Aeronautical Clothing North American
Price = n/a
USAAF A-3 Parachute Harness
Or to use its full title 'Group 2 (Yellow) Parachute Assembly, Quick Attachable Chest, Type A-3 harness'. This pattern was developed in late 1943 and first saw operational service early in 1944. This example is a really first class replica and whilst used previously in the ownership of a re-enactor is remains in very clean original condition.
Stamped on one of the beige webbing straps, that also feature a central black fleck, is 'Standard Parachute Corp ' and is dated May 1942 together with an AN acceptance stamp in a circle. The buckles and fittings are all made from cast alloy and the harness features the distinctive yellow felt coding to ensure aircrew selected the correct parachute pack from the stores. The A-3 carried the attachment hooks on the harness and the loops were on the pack but to confuse matters on the A-4 the reverse applied so the component parts were definitely not compatible! The set is completed by the correct olive drab pack pad that is nicely stamped 'Back Pad part nos 42D2013 and 'Date of manufacture May 1942' and a further AN acceptance stamp. Originals of these are getting very hard to source now and this is reflected in their price. This replica provides a more economical alternative that will look good dressed on a mannequin or of course for the re-enactor looking for authenticity and it will only improve with usage.