The U. S. Army Air Force Type B-10 Intermediate Flight Jacket was developed as a replacement for both the leather A-2 and sheepskin B-6 Flight Jackets. The B-10 Flight Jacket was the first cloth-shelled, alpaca fur-lined flying jacket of the USAAF, being standardized for service in July 1943. However, actual combat issue did not take place until late February 1944, with the 8th Air Force in England receiving an initial issue of B-10 Flight Jackets with the corresponding A-9 Trousers.
By the spring of 1944, the B-10 Flight Jacket was appearing in much greater quantities, as evidenced by the many 8th and 9th Air Force aircrews outfitted in this jacket in time for the D-Day invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944. The B-10 Flight Jacket was an instant success with just about every aviator who encountered one, being much lighter and more versatile than the jackets they replaced. Intended for wear in climates between 25 degrees and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the B-10 was ideally suited for early spring, late fall and winter. Fighter pilots took a particular shine to this slick new jacket style, as it afforded them far less bulk and considerably more comfort in their cramped cockpits. Just as with all of the flight jackets of the USAAF, the B-10 Flight Jacket's natural good looks and smart style immediately made it a coveted garment with anyone who could get their hands on one. This proved especially true among most of the senior officer ranks of the U. S. Army fighting in Europe, as numerous photographs depict non-flying, non-USAAF personnel, such as Generals Ridgeway, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley wearing the B-10 Flight Jacket even though they had no rightful authorization to wear the jacket. Furthermore, all officers of the U. S. airborne units received B-10 Flight Jacket as issue garments just as they had once been issued leather A-2 Flight Jackets, thus furthering their elite image within the army. But it was the fighter pilot of 1944 and 1945 who was most typically personified through the wearing of a B-10 Flight Jacket.
Though very popular, the official lifespan of the B-10 Flight Jacket designation was, however, rather short, being superseded by the newer B-15 Flight Jacket specification in late 1944. Still, the B-10 Flight Jacket saw combat service right up until the end of WWII. After the war, veterans continued to wear these beloved jackets until threadbare, while surplus B-10 Flight Jackets found new homes via the great Army-Navy stores of the era. Today, an original vintage B-10 Flight Jacket in really nice condition is a very, very scarce and desirable garment to a collector, with jackets in superior condition commanding a four-figure buying price in a heartbeat. Buzz Rickson’s offer a Special Edition of a rare B-10 Flight Jacket produced by the Superior Togs Co., Inc. during WWII. Some wartime contractors were permitted to use reddish or berry-colored wool knit cuffs and waistbands on flight jacket production, the most notable being Aero Leather of Beacon, NY in the production of A-2 Flight Jackets, but at least one B-10 contractor also utilized this same knit color and this was Superior Togs. Superior Togs also produced many of their B-10 Flight Jackets with an outer shell color that was distinctly olive drab vs. the darker green observed from most B-10 contractors. Buzz Rickson’s cotton outer-shell fabric is never to be confused with the cheap, flimsy sheet bedding fabric used by lesser manufacturers to produce so-called vintage reproduction USAAF flight jackets. In fact, the only other flight jackets in the world today made from this cotton are those original vintage examples of the USAAF! This B-10 Flight Jacket is a Buzz Rickson’s Special Edition, correctly capturing all the nuances found on B-10 Flight Jackets once produced by the Superior Togs Co., Inc., making this product virtually indistinguishable from an original vintage example of the USAAF. Take note of these authentic features:
• Exact copy of original maker’s label with gold text on a black background produced on a vintage shuttle loom. It is noteworthy that B-10s of this contract have the size on the label preceded by a series of ellipsis dots vs. simply having the size appear standing alone.
• Hanger in neck area sewn into the collar; this was in contrast to those B-10s that had the hanger bar tacked in place.
• Custom manufacturing of the correct weight and weave three-ply, combed-cotton outer shell in a distinct hue olive drab to precisely match that found on most B-10s produced by Superior Togs.
