USAAF AN-J-4 Flying Jacket
By The Aero Leather Clothing Co. of Beacon New York. Size 38. (physically measures 22" pit to pit laid flat and zipped so should fit approx. 38 - 40" chest). Standardized for use by the AAF and USN in 1943, the AN-J-4, also known as the AN-6553 was manufactured in 3/4" shearling with the usual dark brown chromed finish. Like the B-3 jacket, this also had large leather reinforcement patches sewn onto the sleeves. It had a single full length front zip and two lower patch pockets with press studded flaps. Small adjustable buckled straps were fitted at the waist on each side and knitted wristlets concealed within the leather cuffs.
The overall appearance is very good with the jacket retaining good original finish and largely free of the cracking and surface peeling so common to American shearling. The leather is generally sound, flexible and damage free. There is wear, most notably to the shoulders, upper back, side panels and left elbow plus a small stitched repair on the right shoulder area (see photo) but nothing too worrying. The side straps, pockets and cuffs are all good and the knitted wristlets appear to be free of moth damage. The collar strap remains in place although one of the buttons is missing. There is an AAF decal on the zip flap and remains of a colour AAF shoulder decal can be seen on the upper left arm. The lining appears to be good thoughout and is complete with woven label. The only real downside is the zip. This is an original 'Conmar' but there is damage to the tape close to the bottom and is probably best left zipped up. This means the jacket can be fully zipped or undone to within 5cm/2" of the base of the zip. It may be possible to undo/re-fasten with extreme care. Fortunately the jacket can still be displayed on a mannequin by placing it over the head. Obviously the zip could just be replaced if desired. Overall, a very solid jacket in much better condition than most found today. Stock code J20138.