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Original U.S. WWII Painted A-2 Leather Flight Jacket For 3702d Army Air Forces Base Unit (Technical School) - Technical Division, Air Training Command

Regular price $1,295.00

Item Description

Painted WWII American A-2 Flight Jackets have realized unprecedented prices in the past year. For example jackets at Rock Island Auctions sold in 2022 for $32,000+ and $23,000+ respectively they can be found at this link and this link. When comparing the Rock Island Auction jackets with the one offered here, one can easily see that our offering is an exceptional value!

Original Item: One-of-a-Kind. This is an absolutely beautiful World War Two well worn American painted A-2 flight jacket for the 3702d Army Air Forces Base Unit (Technical School), which was a part of the Technical Division, Air Training Command.

The A-2 jacket, which is in fair condition with fantastic hand painted insignia. The back side of the jacket has the base designation painted along with the US AAF insignia. It reads as 3702 / AAFBU.

Jacket has retained all original components including original knit waist band and sleeve cuffs, something we often see replaced on A-2 jackets that saw extensive service. Also original is the CROWN brand zipper which is not functional.

The interior lining does have extensive tearing and stitching loss present, so do handle it with care. The top rear back portion of the liner does not have the original tag. This was a jacket that saw a very long service life and most likely post war usage as well. There is cracking in the leather, holes, extensive stitching loss and more.

This is an incredible example of a hard to find painted A-2 jacket, offered in fair condition. Comes more than ready for further research and display.

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 9.5"
Shoulder to sleeve: 24”
Shoulder to shoulder: 18.5 ”
Chest width: 22"
Waist width: 21.5"
Hip width: 21”
Front length: 26"

Technical training in the Air Service began about the same time as pilot training. In order to keep its airplanes operational, there was a need for skilled mechanics and other technicians. At first, men who already possessed some mechanical experience received training at civilian trade schools and state universities. Problems arose and the expense led the Army to set up two mechanic schools, one at Kelly Field, Texas and another in a large building in St Paul, Minnesota that the War Department took over.

During World War I, the school at Kelly Field had trained over 2,000 more mechanics. Though the school in St Paul closed after the end of the war, Kelly remained in operation and trained some 5,000 more mechanics before January 1921. When the supply depot at Love Field, Dallas, closed in 1921 and moved to Kelly, the Air Service mechanics's school was forced to move to Chanute Field, Illinois. In 1922, the school was expanded when the photography school at Langley Field, Virginia, and the communications school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, both joined the mechanics course at Chanute, congregating all technical training in the Air Service at that location. The facility at Chanute was re-designated as the Air Corps Technical School in 1926, with the former separate schools becoming "Departments".

In 1930, two more Departments were established at Chanute, the Department of Clerical Instruction and the Department of Armament. Technical training expanded in 1938 at Lowry Field, Colorado, when the Photography, Armament and Clerical instruction were moved from Chanute to the new facilities in Denver. In 1939, Scott Field, Illinois, came under the Air Corps Technical School when the Department of Basic Instruction, responsible for the basic training of all new recruits, was established at Scott. It moved to Chanute in 1940 when Scott became the Air Corps Radio school.

On 1 June 1939, the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field was elevated to the Command level, being re-designated as Air Corps Technical Training Command. With the expansion of the Air Corps after May 1940, technical training was expanded rapidly. By early November 1941, students were entering technical training at the rate of 110,000 per year, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the student flow rose sharply: 13,000 men entered technical training schools in January 1942 and 55,000 in December 1942.

To accommodate this rapid growth in students, additional installations were established. New technical training bases included Keesler Field, Mississippi, and Sheppard Field, Texas, both activated in 1941 with a mission of technical training. Also, because technical schools did not require flying facilities, the Army Air Forces took over a total of 452 hotels, as well as warehouses, theaters, convention halls, athletic fields, parking lots, and various other structures to accommodate student classroom space. The number of hotels at the peak of training included 337 in Miami Beach, Florida; 62 in St. Petersburg, Florida; 46 in Atlantic City, New Jersey; three in Chicago, Illinois, and two in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The heavy burden of the greatly expanded program for technical training had forced the Air Corps to establish the Air Corps Technical Training Command on 1 March 1941. Temporary headquarters for the new command was established at Chanute Field on 26 March; In September a permanent headquarters for the command was selected at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Further decentralization was achieved by grouping the technical schools into two districts. In a functional arrangement which placed basic military and aviation mechanic training under one command and remaining specialties under another, the first district included Scott Field, Lowry Field, and Fort Logan; the second district was composed of Chanute Field, Keesler Field, Sheppard Field, and Jefferson Barracks.

This organization was abandoned on 1 November 1941 when Air Corps Technical Training Command revised the two districts and announced that four technical training districts would be established on a geographical basis to manage the expansion. These were:

First Technical Training District, Greensboro Center, North Carolina
Second Technical Training District, St. Louis, Missouri
Third Technical Training District, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Fourth Technical Training District, Denver, Colorado
Later, in November 1942, a Fifth Training District with headquarters at Miami Beach, Florida, was created to supervise the numerous technical training activities in Florida.

On 31 July 1943, the Army Air Forces reorganized AAF Training Command with the establishment of subordinate commands, three for flying training and three for technical training. The five districts that had belonged to Technical Training Command were disbanded and realigned.

First District at Greensboro was replaced by the Eastern Technical Training Command
Second District in St Louis was replaced by the Central Technical Training Command (CTTC) Fourth District in Denver was replaced by the Western Technical Training Command (WTTC) The Third District at Tulsa, Oklahoma was divided between WTTC and CTTC. The Fifth District in Miami Beach was absorbed into the ETTC.

Requirements in the combat theaters for graduates of technical training schools and even pilots proved to be smaller than initially expected, so the Army Air Forces reduced the size of these training programs in January 1944. The Central Technical Training Command in St. Louis was discontinued 1 March 1944. All schools previously in the central command, with the exception of Keesler Field, became part of the eastern command. Keesler went to the western command. Simultaneously, the headquarters of Eastern Technical Training Command moved from Greensboro, North Carolina, to St Louis.

Approximate Measurements:

Collar to shoulder:    11.5"
Shoulder to sleeve:   25.5”
Shoulder to shoulder:   19”
Chest width:   20"
Waist width:  19"
Hip width:     27”
Front length:  46.5"

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