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RAF Irvin flying jacket - History

RAF Irvin flying jacket - History

Code: J23784

SOLD

Thermally Insulated Flying Suit, Jacket.  Physically measures approximately 40” so should be suitable for around a 36/38” chest.  This example is of six-panel front and rear construction (see photographs).  The leather is generally in good overall condition retaining some of the original chromed finish & flexibility.  Most of it is quite thick and appears to be strong but there is small tear adjacent to the upper right chest seam, a larger one next to one of the left elbow seams and another small one in the same area. These would require repairing or patching if the buyer is intending to wear the jacket.  Very good dense fur lining, short on the collar and mid-length in the body with some 2-tone colours.  Both cuffs and waist have a good amount of fur remaining.  The jacket retains the original 'Lightning' main zip and 'Air Ministry stamped 'F.F. Ltd.' sleeve zips, each with leather puller tags. All function but are a little stiff and would benefit from careful lubrication.  The belt, chain hanger, collar strap and rings are all complete and in good condition.   Very unusally, this jacket has some 'artwork' in the form of the owner's name 'PETE' painted in red across the back.   It belonged to W/O Peter Harold Hale, 1332528 RAFVR (b.28.07.22).  He enlisted at Uxbridge in January 1941, attended No.4 Initial Training Wing Paignton, Devon, and 21 EFTS before heading to Canada as part of the Commonwealth Training Programme where he gained his wings and the rank of Sergeant in April 1942. On his return to the UK he was posted to No.53 Operational Training Unit (fighter training unit) on Spitfires at Kirton in Lindsey, North Lincolnshire c. Nov. 1943/ Feb. 44.  Then to No.4 Tactical Exercise Unit (Annan, Scotland), and No1 TEA (Tealing, Scotland) on Spitfires before a posting to 41 Squadron in Europe c.August 1944 as a Warrant Officer.  He is credited with a 1/4 share of a He111 destroyed on 28.04.45.  Hale was demobbed in 1946.   Overall, a good  to good '+' example and great for display.  Stock code J23784.