In 1938, the United States Air Corps issued an order to update and modify the Type A-1 flight jacket. The significant design changes of the jacket included replacing the button down front with a zipper and the knit collar with a leather drop fall collar. The new jacket was designated -- Type A-2. This jacket became associated with American pilots serving on every front during World War II and is still issued by the U.S. Air Force today. Many pilots and aircrews modified their jackets with custom artwork that depicted the name of their aircraft. These jackets are nick named "Painted Ladies" for the common practice of using the pinup girls for the aircraft's name and nose art.
Donated by Max Chennault
Gen. Claire Chennault's United States Army Air Forces Type A-2 Flying Jacket; waist length seal brown horsehide jacket with brown knit wool cuffs and waist band; brass zipper down front; two front flap pockets with hidden snaps; stand and fall collar with snaps; brown rayon lining; shoulder straps; dark brown sewn in manufacturer's tag with embroidered gold text on inside collar (see inscriptions for full text); Blood Cit sewn on inside right side; 2 silver stars each epaulet; leather name tag over 14th Air Force insignia on left breast; China-Burma-India insignia on right shoulder.