually included the name of the plane they flew.
Although the A-2 is kind of similar in construction to the A-1, there were several changes. The A-1’s buttoned front and pocket flaps were replaced with a zipper and hidden snap fasteners (although some very early A-2’s kept the pocket buttons).
The A-1’s stand-up, button-close collar, was replaced by a shirt-style leather collar, with hidden snaps at the points and a hook-and-eye latch at the throat. Stitched-down shoulder straps were another addition to this tight-fitting beauty.
Sizes were listed as ranging in even numbers from 32 through 54.
All A-2 jackets had several distinguishing characteristics: no have hand warmer compartments, a shirt-style snap-down collar, shoulder straps, knit cuffs and waistband, a back made of a single piece of leather and a silk or cotton inner lining with a leather hang strap.
There were many A-2 manufacturers in the 1930s and 1940s.
These included civilian clothing producers such as David D. Doniger & Co. and J.A. Dubow Mfg. The Rough Wear Clothing Co. of Middletown, Pennsylvania was one of the most prolific war-time producers of A-2s.
Because the jacket is so timelessly classic, it has never gone out of style. That’s why there are so many companies that make (or made) replica that can be worn daily without fear of damaging a valuable original. They use correct hides, all-cotton thread, and even the actual World War II-era stock Talon zippers.
A completely authentic A-2 bomber jacket replica will usually start at $700.
What are some flying jacket brand names from the 1940s?
- Buzz Rickson’s
- US Wings
- Toys McCoy
- Aero Leather Clothing
- The Real McCoy’s
- Lost Worlds Inc.
- Eastman Leather Clothing
- Cockpit USA
- Pherrow’s Sportswear
- Good Wear Leather Coat Company
- Gibson & Barnes
- Bill Kelso Mfg Co.
Reproduction A-2s are very popular in Japan, where American vintage style is extremely popular.
Today’s lower-priced reproductions closely resemble the style of the 1940s bomber jackets, but they aren’t cut the same way. Today’s jackets have bigger shoulders for looser clothing and often use lambskin for a softer touch.
The original A-2 was made to be tight fitting, with tight fitting clothing to be worn underneath. Plus, people were just smaller back then!