Eastman Leather Jacket Horsehide Shearling B-3 1937 S.F.A.D. Merino Fleece
JACKET - Flying Type B-31937 S.F.A.D. Merino Fleece
This jacket is very hard to Find and is usually about 6 months out in production
USAC B-3 Flying Jacket, 1937 S. F. A. D., Merino
This is the 3rd incarnation of this jacket style, now featuring Havana Brown sleeve reinforcements and trim with an overall significantly more subtle, vintage Time-Wear treatment that allows the gorgeous wool to retain its full luster!
The famous B-3 “bomber jacket” of WWII USAAF fame began service life in 1934 looking very much differently from the typical B-3 Flight Jackets seen in service after 1941.
The very first B-3 Flight Jackets introduced in 1934 had the outer surfaces left in the natural, untreated, raw state, thus they were off-white in color and the outer skin had a somewhat-rough texture as found on leather garments similar to suede. These early B-3 Flight Jackets also were much more similar in appearance to the RAF Aircrew Jacket designed by Leslie Irvin and showing the B-3 Jacket’s lineage to the earlier B-1 and B-2 Jackets. The 1934 B-3 Flight Jacket included zippers on the sleeves, an absence of pockets, a belt at the jacket bottom, single strap on the collar, and no leather reinforcements on the sleeves. By 1935, the B-3 Jacket was modified, now being closer in overall appearance to the B-3 Flight Jackets that would become famous in WWII, though the outside skin surface was still left in the natural, raw state in an off-white color.
The B-3 Flight Jackets were largely produced under contract with civilian manufacturers, but select Air Corps Air Depots did produce various items themselves and some of these items included garments such as the B-3 Flying Jacket and its corresponding A-3 Trousers.
Air Depots were huge facilities of the U.S. Army Air Corps, where training or personnel and maintenance and storage of aircraft and materiel was undertaken prior to deployment to the various Air Bases. Depots were further sub-divided into sub-depots, all of which performed various specialty work within the USAC. The Depots and their affiliates formed the backbone of the U.S. air arm's continental defense mission, and Scott Field, located in Illinois, was one such Air Depot whose specialty in the mid-1930's was Lighter-Than-Air Ships, otherwise known as blimps, balloons or dirigibles.
This B-3 Flight Jacket is copied from a vintage example produced at Scott Field Air Depot (S. F. A. D.) in 1937, which represents a rarity among rare B-3's, as these 1930's B-3 Jackets in the natural sheepskin are extremely scarce, and one made by an Air Depot is that much more scarce.
Although these Depot-made B-3 Jackets conformed, more or less, to the basic B-3 spec. at the time, there were some subtle differences vs. those B-3 Jackets made by civilian contractors for the Air Corps, the most noticeable being the absence of a buckle tab on the left chest near the zipper, the presence of a four-piece back vs. a two-piece back, and the nomenclature and contract data normally located on a woven label in the neck area was instead embossed into the leather strap behind the collar.
These early B-3 Jackets have been the subject of great interest for Eastman Leather Clothing, but finding a supplier who could produce the sheepskin material exactly as it should be proved to be extremely difficult. Not only did the color and texture of fleece have to be matched precisely, but also the very fine finish of the suede, which is achieved by a skilled, manual process known as “fine wheeling.” Perseverance has paid off, and Eastman is proud to be able to offer another top-tier product as part of their “Original-Maker” range of garments.
The super high-quality, supple Merino pelts are absolutely sumptuous and decadently plush, perfectly dye-matched to the “ivory-white” vintage shade of the outer suede and a deep-hued, golden-brown on the soft wool. Trimmed with stunning WarHorse® horsehide and outfitted with a superb copy of the early, riveted-base Hookless zipper, this exact reproduction of a desirable B-3 Jacket style is not only completely authentic, but its pleasing retro design makes it distinctively stylish and ruggedly handsome. And the ultimate in vintage character and appearance has been added via Eastman's hand-applied Time-Worn process, so this jacket looks vintage right out of the box, which is really the most attractive form for this B-3 vs. a boldly new-looking, off-white jacket. Interestingly, the combination of the unique jacket style and the vintage Time Wear, it has been said, gives the jacket more of a western look than a military aviation appearance.
Please note: Availability of material for this product is limited; accordingly, there may be times when it is either unavailable or subject to long delivery times. We appreciate your kind understanding if this is the case if/when you decide to order.
Available in sizes: 36 – 48 regular. Long and extra-long fittings are available at no extra cost on custom order. Please see our SIZING TIPS for advice on how to get the correct fit.
Imported from England