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 A-2 P.A.Q.

8AF Insignia

Jacket Description and Details, Part 2

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Type A-2 Jackets by Manufacturer, Page 1

Jackets Featured in this Section (listed alphabetically)

On this page:
  • 42-18246-P (No maker name)
  • W535-AC-23383 (No maker name)
  • Aero Leather Clothing Co.
  • Bronco Mfg. Corp.
  • Cable Raincoat Co.
  • Cooper Sportswear Mfg. Co.
  • David D. Doniger & Co.
  • J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co.
Go to the next page:
  • Monarch Mfg. Co.
  • Perry Sportswear, Inc.
  • Poughkeepsie Leather Coat Co. Inc.
  • Rough Wear Clothing Co.
  • I. Spiewak & Sons
  • Star Sportswear Mfg. Co.
  • United Sheeplined Clothing Co.
  • Werber Sportswear Co.
This section contains photos and descriptive information to illustrate the style and construction characteristics of original A-2 jackets produced by the individual makers. Because of variations which can be found within or across contract runs, some details shown here should not necessarily be taken as exclusive or consistent. These variations can include such things as hide type and color, hardware (snaps, zips), knit color, construction techniques, and workmanship. Nonetheless, most makers had one or more distinguishing characteristics or combinations thereof to make them generally distinctive.

A concise list of distinguishing features is included with each maker. These lists are derived from observations and, due to the nature of jacket variations and to limited historical evidence, some features are provided as guidelines and not as definitive characteristics.


Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Angular pocket flaps.
  • Uncovered backs of collar snaps inside the neck.
  • Contracted epaulet box-stitching with the crossing X contained within the twin-stitch lines, but with the bounding box line extending the full width of the strap.
  • Rectangular leather tab reinforcement for the back of the snap inside the pocket.
Example Description

The A-2 with order number 42-18246-P was one of a small number of A-2 jacket contracts in which the maker name did not appear on the label. This maker is also interesting in that it incorporates some unusual variations which can be seen in the images below. The zipper on this jacket (not shown) is a Talon with the name marked on the vertical bar of the slider and with the plain stopper box without the name marked. Conmar zips can also be seen in jackets of this order number.

The veteran who wore this jacket was a pilot with the 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy), Eighth Air Force.


  1. Jacket front view.
  2. Spec label. Note the loss of lettering due to wear, and also the small size inspection stamp.
  3. The inside backing piece of the male side of the collar snap is not covered with lining material. Also note the simple collar attachment used on this contract.
  4. The epaulet has very contracted box-stitching and, in a small detail it shares with Cable Raincoat, the crossing X is contained within the twin-stitch lines but the bounding box line extends the full width of the strap. Note the remnants of a painted Lieutenant's bar.
  5. Pocket flap shape is mostly angular with just a slight curving.
  6. Ring type snaps are not anodized and retain their silvery color. The same snaps are used for the collar.
  7. Inside the pocket. The oblong tab is a separate piece of leather used to reinforce the snap.


Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Unusual collar stand attachment and truncation before the wind flap.
  • Unusual epaulet construction with the top layer folded around the bottom layer.
  • Double top-stitched shoulder seam centered under the epaulet.
  • Covered zipper similar to Navy jackets.
  • Wide spacing of top-stitching from seam joints and around pockets.
  • No particular reinforcement stitching on top corners of pockets.
  • Tags inside each pocket, but sewn to the body.
  • Rotated inset sleeve seam, and reversed body side seam.
  • Leather waist tabs constructed more like Navy jackets.
  • Hanger attached by vertical bar-tacking.
  • Use of goatskin, possibly for entire production.
Example Description

This A-2 jacket is so strange that it is no wonder that the maker did not place their name on the label. Without the contract label it would be simple to assume that this must have been a private purchase jacket. Yet other examples exist, such as those found on page 13 of Art of the Flight Jacket and on page 174 of American Flight Jackets, Airmen, and Aircraft, both by Maguire and Conway.

