During WWII, the A-2 leather flight jacket was issued to pilots, navigators, and bombardiers in the U.S. Army and Air Force. Each jacket was often customized and decorated with squadron patches and elaborate artwork paint on the back by pilots. The A-2 was a treasured item to the airman and was worn with as much pride as his wings.
Although the actual design would slightly vary depending on the manufacturer, all A-2 jackets had several distinguishing characteristics: a snap-flap patch pocket on either side that does not have hand warmer compartments, a shirt-style button collar, shoulder straps, knit cuffs and waistband, a back constructed from a single piece of leather to limit stress on the garment, and a lightweight silk or cotton lining with a leather hang strap.
On the bawdiest of these jackets, provocative images of babes gleefully riding bombs. On others, there are cartoon characters charing forward, towing bombs, all driven by a common testosterone-fueled determination to kill.
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