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 Post subject: WWII B-17 Crew Chief
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:43 pm 
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I am not a re-enactor but I would like to find out if anyone knows a good source for the type of fatigues, and/or coverall's (or a close resemblance to) and hat worn by B-17 Crew Chiefs in WWII. The Vintage Flying Museum where I volunteer at has an annual Hangar Dance every October and since I'm the crew chief on Chuckie, I thought it would be appropriate for me to dress in uniform. I would like to put together as accurate a uniform as I can.

Anyone who is interested in attending the Vintage Flying Museum's annual Hangar Dance is welcome to come in uniform of the period. Check out our website for more details. The dance is October 10th.

Here's what I'm looking for:
Image

Image

Image

Thanks in advance for the help.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Give these three a try:
http://www.wwiiimpressions.com/

http://www.whatpriceglory.com/

http://www.atthefront.com/

E-Bay is a fine source of World War 2 coveralls and caps, too.

Good Luck!

PJ
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:45 pm 
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Thanks PJ, it looks like At the Front will have what I want at a decent price. Just another example of why I love this forum! No shortage of really smart people who know where to go to get something or find a piece of information.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Just so you know, Bill stole my idea. :lol: There will just have to be two mechanics at the dance. (I don't quite fit into my father's First Armored Division Class A uniform anymore :oops: )

Already got my herringbone twill coveralls :rock: :!:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:39 pm 
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That's ok, I'd rather wear coverall's or fatigues than a dress uniform like so many other people do. It still tends to be warm in Texas in October, and that's no fun in wool. Where did you get yours from? I'm looking at ordering mine from At the Front.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:00 pm 
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I actually hate to admit it, but I found an original pair and a repro set on ebay. I've never bought clothing there (other than a garrison cap) but I've bought other merchandise from this seller so I feel pretty safe.

My deal is the herringbone twill coverall that was worn by many mechanics, tankers, and lots of other walks of military life. While researching the various airfields in 2AF the Quartermaster reports consistently complained about shortages of the HBT coveralls. Even the Depot-level QM couldn't get them from the manufacturers fast enough. It seems that every time a Bomb Group left for the Port of Embarkation LOTS of coveralls came up missing. :wink: Also, they were torn and soaked with oil and grease during normal maintenance operations. The Harvard AAF Quartermaster complained that after they got the B-29 nearly all coveralls and fatigues turned in by the engine crews had to be surveyed. Very few items were worth salvaging after such hard use.

Here's a nice photo I forgot I had, taken in the engine change hangar at Walker Army Air Field. Notice that the sergeant's shoulder is ripped and the guy behind him is moderately dirty. Judging from his size, the moderately dirty fellow is the one who got to disconnect the stuff inside the nacelle.
Image

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: WWII B-17 Crew Chief
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:18 am 
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CrewDawg wrote:
I am not a re-enactor but I would like to find out if anyone knows a good source for the type of fatigues, and/or coverall's (or a close resemblance to) and hat worn by B-17 Crew Chiefs in WWII. The Vintage Flying Museum where I volunteer at has an annual Hangar Dance every October and since I'm the crew chief on Chuckie, I thought it would be appropriate for me to dress in uniform. I would like to put together as accurate a uniform as I can.

Here's what I'm looking for:
Image

Image

Image

Thanks in advance for the help.


If you really want accuracy.....

A crew chief wouldn't be attending a dance in his work uniform as shown in those photographs :roll:

You'd be wearing your standard Service Dress uniform of 4 pocket tunic over mustard pants with garrison cap and russet service shoes, NOT your HBT work coveralls.

When you're working on Chuckie, you want the coveralls (from At The Front) and ideally a USAAF Type A-3 Mechanics cap rather than the ones in those photos.
Eastman do a spot on repro A-3 cap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:53 pm 
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I used to do AAF living history all the time and have talked to hundreds of vets over the years. Most ground crew guys I’ve run into said they didn’t wear the A-3 cap often or at all. The photos posted here show that the standard HBT cap that everyone else had seemed to have been used a great deal. Mind you, nothing says ‘AAF mechanic’ like the “Skippy cap,” though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:47 am 
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Just for the record, the coveralls shown in all these photographs are "first pattern" coveralls; this pattern, as far as I know, is only reproduced by WWII Impressions. The price is high, and sometimes the wait is long, but they are excellent quality.

You see the later patterns (like those ATF and other folks sell) in many pictures also, but most of the early war pictures I see are the early pattern. If you really want to be picky, decide based on any pictures you have showing the unit/time frame you want to portray. I bought a set of the first pattern coveralls since that is almost exclusively what is seen in pictures from Frederick Army Air Field, where I interpret most often.

Regards,

Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:10 pm 
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i have 2 original ww2 b-1 mechanics aprons, aaf issue. one shows use, the other near new. just fill the apron with old tools & your good to go!!! your choice $25.00 + shipping. i can send pics if you wish. best, tom

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:33 pm 
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I finally got my coveralls on this weekend with the intention of giving them the "worked in" look, but it was just too darned hot in the hangar to keep them on for too long. I'll still have 'em ready for the hangar dance, but they might not be as dirty as the B-29 mechanics in the earlier photo I posted. :wink:
Image

Scott


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:21 pm 
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p51 wrote:
I used to do AAF living history all the time and have talked to hundreds of vets over the years. Most ground crew guys I’ve run into said they didn’t wear the A-3 cap often or at all. The photos posted here show that the standard HBT cap that everyone else had seemed to have been used a great deal. Mind you, nothing says ‘AAF mechanic’ like the “Skippy cap,” though.


P-51,
All I know is all the research and photos and veterans I talked to it comes up to the A-3 cap being worn in Europe and the short billed HBT cap in the Pacific. As for getting a repro A-3 cap check Spearhead militaria on ebay, I have one and am VERY pleased.

Scott

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1940's Army Air Force ground crew living history
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:20 am 
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cco23i wrote:
All I know is all the research and photos and veterans I talked to it comes up to the A-3 cap being worn in Europe and the short billed HBT cap in the Pacific. As for getting a repro A-3 cap check Spearhead militaria on ebay, I have one and am VERY pleased.

Scott


Scott,

I've got ETO photos that show guys wearing both types of cap. A veteran groundcrew guy from the 493rd Group once told me that the short billed cap was what they usually had issued to them, but they "acquired" the A-3s from Air Corps Supply by hook or crook, whichever was more productive. :shock: From what he remembered, the aircrew could get the A-3 but groundcrew weren't normally issued them. An awful lot of A-3s must have been "acquired" because it seems most guys had them in England.... :lol:

On a related subject, we had the VFM Hangar Dance the night of October 10th and hosted the 95th Bombardment Group veterans. I got a chance to visit with an aircrewman and he told me that I looked "quite a bit like one of our mechanics, but not near dirty enough!".

Scott


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:50 pm 
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Scott,
You are correct, seems the ground crews all wanted the A-3 as they were more comfortable than the short billed. (I can attest to this) Next year you should make a drive to Midland Odessa for the CAF show and check out our ground crew setup. Cheers!

Scott

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AZGCLHU Inc.

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1940's Army Air Force ground crew living history
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(IYAMYAS)

"Yes sir, it's suppose to look like that"


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