This example, along with the others I've been able to document, are in goatskin. This one is quite soft and well-worn.

There are so many unique and unusual construction details on this jacket that it's difficult to know how to describe it. A lot of photos will have to help. Then refer to photos of just about any other maker's A-2 for the more standard methods.


  1. This front view begins to show its oddities as you look closely.
  2. The label is unusually oblong and, along with a small number of other contract A-2's, has no maker name.
  3. This second label, courtesy of a contribuiting reader, has the size tab intact and placed far off to the side. This size tab position has been seen in other, though not all, jackets of this contract.
  4. This first neck view shows the hanger, which has vertical bar-tacking on each side rather than the more common box-stitching. The collar is attached with a collar stand, but note here how the collar stand does not extend across the wind flap as with every other A-2 with a collar stand.
  5. This second neck view, showing the ball stud snaps and their covered backs through the lining, demonstrates another collar stand variation. Rather than the two edges of the collar stand being placed over the collar at the top and over the jacket body at the bottom, it is layered and has its bottom edge under the jacket body seam.
  6. This third neck view give a closer look at the collar stand construction anomalies.
  7. The epaulet top view shows the square shaped box-stitching which spans the full width of the strap.
  8. This view of the bottom of the epaulet shows a unique epaulet construction. The arrows point to the edges of the top layer of the epaulet which has been folder over the bottom layer and sewn down. While the top layer is normally folded over this way, the folds are more commonly placed on top of the bottom layer before being sewn down, and not around the bottom layer.
  9. The shoulder seam is placed on top of the shoulder and centered under the epaulet, and is top-stitched on both sides of the seam (as is also done by United Sheeplined).
  10. The zipper and wind flap configuration is unusual in that the wind flap side is formed like the typical A-2, but note on the opposite side how the zipper is covered as on Navy jackets (M-422A, G-1). The top-stitching near the edge of the wind flap is not as close to the edge as with most A-2's, and this is consistent with the top-stitch placement from the seams around the rest of the jacket.
  11. The pocket has flaps with an angular shape but with a slight curvature toward the sharp center point. Notice again how the top-stitching all around the pocket is unusually far from the pocket borders.
  12. This open pocket view shows the straight line of stitching across the top but no sign of any reinforcement stitching in the corners.
  13. Inside the right pocket can be seen remnants of a heavy paper label, probably the Lot/Size tag, sewn to the jacket body. Also seen is the small separate leather tab used to reinforce the snap back.
  14. Inside the left pocket can be seen the remnants of a woven label, which has Union markings, sewn to the jacket body.
  15. This image of the side and sleeve depicts the rotated seam of the inset sleeve. Also seen here is that the side seam of the body is reversed from that of most all other A-2's (Spiewak being the other exception) by placing the top-stitching on the side of the seam toward the front of the jacket.
  16. The zipper is a triple-marked Talon with rectangular puller. Note here the unusual construction of the two leather waist tabs at the bottom of the zipper as compared to other A-2's. The wind flap side is wider than the wind flap rather than being the same width. The opposite side differs from normal in its covering of the zip. Both sides differ from normal in that their outer edges are stitched over the waist knits rather than being stitched inside and folded out, adding another similarity to Navy jackets.

Aero Leather Clothing

Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Red rust colored knits on some contract runs.
  • Angular pocket flaps.
  • Sharply curved bottom corners of pockets.
  • Relatively narrow epaulets.
  • Use of mustardy colored lining.
  • Collar snap backs are not riveted through the lining.
Example Description

By all observations, the Aero Leather Clothing Company was a prolific maker of aviation garments for the U.S. Army Air Forces. Their A-2 jackets are distinguished by their angular pocket flaps and often by a unique red rust color of knitting which appeared on many of their A-2s, especially those of the W535-AC-21996 contract and the 42-15142-P order number. Aero's 42-18775-P order number, from which this jacket comes, mainly used the more common medium brown knits although some can be found with the red knits.