• Correct USAAF spec. inner lining of warm, double-faced alpaca and wool, dyed to match the salt-and-pepper coloring of the original vintage B-10s.
• Gorgeous, plush, genuine mouton-fur collar left in gingery shade of brown as noted on most extant B-10s produced by Superior Togs.
• Two button-flap exterior pockets with pocket flaps cut in the distinct shape noted on many B-10s produced by Superior Togs.
• Pencil slot assembled on the exterior of the left pocket in the typical fashion noted on B-10s produced by Superior Togs.
• One snap-down interior pocket assembled in the typical fashion noted on B-10s produced by Superior Togs.
•Exact copy of the 1943 Conmar zipper on jacket front, with zip tape made of all-cotton HBT fabric, not incorrect poly-cotton
• Correct USAAF spec. leather pull tab on zipper.
• Custom manufacturing of the correct two-ply 100% worsted-wool knit cuffs and waist skirt in the berry shade associated with B-10s produced by Superior Togs.
• Wind flap protector behind zipper closure.
• USAAF insignia transfer on left shoulder sleeve.
• USAAF insignia screening in off-white and located on the wind flap.
• AN inspector ink stamp in black on right interior at zipper base.
Sizes: 36-44 regular. Please see our SIZING TIPS for advice on how to get the correct fit.
Imported from Japan
Buzz Rickson USAAF B-10 Flying Jacket, Superior Togs
About this Style: It is important to keep in mind that this jacket style does have an alpaca lining, thus the external chest measures listed here are just that – EXTERNAL measures – and don’t account for the slightly lesser amount of room on the inside of the jacket. Likewise, if you plan to wear heavy layers under this jacket style, that application will further subtract from the room inside the jacket. However, the B-10 is a very easy-wearing style that creates very few sizing issues for the overwhelming majority of individuals. About 70% of our customers prefer a B-10 to fit 6” larger than their chest measure, while the remaining 30% prefer to have a fit 8” larger than their chest measure.
Tip 1: Follow the instructions entitled “How to Use Product Measures to Obtain a Good Fit” listed under the Product Measurements tab for this product. After finding no substantive conflicts with your body measures obtained from the tab entitled BODY MEASURING, order this garment with no less than 6”of room in excess of your chest measure if you prefer a trim fit throughout, thus if you have a 40” chest circumference measure, order size 40. It is best advised for the vast majority of customers to order a size that directly equates to their chest measure: Chest measures 40”, order size 40. That size selection will maintain the 6” of room between the jacket and the wearer. If a roomier or longer fit is desired, then order the next available size after reviewing all relative measures that pertain to that size. Those whose chest measure falls on an odd number, such as 41” or 43”, will have to determine if they want less room or more room when selecting a jacket size.
Tip 2: Please note that your chest circumference measure is not necessarily the labeled size you wear in another jacket you may own from a different maker or even the same maker, so please take the time to obtain your true chest circumference measure so as to compare to our chart of jacket measures; this will enable us to perform a better job getting you the right size and minimize your chances in having to deal with the hassle and cost of exchanges.
Please ask us for fitting advice if in doubt.
Buzz Rickson USAAF B-10 Flying Jacket, Superior Togs
The following table provides actual product measures. These measures are provided as an aid because, in conjunction with the information found under the SIZING TIPS tab for each product, they can sometimes be very useful when comparing the measurements from this garment to the measures of your body; however, acting as an armchair tailor should be done with caution, as well as with knowledge of other important areas of fit that are not displayed here. Armchair tailors frequently fail to take into account other significant elements that impact fit; following the information found under the SIZING TIPS tab for each garment on this web site is strongly suggested, which can be very useful in supplanting or supplementing the listed measures below.
Our measures were derived from averaging measurements taken from many garments of the same size from each specific size in the range of any given product, thus the measures provided are representative for each size but they may not be exactly what you will receive. Some fluctuation in size is normal and to be expected, especially in these garments that have been manufactured on the bench by hand. Size fluctuations are rarely encountered in the width measures and more typically encountered in length measures, and particularly with respect to leather jackets and jackets with knit cuffs and waistbands. Fluctuations in width measures are very rare, and when they are encountered they are typically insignificant: 1/8” – ¼”. Normal fluctuations in sleeve and/or body length + /- a ½” are more common but still rare, and such fluctuations in that increment range are within spec. for jackets of the same size and style.
