AAF B-15 Flying Jacket
The B-15 jacket was first introduced in late 1944 to replace the B-10 and remained in service until replaced by the B-15A.The arrival of the jet age in military aviation prompted the need for a new, more modern flight jacket. The B-15 was the lightweight USAF replacement for the previously bulky, leather flight jackets of the WWII era and was the precursor to the MA-1. The B-15 was the first of the USAF synthetic flight jackets. They were an instant success with aviators, as they were far less bulk and considerably more comfortable in the cramped cockpits of the emerging jet fighters. The design of the B-15 introduced many new features including, a pen pocket on the arm, diagonal slash pockets, and with the derivative B-15A a place to clip the oxygen mask when not in use. This jacket came from a serious UK collector and although we have no way of authenticating the provenance we were told it was purchased from the family of a US Liberator crew member but that is as much as we have got. The fabric shell is in generally good issued condition with just the odd minor snag and light stains. An 8th AF cloth patch is sewn to the left shoulder whilst their in no evidence of a name tag ever being fitted. The classic dark brown mouton collar is in great shape and no sign of moth damage and the fur lined collar strap is still in place. The lining is the classic Alpaca-wool mix and again is in great condition with just minor wear in the shoulder area. The cuffs and waistband appears original to the jacket. The waist knit has some very minor moth nips whilst the cuffs show normal wear and signs of period stitch repairs. The original Conmar brand zip is fitted and runs freely. All the slash pocket snaps are in place and working and is fitted with two interior pockets. No size is marked but we would estimate this jacket is about a 40” chest (102cm) but like all B-15’s is cut short in the waist. This jacket has clearly only had light use in service and is strong enough for further wear today but would also display very well in an appropriate collection. Like all current stock more detailed pictures are here and available on request.