The veteran who wore this jacket was a bombardier flying B-26 aircraft in the 497th Squadron, 344th Bombardment Group (Medium), Ninth Air Force. Along with this jacket were several V-mail letters he had sent home. On June 2, 1944, he wrote, "Don't worry if you don't hear from me for a while. I'm going to be busy as the dickens - I'll try to write when I can." Officers were permitted to censor their own letters and, apparently, he didn't believe he was giving anything away here.


  1. Jacket front view.
  2. Label.
  3. Open neck view.
  4. Neck area showing collar shape and large ring snaps used on the collar.
  5. This composite image illustrates a construction simplification where the back of the male side of the collar snaps is beneath the lining.
  6. The Aero epaulet is relatively narrow. Leather rank insignia have been sewn on, but apparently the original owner scraped off the rank marking (2nd Lt.) after completing his service. The box-stitching spans the full width of the strap.
  7. The pocket flap shape is very angular with only the slightest bit of curvature. The bottom corners of the pocket patch on this example are nearly square, and this is commonly found on Aero A-2s.
  8. Large ring snaps on the pocket. Note also the single line of stitching at the top of the pocket patch and the long, narrow angular reinforcement stitching.
  9. Here's an amusing little sewing error on the bottom left pocket.
  10. Talon zip with angular reinforcement stitching. Conmar zips can also be found on Aero jackets.
  11. Inspection stamp placed in lower front left lining.
  12. Nameplate of the original owner.
  13. Two colors of thread were used on this jacket, olive drab (OD) and russet brown, as shown in this example from the back of the collar.

Bronco Mfg. Co.

Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Pockets with beveled bottom corners and with scalloped flaps. United Sheeplined A-2s also have pockets like this, but those jackets can be distinguished from Bronco by checking the shoulder seams, which on the United are centered under the epaulet.
  • Sleeves appear wider than normal as they have less taper toward the wrist.
  • Top-stitch spacing from sleeve and side seam joints is wider than in other places.
  • Some hangers are attached by horizontal bar-tacking, and others by the more typical box-stitching.
Example Description

This very reddish russet Bronco A-2 is from contract W535-AC-29191. While this Bronco, along with most others, is ostensibly horsehide, goatskin examples are also found.


  1. Jacket front view. Note that the sleeves do not taper to the wrist as much as those from most other A-2 makers.
  2. This label image shows the olive drab thread, the AN inspector's stamp, the horizontal bar-tacking on the hangar, and a previous owner's name.
  3. Neck view.
  4. This second neck view shows the ring style snap and the snap back riveting through the lining and covered with lining material.
  5. The epaulet box-stitching is square and is contained within the twin-stitch lines.
  6. The pocket has angular beveling at the bottom corners and a flap with a scalloped shape to an extended point which is not as pronounced on this example as it is on many other Broncos.
  7. Open pocket view showing the ring snap.
  8. Inside pocket view showing the tongue extension which serves as a reinforcement for the snap.
  9. Jacket Crown zipper. Note the angled chevron teeth of the zipper chain and the triangular reinforcement stitching used at the bottom of the zipper. Talon zips can also be found on Bronco jackets.
  10. Jacket Crown zipper underside showing the retaining spring which keep the puller lying flat and locked into the teeth.
  11. The AN inspector's stamp on this jacket is the more common 5/8-inch size, while this smaller AN inspector's stamp from another Bronco A-2 of the same contract measured 5/16 inch.

Cable Raincoat Co.

Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Relatively rounded collar points.
  • Epaulet box-stitching with the crossing X contained within the twin-stitch lines, but with the bounding box line extending the full width of the strap.
  • Narrowly spaced stitch reinforcement at top corners of pockets.
  • Use of mustardy colored lining.
  • Frequent use of Kwik zippers, but Conmar are also used.
  • Use of goatskin, with predominance in the 42-10008-P order.
Example Descriptions

[Cable A-2 photos supplied by contributing readers.]

