Type A-2 :: Reissue \'Escape A-2\'

JACKET - Type A-2 Reissue 'Escape A-2'

SHELL
Veg-tanned Vintage WarHorse® Horsehide
COLOUR
Seal brown re-coating over the original Havana shade.
LINING
100% plain weave cotton, matched to the correct USAAF spec.
COLLAR HOOK
Correct bent wire style in dull nickel
COLLAR HOOK EYELETS
Double barrel version
KNIT
100% worsted wool, in authentic wartime spec and colour.
ZIP
Authentic Talon M-42
LABEL
Original maker Rough Wear® Clothing Co. Contract 16159
ROUGH WEAR
A registered trademark of Eastman Leather Clothing Ltd.
V. HILTS SPEC
By selecting the V. HILTS spec insignia option below one gets their jacket decorated in the insignia combination as that seen in the movie - The Great Escape. Click on the jacket picture opposite to see the full picture gallery of this product and the Virgil Hilts insignia package.
STOCK
There is no long waiting time for these, if the size you require is showing as available then it means it’s in stock for immediate despatch. Stock however is very limited.

Reissue A-2s are jackets that went back into quartermasters inventory after active service and subsequently went through a refurbishment process to give them further serviceable life. This refurbishment would include such things as replacement lining, knit cuffs/waistband, zip, and crucially, a re-coating of the leather shell with a very dark brown polyacrylate lacquer to give the garment a new uniform appearance. This lacquer was applied by hand, literally with a brush.

Characteristics of this re-coating process would be that certain hard-to-get-at areas, such as down inside the pockets, back of the windflap etc, were not reached. The finish was often unevenly applied, giving rise to mottled shading and varied texture.

As the garments went back into service the painted coating proved not to be so permanent as was originally envisaged. The finish would wear off in irregular patterns bearing the lighter shade of the nap beneath giving a distinct contrast between those areas, and where the coating remained. All of this however is what has given these garments their latter-day vintage appeal.

Indeed, nowhere was this look more immortalised than the jacket worn by Steve McQueen as Capt. Virgil Hilts in the movie The Great Escape. McQueen’s jacket was one such original re-issue A-2.

After careful analysis of many original stills from the movie we have been able to confidently identify the jacket he wore as one made by the Rough Wear® Clothing Company, under contract number 16159. So our re-issue A-2 is made as this model. As part of the reissue process that his jacket underwent, it can be seen that the original zip, which would have most certainly been a Talon M-39 (with rectangular puller), has been replaced with a Talon M-42 with bell-shaped puller - a detail replicated on our product.

We have recreated this model in the most discerning method possible, by literally repeating the steps of production right through to the reissue finish, to bring you a garment of stunning vintage authenticity. First we produce the garment as a factory fresh original maker Rough Wear® 16159, which is made in an aniline dyed, Havana shade, veg-tanned horsehide. We then re-coat the garment with the correct shade of dark brown lacquer (just as they did at the quartermasters - by hand, with a brush), after which the garment is put through an extensive and specialised TimeWorn® process to positively re-create the high-contrast distressed wear affect of a classic vintage original. This all requires a tremendous amount of hand-done work, but is the only way this standard of authenticity can be achieved.

In accordance with AAF regulations of that time, re-issue A-2s had a mandatory Army Air Forces decal applied to the shoulder, as well as a stamp to the lining. These stamps were generally randomly positioned somewhere on the back panel no doubt due to haste, not clinically centred and perfect, so our recreation is done exactly the same way.

This garment is presented first and foremost as a plain re-issue A-2, so it comes in standard form without any insignia (apart from the mandatory shoulder decal). However, one can order the jacket with whatever extra insignia one likes from our inventory, and of course in ‘V. HILTS spec’, by selecting that option at the bottom of this page.

By selecting the V. HILTS spec insignia option below one gets their jacket decorated in the insignia combination as that seen in the movie - The Great Escape.
This includes:
Leather USAAF name tag sewn to front breast V. HILTS
Painted Capt. rank on end of epaulettes
V. HILTS name and serial number stencilled in the lining
Metal Capt. rank badge pinned behind the left collar lobe

£1,074.99

NOTE: Items that are personalised with insignia, are non-returnable

USAAF Insignia

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USAAF Name Tag Example

Please be aware this is only a representation of the final product. If any insignia is added to the product the jacket is non returnable.

(+£18.00)
+ Sample Lining Stencil
(+£25.00)
Close Insignia

Customer Size Guide

Jackets and Tops

Measure your chest over a T-shirt; it is helpful to get someone to do this for you. Do not inflate your lungs, just relax and stand with your arms out. The tape measure should be run around your chest right up under your arms and held snug, but not tight - this is your chest measurement.

Measure your chest The Size you
should order
in cm
34-36 86-91 36 XS
36-38 91-96 38 S
38-40 96-101 40 M
40-42 101-106 42 M
42-44 106-111 44 L
44-46 111-116 46 L
46-48 116-121 48 XL

Gloves

Measure the circumference of your hand around your 4 knuckles (obviously do not include your thumb). Correlate this measurement with size chart below to assess your glove size.

Measure of your knuckles The Size you
should order
in cm
7 - 8 18 - 20 XS
8 - 9 20 - 23 S
9 - 10 23 - 25 M
10 - 11 25 - 28 L
11 - 12 28 - 30 XL

Hats

Measure the circumference of your head.

Measure of your head The Size you
should order
in cm
21½ - 22 54 - 55.5 XS
22 - 22½ 55.5 - 57 S
22½ - 23 57 - 58.5 M
23 - 23½ 58.5 - 60 L
23½ - 24 60 - 61.5 XL
Close Size Information
none91st Bomb Grp (Memphis Belle)23rd Ftr Grp44th Bomb Grp
none2nd Ftr Sqd2nd Bomb Sqd6th Ftr Sqd13th Bomb Sqd22nd Ftr Sqd23rd Ftr Sqd31st Bomb Sqd35th Ftr Sqd39th Ftr Sqd39th Ftr Sqd (Chenille)44th Ftr Sqd53rd Ftr Sqd61st Ftr Sqd62nd Ftr Sqd67th Bomb Sqd70th Bomb Sqd76th Ftr Sqd77th Ftr Sqd81st Bomb Sqd85th Bomb Sqd86th Bomb Sqd92nd Ftr Sqd94th Ftr Sqd95th Ftr Sqd311th Ftr Sqd313th Ftr Sqd318th Ftr Sqd319th Ftr Sqd320th Ftr Sqd321st Ftr Sqd322nd Bomb Sqd324th Bomb Sqd (Memphis Belle)326th Bomb Sqd332nd Bomb Sqd334th Ftr Sqd355th Ftr Sqd366th Ftr Sqd367th Ftr Sqd375th Bomb Sqd382nd Bomb Sqd383rd Ftr Sqd390th Bomb Sqd394th Ftr Sqd397th Ftr Sqd399th Bomb Sqd422nd Ftr Sqd425th Ftr Sqd435th Ftr Sqd487th Ftr Sqd500th Bomb Sqd508th Ftr Sqd511th Ftr Sqd525th Ftr Sqd587th Bomb Sqd640th Bomb Sqd703rd Bomb Sqd (Jimmy Stewart)731st Bomb Sqd816th Bomb SqdW.A.S.P (Chenille)Flying Tigers (AVG)
noneAAF Shoulder decal8th Air Force8th Air Force Short Wing9th Air Force12th Air Force14th Air Force20th Air ForceFlying Tigers (AVG)
none2nd Lieutenant1st LieutenantCaptainMajorLieutenant ColonelColonelGeneral
nonePilotBombardierNavigatorGunner