How to Use the Product Measures to Obtain a Good Fit:
1) Using the measurements listed for this product and information found under the tab entitled MEASURING GARMENTS to understand our measuring technique, please double the chest measure to obtain the total external chest circumference of this garment. For example: If the chest measure listed for size 40 is 23”, doubling this measure yields a 46” external chest circumference.
2) Measure your chest circumference as per the tab on this web site specifically addressing BODY MEASURING, then compare your chest measure to the chest measure of this product.
3) Many jackets are cut in such a way that the wearer requires no less than 4” of room in the jacket for a sleek fit that is also comfortable, while other jacket styles require the wearer to have more than 8” of room. If your chest circumference is 40”, a product with a 23” chest width has a 46” external chest circumference and would provide 6” of external room in this scenario (chest measures 40”, external chest measure of jacket is 46”, thus 6” of external room would be realized).
4) Again, using the measurements listed for this product and information under the MEASURING GARMENTS tab to understand our measuring technique, add half of the shoulder width to the arm length. For example: If the shoulder width is 19” and the arm length is 26”, adding 9.5” (half the shoulder width) to 26” (the arm length) will yield an overall sleeve length of 35.5” in this product.
5) Measure your overall sleeve length following the instructions on this web site under the tab specifically addressing BODY MEASURING, then compare your overall sleeve length to this product.
6) If desired, repeat the measuring comparisons for back length.
7) Compare your body measures to the listed garment measures and follow the advice found under the SIZING TIPS tab to obtain a good fit.
IMPORTANT: Because you need room in a garment for comfort, garments with a 44” chest circumference are NOT a size 44, nor are they intended for anyone with a 44” chest circumference. Tee shirts and thermal shirts tend to have the most body-hugging fits of our product offerings because these were originally intended to be undergarments, thus these can be ordered to stretch to fit if that is how you wish to wear such garments. Other shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets, etc. will all have some amount of room incorporated in their designs, thus these will all measure larger than your actual chest measure by varying degrees.
Sometimes-Problematic Way to Determine a Good Fit:
Due to differences in how even near-identical garments are cut by different manufacturers, it is not necessarily a good idea to compare the listed measures of this product to the measures of an existing, similar product in your wardrobe to determine the correct size to order in this product. Though such comparisons can indeed work some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, vast experience with and knowledge of the products we market has proven such practices will sometimes fail. This inaccurate measuring methodology doesn't factor in other key variables of fit relative to you and the garment that includes: Armhole opening, shoulder slope, high-point shoulder, high chest, width of sleeves at all points including the all-important elbow, waist measure, and the thickness, plumpness, and rigidity of the material the garment is made from, naming just some variables influencing fit that do not appear on any list of measurements for a garment or that a customer is likely to account for.
It is best to compare your actual body measures to the listed measures of this product AND follow our advice listed under the SIZING TIPS tab specific to this product to obtain a good fit in this style.
A Good Fit:
This is highly subjective - what one person may think is too big, another may think fits perfectly. Some garments are cut quite generously and others are cut quite trimly. If comparing measurements of one of our products to another you may own, some individuals will surely find that none or maybe only one area of measure is commonly shared or remotely close to being the same. Ultimately, chest measure is the most important area to properly fit, then all other areas of measure will have to fall into place. And some individuals who are extremely tall may find that body and/or sleeve length are more important to accommodate than even chest measure.
We strive to create a crisp fit between our products and the customer, and not a loose, sloppy look. If you prefer your clothing to fit more loosely, then we will do our best to work with you to that end, though, by the very nature of our product designs and fits it may not be possible to duplicate the slack looks found in many mainstream clothing brands even if you go up one or two sizes in our products.