This first goatskin Cable Raincoat Co. A-2, from order number 42-10008-P, is from a contract run which appears to be either predominantly or entirely goatskin. Another fine example can be seen on page 210 of Suit Up! The Flight Jacket by Imai.

Construction features of Cables are consistent with most wartime A-2 jackets in that they apply a simple collar attachment and a shoulder seam which is placed behind the epaulet. The pocket flaps are angular with a small degree of curvature to the center point.


  1. Jacket front view.
  2. Jacket back view.
  3. Label. Note the AN inspector's stamp nearby.
  4. This neck view demonstrates the use of ball stud snap fasteners. Interestingly, the corresponding photo of the same order number jacket in Suit Up! The Flight Jacket shows a ring snap fastener being used, so there was some hardware variation within this production run. The backs of the collar snaps are riveted through the lining and are covered with lining material. Also note the rounded collar point.
  5. The epaulet on this Cable example is unusual in that the crossing X of the box-stitching goes beyond the twin-stitch lines, but it seems to be more a matter of lesser workmanship than a design alteration.
  6. This open view of the pocket shows the very narrow reinforcement stitching in the upper corners.
  7. This side view shows the common sleeve placement where the sleeve seam is an extension of the body side seam.
  8. This seldom seen Kwik zipper is often found on Cable A-2 jackets. Like the snaps, production run variation appears to exist here as well; a Conmar zip is seen on the example in Suit Up! The Flight Jacket.
  9. The zipper reinforcement stitching is unusual in that it is applied only on the wind flap side. What appears to be stitching on the other side is merely a crease.
This next goatskin Cable Raincoat A-2 was re-lined and lacks its label, so it is not certain which contract it is from.
  1. This more typical epaulet demonstrates the rectangular shaped box-stitching with the crossing X contained within the twin-stitch lines but with the bounding box line extending the full width of the strap. This small detail, with part of the box-stitching within the lines and the other part across the lines is very typical of Cable and is shared with only one other maker I have found so far, that of the 18246 order A-2. Also evident in this image is the roundness of the collar point.
  2. This open pocket image demonstrates the silver ring snap used by Cable as an alternative to the ball stud fastener, and again shows the narrow pocket reinforcement stitching.
The following goatskin Cable Raincoat A-2, order number 42-10008-P, is from the collection of The Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Delaware.
  1. Jacket front.
  2. Jacket back.
  3. Label.
  4. Shoulder view showing hand-painted 8AF shoulder patch.
  5. Zipper bottom showing Kwik stopper box and triangular reinforcement stitching.

Cooper Sportswear Mfg. Co.

Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Collar stand construction.
  • Medium length collar with a rather rounded point.
  • Epaulets are relatively wide, have narrowly spaced twin-stitch lines, and have square box-stitching which is contained within the twin-stitch lines.
  • Shoulder seam placed behind the epaulet.
  • Body side seam with the standard configuration of the joint facing forward and the top-stitching facing to the back.
  • Triangular reinforcement stitching at the zipper bottom.
  • Pocket flaps, which are shorter than typical, are softly curved with a rounded center point.
  • Beveled corners at the bottom of the pocket patch, but not as pronounced as Bronco or United Sheeplined.
Example Descriptions

While some photos have now been contributed to accompany this description, other published examples also exist. One is on page 74 of Art of the Flight Jacket by Maguire and Conway. Another is on page 101 of the Japanese magazine/book entitled MA-1, The Real Flight Jacket Graphic Magazine published in 1993 by World Photo Press.

The original WWII era Cooper A-2, contract W535-AC-23381, is a rarely seen jacket, something which implies a low production number. Visually, the jacket appears to be very similar to the Rough Wear style, as based upon the epaulets, collar stand, collar points, and pocket flap shape. Furthermore, the label on this jacket is virtually identical in size, layout, and lettering to that of the Rough Wear 23380 label.

