Original U.S. WWII US Army Air Forces Air Transport Command Patched Type A-4 Summer Flight Suit

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Flight suits were worn by pilots and crew members of the AAF for practicality, comfort, and protection from the elements. Flight suit material varied from khaki cotton and lightweight wool gabardines for summer wear, to heavy shearling-lined leather for winter and high altitude wear.

Since early airplanes were not pressurized cabins the crew was subjected to harsh weather elements so there were even electrical suits that plugged into the aircraft's electrical systems to keep the soldier warm.

The flight suit has continued to evolve and some materials are fire retardant. But all have uses and pockets to house pens, papers and other items both practical and personal in nature.

This flight suit example is the Suit, Summer, Flying, Type A-4 and was standardized in 1930. The flight suit itself is constructed of an OD color Gabardine. Gabardine is a durable twill worsted wool, a tightly woven fabric originally waterproof and used to make suits, overcoats, trousers, uniforms, windbreakers, outerwear and other garments, such as flight suits and various other types of military clothing. The suit itself is in wonderful condition and still retains the original gabardine belt as well as a complete tag located on the interior back.

DRAWING NO. 30-732
A.C. ORDER NO. 43-129129-AK

The front left side of the suit has a lovely 5” x 5” water applied decal leather patch featuring a stylized wing over a globe with red and blue rectangles on the left border. The red and blue boxes around the edge of the patch symbolize the Morse Code for "ATC".

A lovely service worn example that comes more than ready for further research and display.

Approximate Measurements:
Collar to shoulder: 10.5"
Shoulder to sleeve: 21.5”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16.5”
Chest width: 19.5”
Waist width: 17.5"
Hip width: 17.5”
Front length: 60"

ATC's origins begin during World War I with the need to transport aircraft supplies and materiel from the aircraft manufacturers to the maintenance facilities supporting the training bases in the United States. Railroads were used to move the equipment and aircraft from one base to another and to the Ports of Embarkation along the East Coast for subsequent sea shipment to the battlefields of France.

It wasn't until the 1920s that the development of cargo and personnel transport aircraft began with aircraft such as the Boeing Model 40. From 1926 until 1942, the Air Corps’ logistical responsibilities were vested in the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps Materiel Division, with headquarters at Wright Field, Ohio and with four major depots (at Sacramento, California; San Antonio, Texas; Fairfield, Ohio; and Middletown, Pennsylvania) distributed over the United States. In the early 1930s, the Air Corps began formally experimenting with the systematic use of air transport for the distribution of aviation supplies. The Materiel Division in 1932 established a provisional 1st Air Transport Group with four transport squadrons, each of them equipped with Bellanca Aircruisers and Douglas DC-2s, intended to serve one of the four major air depots in the distribution of spare parts to Army airbases. The group, redesignated the 10th Transport Group in 1937, also transported supplies from one depot to another.

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