Incredible Patched 1950's Korean War B-15c USAF Flight Jacket. Size 40. 96th Air Refueling Squadron.

Incredible Patched 1950's Korean War B-15c USAF Flight Jacket. Size 40. 96th Air Refueling Squadron.

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*Matching Leather 96th Air Refueling Squadron Flight Hat sold separately.

An absolutely stunning example of early 1950’s (they were only produced until 1952. just two years) USAF Flight Equipment. The golden age of Nylon flight jackets!

The iconic B-15c Flight Jacket in incredible condition (with only a few small signs of wear here and there, some collar fur wear). All original heavy duty, spring loaded CROWN zippers, tag, O2 tab, and mouton collar and amazing 96th Air Refueling Squadron Patch!

Here is a brief history of the jacket:

”The U. S. Air Force Type B-15C Intermediate Flight Jacket replaced the earlier Olive Drab B-15B Flight Jacket beginning in 1950.  The most easily recognized difference between the B-15C Flight Jacket and B-15B Flight Jacket is color.  By 1950, the USAF began changing the color of most of its flying clothing from Olive Drab to Air Force Blue as part of an overall plan to forge a separate identity from the other branches of service, especially the army.  The B-15C Flight Jacket was initially produced for a very short period from surplus Olive Drab nylon left over from the superseded B-15B Flight Jackets, but the overwhelming majority of B-15C Jackets were manufactured in a gorgeously dark blue nylon.

Both O. D. and blue B-15C Flight Jackets became icons of the Korean air war, and possibly the most famous of the B-15 Flight Jacket series, having been extensively photographed while being worn by film star Marilyn Monroe and her entourage while performing in a USO tour of air bases just after the Korean war.

The B-15C Flight Jacket’s lightweight construction, comfortable non-bulky warmth, beautiful blue color and natural good looks made this style an instant success with jet jockeys at bases around the world, as well as anyone who could beg, borrow or steal one of these coveted gems.  It was intended for wear in climates between 25 degrees and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, thus ideally suited for early spring, late fall and winter.  The lifespan of both the O. D. and blue B-15C Flight Jacket designations was, however, rather short, being superseded by the newer B-15D Flight Jacket specification (made in a grayish Sage Green) in 1952.  The realities of combat in Korea proved that a downed aviator had a far better chance of survival and evading capture wearing clothing in a color that camouflaged the wearer, thus the later blue flying clothing became nothing much more than a prestige symbol used in non-combat areas, while the earlier O. D. versions were seen as life-saving gear to a potential downed airman in enemy territory.  All of the non-modified B-15 Flight Jacket designations saw action in history’s first jet-on-jet air battles of the Korean War, and although the final variant, the B-15D Flight Jacket, entered service at the close of the Korean War and was itself later replaced by the MA-1 Flight Jacket in 1957, it was not uncommon to find an old veteran still wearing some of the B-15 series flight jackets in their “modified” configurations into the 1960s.  The popularity of B-15 Flight Jacket series produced one of the longest continued service careers of any flight jacket in the history of the USAF.”

Size 40.
pit to pit 23.5” (flares out at the pits like all flight jackets)
shoulder to shoulder 20”
shoulder to cuff 26”
shoulder to bottom 24.5”

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