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.
An anonymous donor, who contacted the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA) to obtain documents related to the A-2 Spec. No. 94-3040, has provided for hosting
here a PDF of the pages he received. Some pages are duplicated due to including copies
of both paper and microfiche. The documents indicate some very early contracts and
production numbers along with many other interesting details. Have a look here (A2_SpecDocuments.pdf).
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
|Pre War Order Numbers|
|32-485||unmarked label (Security Aviation Togs?)|
|37-3891 P||H.L.B. Corp.|
|W535ac23383||unmarked label (Fried Ostermann)|
|W535ac27753||unmarked label (Cable Raincoat)|
|W535ac29971||unmarked label (David D. Doniger)|
|42-18246-P||unmarked label (S.H. Knopf)|
|42-21539-P||David D. Doniger|
|1756||unmarked label (Perry)|
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