Original A-2 jackets, while not exactly bountiful, do exist and are
obtainable. Unless one has connections with veterans or estate sales,
for instance, the prices rise significantly, however. Price and desirability
also vary greatly with manufacturer, condition, artwork and patches, and
traceable history. Practically speaking, prices will likely fall somewhere
in the range of US$500 to US$4000.
Some practical sources for jackets include militaria collectors' shows and
militaria auctions. One large militaria mail auction,
Manion's, usually has several A-2 jackets consigned each auction.
The eBay online auction has also
become a steady source of original A-2's.
FlightJacket.net, a dealer of antiques, is also establishing itself as a source.
Condition of the jackets will vary a great deal. Wear tends to show in the
areas of the finish being rubbed off of the leather, tears and/or mothing of
the wool knitting, soiling and/or tearing of the lining (particularly in the
neck area), worn or missing spec labels, and broken zippers. Restoration can
often be done to replace the lining, knitting, or zippers, but one must decide
for oneself how this reflects upon the value of the jacket in their own eyes.
Care also must be taken because there are some good A-2 copies out there and
it is not inconceivable that an artificially aged jacket could be passed off
as an original.
Another consideration one may have in seeking an original A-2 is whether or
not it will fit. Having a piece of history which is wearable can make it all
the more desirable. This is not to say that a wartime A-2 should be worn on
any regular basis as it really should not. Being able to wear historical
gear for photos or special occasions, though, can be quite a thrill. Except
for the smaller built people out there, the quest to obtain a "good size" can
be a long and ultimately expensive one.
Squadron patches and artwork add considerably to the value of a jacket
since they signify specific lineage and are almost always uniquely handmade.
A jacket named to an individual, perhaps even paired with photos or other
mementos, also contributes to the value and desirability of a jacket.
Want to buy a vintage A-2 jacket? Have a vintage A-2 jacket you'd like to sell?
Visit FlightJacket.net to strike a deal.
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