[The following Cooper A-2 example comes from the collection of Mr. Keith B. Kenerly, with photos by Mr. Dominic Flamini.]


  1. Jacket front.
  2. Jacket back. back.
  3. Label with AN inspector's stamp. Also note box-stitched hanger.
  4. Collar. Note the rounded points.
  5. Collar stand. Note the ball stud snaps.
  6. Collar hook fastener.
  7. Epaulet.
  8. Both pockets. Note how the flaps round out wider than the pocket.
  9. Single pocket with flap closed.
  10. Single pocket with flap open. Note the dimpled ball stud snap and the round reinforcement under the flap snap.
  11. Open pocket close-up. Note the size label and the OD thread.
  12. Conmar zipper. While this style of Conmar zipper is often seen on Tanker jackets, it is unusual to see one on an A-2. Note the triangular reinforcement stitching.
  13. Side seam.
  14. Some heavily wrinkled hide in the undersleeve.

[The following Cooper A-2 photos were supplied by a contributing reader.]

This Cooper example has been re-dyed. I don't have a full jacket photo at this time.


  1. Jacket label.
  2. Jacket collar point. Note the ball stud snap.
  3. Epaulet.
  4. Pocket flap.
  5. Conmar zipper. Note the triangular reinforcement stitching.

David D. Doniger & Co.

Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Sharply pointed collar.
  • Shoulder seam centered under the epaulet.
  • Rotated inset sleeve seam.
  • Top-stitching widely spaced from seam joints.
  • Angular pocket flaps.
  • Use of goatskin, possibly for entire production.
Example Description

This A-2 jacket by David D. Doniger & Co., from order number 42-21539-P, is made of a deep russet brown goatskin hide. The leather has a beautiful and sharply defined grain structure with variations in coarseness and depth across the surface. While there are a small number of abrasions on the leather, this well-worn jacket is a terrific example of how goatskin can maintain a nearly new condition. As illustrated in the photo documentation, the Doniger jacket also exhibits a number of interesting and unusual construction details.

The zipper (not shown) is a hybrid Talon with marked slider and unmarked stopper. There is no triangular stitching reinforcement at the bottom of the zipper. The cuff knits are replacements.


  1. Jacket front view.
  2. Label. Note the well-used hanger with an open box-stitch, the small size inspection stamp, and the series of rank promotions which appears to begin with Lt. and end with Lt. Colonel.
  3. Open neck view showing long collar points and black anodized riveting.
  4. Another neck view, again showing long collar points, black anodized riveting, and ball stud snaps. The backs of the snaps are riveted through the lining and covered with lining material.
  5. The pocket flap shape is sharply angular.
  6. Ball stud snaps on the pocket.
  7. The epaulet is of a moderate width. The leather base for an insignia (stitch holes remain from Lt. rank) obscures the box-stitching at the shoulder, but note the way the box-stitching at the collar seems to conform to the collar curvature. Also, the box-stitch is rather square and spans the full width of the strap.
  8. The top shoulder seam between the front and back panels is directly on top of the shoulder rather than being slightly down the back. That places the seam centrally under the epaulet rather than the more often found placement in line with the rear edge of the epaulet.
  9. The seam top-stitching is also atypical for A-2's in having a quarter-inch offset from the seam joint. This styling is more typical of Navy flight jackets.
  10. The sleeve seam which typically aligns with the side seam is offset on this jacket with its inset sleeve.
  11. Goatskin grain. This composite image depicts three different sections of the jacket. The distinct pebbled nature and the sharply defined features characteristic to goatskin are well demonstrated. All images were taken at the same magnification.

J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co.

Distinguishing Characteristics
  • Longer than average, pointed collars.
  • Light colored, contrasting thread.
  • Wide rectangular epaulet box-stitching (on later contracts).
  • Extended and rounded pocket flap center points.

