This A-2 Flight Jacket is complete with the ornate insignia of the famous 23rd Fighter Group. The 23rd Fighter Group was formed in July 1942 as part of the China Air Task Force (CATF), marking the first such activation of a fighter group on a field of battle in WWII. The 23rd was comprised of three fighter squadrons: 74th, 75th and 76th. Previously, some of the pilots of the 23rd had served in that small volunteer unit known as The American Volunteer Group (AVG - also known as the FLYING TIGERS), the personnel of which had been hired by the Chinese government in their war against the Japanese. Commanded by the tenacious Brigadier General Claire Lee Chennault, the AVG had gained notoriety as a force to be taken seriously.
After the USA entered the war, the AVG was amalgamated into the 23rd Ftr. Grp. and the tradition of marking the unit’s P-40 fighter planes with the distinctive-and-fearsome shark mouth carried on, along with the use of their mascot - the Flying Tiger. The combat record of the 23rd goes down in history as being one of the most illustrious in the US Army Force, creating notable aces such as the great Don Lopez and David 'Tex' Hill.
Before returning to the United States in December 1945, the 23rd had flown 24,000 combat sorties requiring more than 53,000 flying hours, and at a cost of 110 aircraft lost in aerial combat, with 90 shot down by surface defenses, and 28 bombed while on the ground. The 23rd was credited with destroying many more than their number lost: - 621 enemy planes destroyed in air combat - 320 enemy planes destroyed on the ground - sinking more than 131,000 tons of enemy shipping and damaging 250,000 tons more - enemy troop losses of more than 20,000.
This representation of a 23rd Ftr. Grp. A-2 Jacket is based upon our Rough Wear Clothing Company 1401-P A-2 Flying Jacket. The RW 1401 is a suitable candidate for this unit, having been produced in the last quarter of 1941, thus being available from when the 23rd was first activated. For more information and details of authenticity about this A-2 model, please refer to this specific product found among Eastman’s Original-Maker A-2 Jackets.
This A-2 Jacket has been embellished with the appropriate insignia and markings of the unit in exquisitely hand-made, layered-leather patches to include the following: - 23rd Ftr. Grp. insignia applied to left breast - CBI shield to left shoulder - AAF roundel to right shoulder - 23rd Ftr. Grp. stencil to lining We cannot emphasize enough the degree of detailing and quality in these jaw-dropping patches. Each piece is hand-cut and then sewn using minute-but-accurate stitching - the 23rd insignia alone comprises no less than 40 pieces of leather in its construction! Finally, it's given Eastman’s TimeWorn® process with even greater detailing than that of their regular finish, which renders the garment with a stunning vintage patina that is unbelievably uncontrived in appearance, making for a first-rate vintage look directly out of the box. The final product is delivered to you in a custom-made, metal-edge, hard-card box to treasure forever, and eventually hand-down to your next generation - just like a vintage A-2 Jacket heirloom.
This A-2 Jacket is custom order only. Sizes available: 36-48 regular. Long and extra-long fittings available at no additional cost on special order only. Please see our SIZING TIPS for advice on how to get the correct fit. Imported from England
A-2 Flying Jacket, 23rd Fighter Group
About this Style: This A-2 style is one of the easier-wearing designs. Most body types can be accommodated in this style without major issues, though it may take some work to establish the correct size for a select number of customers.
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 5”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. 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.
Tip 3: Individuals who prefer looser fits and/or those with a waist measure that is nearly equal to or greater than their chest circumference measure may jump up one - two sizes in this jacket for comfort and desired fit (when we refer to waist measure we do not mean your trouser size; we mean the actual circumference measure of your waistline at its widest point). If you are unsure of the size to order we will assist you; please contact us with the following information: Height, waist circumference measure, chest circumference measure, body weight, and type of clothing to be worn beneath the jacket most of the time, as well as the type of fit you prefer: Trim, roomy or oversized.
A-2 Flying Jacket, 23rd Fighter Group
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.
Long and Extra Long fittings are available upon custom order and aren’t returnable unless faulty. A Long fitting adds 1” to both the arm and body lengths listed in the measures provided, while an Extra-Long fitting adds 1 ½” to both of these areas of measure. Delivery times are greatly extended for custom orders. Please contact us to place an order for a Long or Extra-Long fitting.
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 22.5”, doubling this measure yields a 45” 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 3” of room in the jacket for a sleek fit that is also comfortable, while other jacket styles require the wearer to have more than 6” of room. If your chest circumference is 40”, a product with a 22.5” chest width has a 45” external chest circumference and would provide 5” of external room in this scenario (chest measures 40”, external chest measure of jacket is 45”, thus 5” 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 17.5” and the arm length is 24.5”, adding 8.75” (half the shoulder width) to 24.5” (the arm length) will yield an overall sleeve length of 33.25” 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.
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.
Please understand that no jacket can be two jackets in one (you may have to make a compromise in fit somewhere). The best look is achieved wearing a shirt and undershirt, or a medium-weight sweater with undershirt; the goal being a trim, sleek look. If the application of our jackets is with multiple layers of clothing, then the original look will be compromised; when purchased oversized, please keep in mind that the jacket will fit NOT trimly but LOOSELY when fewer clothes are worn.
As a rule here, if the jacket squares up nicely on the shoulders when worn with the sort of clothing you will wear most of the time, falls about 1 1/2" below the top of your trousers (if a waist-length jacket), allows you to reach into trouser pockets and recover keys, wallet and change without discomfort or pain, as well as allow normal strides while walking, then this is very likely a good fit and how the jacket would have been worn when originally issued.
Using the good-fit test where one draws their arms across their chest as a barometer for snugness will almost certainly produce some binding in an A-2 jacket of the correct size, and thus push you further up the sizing scale into a very large A-2 jacket. A true 1940s A-2 jacket has no bi-swing action back (as found on the USN M-422A or G-1 jackets, USAAF B-6, Tanker jacket, etc.) and is not cut for such a great range of movement as experienced when doing the arm-crossing act. If you can get that sort of movement range without binding in one of our A-2s, then it will surely be rather loose and sloppy when you aren't drawing your arms across your chest in front of you.
What makes more sense, having a jacket that looks great and feels fine during 90% of your activities, or only when you cross your arms in front of you? Do you walk around with your arms crossed in front of you? The choice is yours and we will gladly oblige all tastes, but do try to get the look originally intended.