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World War II: 1939 ~ 1945
United States of America (All Branches)
Named Lots & Groupings
ARMY - GROUND UNITS
Germany

A0037
Selling Price: $11500 - Postage in the U.S.A. is: $30
PROTOTYPE TYPE SPECIMEN 576TH BOMB MUTTON COLLAR FLIGHT SUIT
FULL PIECE HYBRID A-11 PANTS & B-15 JACKET FLIGHT SUIT!
THIS IS THE ONLY KNOWN, EXPERT RECOGNIZED, MANION'S BLESSED SURVIVING SPECIMEN! PROTOTYPE FLIGHT SUIT COMBINATION B-15 JACKET & TROUSER HALF IS LIKE A-11's, BUT FACTORY AAF SAMPLE!

Here we have what both John O'Connor of Manion's and Painted Flight Jacket book fame, as well as Jon McGuire of Gear Up and Pinks, Greens & Whatever fame declared as a previously unknown flight suit. It is a beauty! A "type specimen", unique as the only known surviving sample.

Perhaps a prototype? In any regard, this is a very rare garment, and in excellent shape and with an ID in the label on top of everything else. The item is also very, very heavy and was designed/used for high-altitude bombing missions in B-24 Liberators.

I should point out right away that the suit is NOT featured in McGuire's works, as complete as they might be. Neither is it in any of the other Schiffer works I have.

If it is not in GEAR UP, then it is rare.

The garment weighs a ton, like I said, because it is Alpaca lined and just the trouser part is designed like the A-11 trousers, full length zippers and knitted cuffs, but then it runs straight into what looks sort of like an early B-15 jacket on the top! I have never had nor seen another like it, and also, the tag is NOT a spec woven, like we are all used to seeing, but a cloth tag.

The tag is then named to a Donald Keith, and under that, 576 SQDN, then the writing, No. 12. Fully marked, US ARMY AIR FORCES.

Again, the item is experimental. It is not a chop job where someone sewed a jacket and pants. IT IS FACTORY MADE THIS WAY! The 576TH was part of the 392ND Bomb Group. They were part of the 8TH Air Force, a premier unit that would have easily been considered a front-runner for acceptance testing of new gear.

They stayed in England till Sat, June 9TH, 1945. the 576TH and 577TH Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 392ND Bombardment Group (Heavy), all departed the European theatre from Wendling in their B-24s. The size is a "Medium", but oh, how it wears more like a large.

All the knitting is in primo condition, with only a very few and small pin nicks here or there, no gashes and no repairs.

All original.

The zippers each work and are all the originals as well. The offset chest zipper is killer looking, almost Buck Rogers! And all the zippers have an accent look because of their cloth color standing out so well in their dark brown, screaming era color! The internal suspenders are intact and the AAF emblem on the arm is bold and very visible.

No detractions. Hey! A keeper!

The seat is in great shape, not at all scuffed, but there are 2 extremely minor era repairs made to it, one being really small. There is a very tiny soil mark, like a half dollar size on one knee, so signs of limited wear onboard an aircraft. This suit has surely seen missions!

In fact, research on the web for the name inside the suit comes up with a SERGEANT D.W. Keith was in a B-24 and was known to have flown a mission over SCHAFENBURG on the 25th of February in 1945.

There you have it, all era. All original. No hidden surprises and no issues. Original, guaranteed. Massive! Huge!! Heavy!!!



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