Dubow A-2s, spanning several contract runs, were and still are plentiful, particularly the W535-AC-27798 contract with its distinctive one-piece label. While many features of Dubow A-2s remained rather consistent across contract runs, a couple of noteworthy changes occurred as wartime production was entered. The primary change was from a collar stand construction to a simple collar attachment. Dubow's first contract, the pre-war 20960, is distinguished by its collar stand. It also has no property notice on its label. The 23379 contract appears to be a transitional one in that most examples have no collar stand and have a separately attached label with the property notice and size placed under the standard label. I have, however, seen one example of the 23379 contract which still retained the collar stand and did not have the property notice label. Another feature that this particular early 23379 label had in common with 20960 labels is the that small size tab was sewn down to the lining. This is not unusual for pre-war jackets, and an example can be found on the next page in the Rough Wear photo study.

The other change from early Dubow A-2s to later ones is in the shape of the epaulet box-stitching. While the stitching was always contained within the twin-stitch lines, the early Dubow epaulets had more square shaped box-stitching while the later ones were more rectangular.

Dubow's last A-2 contract is W33-038ac1755(11631). Because of the unusual nature of this contract designation, it is sometimes mistaken for an early contract. But the lack of a collar stand and the presence of rectangular epaulet box-stitching gives it away as a later contract. Moreover, one needs only examine the contract labels of the successor to the A-2, the B-10, to see that this contract format appeared later in the war.

Other construction details include the shoulder seam placed behind the epaulet, a body side seam with the standard configuration of the joint facing forward and the top-stitching facing to the back, the presence of triangular reinforcement stitching at the zipper bottom, ball stud snap fasteners, and collar snaps backs which are riveted through the lining and covered with lining material. Crown zippers are frequently found on Dubow A-2s, but Talon is also seen.

Example Description

The following example of a Dubow 27798 contract was photographed while still in the possession of its original owner, a B-17 co-pilot and pilot who served in the 91st Bomb Group and who wore the jacket in combat. He has kept this A-2 in exceptional condition. The cuffs were replaced sometime in the past, but the rest of the jacket is original.

The color of this jacket is a darker brown, and more of a seal brown than russet, but it was original and not re-dyed. The leather, ostensibly horse but possibly steer, was overall noticeably thinner than average and very soft and supple. Almost the entire jacket was covered with extremely nice grain and wrinkling. There was no AN inspector's stamp found in the lining.


  1. Jacket front view and back view.
  2. The the 27798 contract Dubow label is distinguished by its being all one piece, where the size is woven directly into the main label rather than being attached on a separate tab. As far as I have seen, this is the only A-2 contract of any maker with such a label, and, except for an infrequent label modification, no Dubow 27798 label exists with a separate size tab.
  3. This neck view and this folded collar view illustrate the pointed collar shape (which is not as elongated as many Dubow collars), the simple collar attachment, the ball stud snaps, and the covered backs of the collar snap.
  4. This image of the epaulet shows how the box-stitching is rectangular and quite elongated, and is also contained within the twin-stitch lines.
  5. The pocket flap is nicely curved with an extended center point.
  6. This open pocket view shows the ball stud snap with the dimple in the male side, and also shows a typical style of reinforcement stitching.
  7. A Talon zipper of the late plain version is found on this jacket.
  8. The zipper reinforcement stitching is unusually big and wide.
  9. Here's a shot of the fantastic grain variation on this A-2, with some nice deep wrinkling on the one sleeve panel.

For some photo examples of this and other Dubow contracts, see the following sources:

  • W535-AC-20960 contract on pages 38-39 and 112-113 of Art of the Flight Jacket by Maguire and Conway.
  • W535-AC-23379 contract on pages 106-107 of Art of the Flight Jacket by Maguire and Conway.
  • W535-AC-27798 contract on the top of page 184 in American Flight Jackets, Airmen & Aircraft by Maguire and Conway.

Continue to the next page for Details, Part 3, Jackets by Manufacturer, Page 2.

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