Original U.S. WWII USAAF Early Pattern M1 Flyers Protective Armor Flak Vest / Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. During WW2 in the US Army Air Corps, bomber crews often returned from missions over NSDAP-occupied Europe reporting extremely dense flak, each burst spraying the aircraft with hot shrapnel. Following the experience of the Royal Air Force, the Air Corps began issuing flak jackets to aircrews in 1942. These early flak jackets were heavy, consisting of steel plates sown into multi-layered nylon that would catch low velocity fragments. An M3 apron panel was added to increase the protected areas. The vest and apron design was supplemented by a helmet to complete the protection. The heavy protection vest had a pull tab to dump it quickly if the plane ditched in the water or the crew had to bail out.

This is a genuine very good condition mostly complete USAAF Armor, Flyer's Vest, M1 & M2 complete with data labels, though they are faded. This flak vest is made up of both armored front and back pieces, so it was intended for a crewman, and not a pilot. The condition is very good, though there is a bit of rust as well as verdigris on the lift-the-dot snaps. Also, one of the buckle/snap for one of the right waist strap is missing, so it does not attach to the central attachment point.

All in all a very hard to find vest offered in very good condition.

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