L013773 FLIGHT EM'S FLIGHT BLOUSE. (Fliegerbluse)

BACKGROUND: The Reichsluftwaffe was official established on February 26TH 1935 as the third branch of service of the German Armed Forces. On March 9TH 1935 the formation of the new Reichsluftwaffe was announced to the foreign press and on March 16TH conscription was reintroduced for all three branches of service. On May 21ST 1935 the Reichsluftwaffe designation was altered to Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe flight blouse was originally introduced in early 1935 and was based on the Fliegerbluse worn earlier by, DLV, Deutscher Luftsport Verband, (German Air Sports League), personnel, a civilian forerunner of the Luftwaffe. The flight blouse remained in service through-out the war with minor modifications. Originally flight blouses for EM/NCO’s were without external pockets until regulations of May 6TH 1940 when the second pattern flight blouse with external hip pockets was introduced. Officers and certain senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufsabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), system. The Officers and certain senior NCO’s could choose to purchase their uniforms from the armed forces clothing depots or to privately purchase uniform items of higher quality. Although enlisted personnel were issued their uniforms from government supplies they were also permitted to purchase privately tailored uniforms although the price may have been restrictive. The different branches of service within the Luftwaffe were allocated specific identifying waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Colors), with golden yellow being chosen for personnel serving with Flieger, (Flight), units which was generally displayed as collar piping for EM/NCO’s, (discontinued in March 1940), on the collar tabs and as piping on the shoulder strap/boards of the flight blouse. The Jagdeschwader Udet Commemorative Honor cufftitle was one of a series of commemorative honor cufftitles introduced by the Luftwaffe to honor fallen comrades. Ernst Udet, credited with sixty-two confirmed kills, was the highest scoring German ace to survive WWI and was the second highest scoring German ace behind Baron Manfred von Richthofen. After the end of WWI Udet became an internationally renown test, sport and acrobatic pilot. Joining the Luftwaffe on its inception in March 1935 Udet held increasingly responsible positions. In early 1936 Udet was appointed as Inspector of Fighters and Dive-bombers and in June 1936 he was appointed as Director of the Technical Department of the Air Ministry. In February 1939 Udet was assigned as Director General of Equipment and held the rank of Generalleutnant. In July 1940 Udet received his final promotion to the rank of Generaloberst. As the early victories began to fade into the past Udet was held responsible for the failures of the Luftwaffe and fell into a deep depression. On November 17TH 1941 unable to carry the strain Udet committed suicide. It was reported to the public that Udet had died in an airplane crash and he was given a heroes funeral and Jagdeschwader 3, (Fighter Squadron 3), was given the honor title Jagdeschwader Udet. The Jagdeschwader Udet cufftitle was one of the last two Commemorative Honour cufftitles introduced on December 20TH 1941.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Second pattern, (Circa May 1940-May 1945), EM/NCO’s flight blouse with external hip pockets. The Luftwaffe blue/grey, wool/rayon blend construction flight blouse features a vertical, five button, French fly, front closure with the buttons on the right front panel and small vertical slashes and corresponding button eyelets on the left front panel. The flight blouse has small, fold back lapels and a lay down collar with a single metal hook and eye positioned at the forward neckline. The right breast has a second pattern, machine embroidered Luftwaffe eagle in silvery/grey threads on a cut-out Luftwaffe blue/grey wool base. Eagle is original machine stitching to the tunic. The flight blouse has two, slightly diagonally angled, slash, front hip pockets with rounded front corner, button down flaps. The waistline side seams each have three, vertically aligned, stitched eyelets for the belt support hooks. The belt support hooks are present. Both the front breast and reverse back panels have dual, vertical tapering darts. The straight cut sleeve cuffs each have a small vertical slash to the outside seam with a horizontally extended, button holed, fabric tab with a corresponding, fit adjustment button to both the interior and exterior of each sleeve. The small vertical cuff slash permitted the horizontal fabric tabs to be utilized on both the interior and exterior of the sleeve. Jagdeschwader Udet Commemorative Honor cufftitle is machine sewn to the right sleeve. The flight blouse has slip on shoulder straps in Luftwaffe blue/grey wool with golden yellow wool waffenfarbe piping. The shoulder strap fabric retaining loops and buttons are all intact. The lay down collar has the typical zig-zag reinforcement stitching to the reverse. The left, reverse side of the lay down collar has an extended horizontal, button holed fabric tab with a corresponding button and an additional two buttons positioned under the right collar for secure closure in inclement weather. The collar features golden yellow wool collar tabs with a single natural alloy, rank "gull" to each. The collar tabs are hand stitched to the collar. The shoulder straps and collar tabs indicate the rank of Flieger serving with a flight unit. The interior of the flight blouse is partially lined in blue/grey rayon. The lining features a horizontal slash, patch pocket with a single button closure to each breast panel. The forward right front tail skirt has a wound dressing patch pocket also with a single button closure. The lining also has small, vertical, blue/grey cotton twill straps with six stitched eyelets to each, situated at the side seams of the waistline, for the belt support hooks. All three collar liner buttons are intact. Nice size markings. Buttons all look to be original stitching. Original factory paper tag is still sewn to the inside of the jacket. Breast eagle is 100% original stitching to the jacket, but where this example still has the original paper factory tag, the cufftitle and tabs may have been added to it later (hard to say 100% either way). Roughly a 32 chest. Great tunic.

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $1,548.00 (Or Best Offer)

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