Italian/Luftwaffe Flight Jacket
This is an interesting one! When purchased we were advised that this jacket had belonged to a Luftwaffe crew member in WWII. In general terms the design is similar to the blue grey summer jacket but intriguingly it features a dark sheepskin lining which has been made up so it buttons into the jacket. This can be completely removed together with the fur collar attachment and could therefore be used in both summer and winter conditions. The jacket has no nomenclature of any description and it has almost certainly be made up as a private purchase item, perhaps to the original owner's specification. The main zip which has a double puller arrangement is made by Zipp and while in working order, the runner feed is a little tender. The sleeve zips are also by Zipp but to a different design and are in working order. In photographing the jacket, we have detected a stitch imprint which appears to indicate where a Luftwaffe breast eagle has been removed. The jacket is a good size. We have just been contacted by Mick Prodger who has helped ID our jacket: 'It's a beautiful jacket - and a rare item. But it isn't private purchase and it isn't German. It's Italian! The quality of Italian air force stuff was staggering - like Armani was in the flying jacket business! The Luftwaffe eagle may have been added post war, although it wouldn't surprise me at all if some Luftwaffe pilots wore the jacket during the war - after all they were allies until 1943 and the Brits/Americans wore each other's gear. Zipp was an international company and you will find Canadian, Australian, US and many European items (as well as German) with Zipp brand zips. However the little teardrop puller is very characteristic of Italian design. Nice too that it still has it's button in fur liner'. Thanks for that Mick and we are all wiser now!