USAAF B-7 winter flying jacket
By the Aero Leather Clothing Co. Size 38R. The B-7 parka was developed in 1940 and standardized in June 1941 as an extreme coldweather jacket intended to protect air and groundcrews stationed in bitterly cold conditions. Roughly hip length, it was manufactured in untreated natural 1.25" shearling and had a front zip concealed behind a buttoned wind flap fastened with braided cord loops. Internal zipped pockets at the waist. Chromed leather patch pockets on the front skirt. Integral hood edged with wolf fur. The shearling is in excellent condition. It appears to be strong, flexible, undamaged and really quite clean. Most found are oily, grimey and damaged. The lining is equally good and the jacket retains all the original pockets, buttons, hangar and label. Original 'Talon' zip fasteners throughout. Those on the pockets are in good working condition. The main zip looks very good but close inspection reveals that there is very minor damage at the base of the left side (as worn - see photographs). The zip can be used but extreme care is required so that the damage is not exacerbated. It is fine for display but if you wanted to use the zip regularly that side would need repairing or replacing. The jacket also has an original embossed leather name patch ' E H Gilmore'. A quick look at the American records suggests this could be Emanuel H Gilmore (3820474) of the AAC or perhaps Edith H Gilmore (A.501111) who was an aviation cadet with the Womens Air Corps in WW2. The jacket was only in production for about a year and is now one of the hardest USAAF items to find. Most that do turn up are in poor condition and are often very dirty. This is a fabulous rare jacket. The first one we've had for many years and quite simply one of the best. Stock code J23405.