L015381 K So/34 SUMMER FLIGHT SUIT. (Fliegerschutzanzug)

BACKGROUND: Development of protective flight uniforms and equipment began with the advent of military aircraft in WWI and continued on into the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era and the Third Reich resulting in three, distinct, one-piece, combination pattern flight suits being approved before WWII and worn for the duration of the war with minor modifications. The three basic one piece flight suits consisted of a light weight summer suit and two heavier winter flight suits with one intended for flights over land while the other was designed for flights over water. All three of the flight suits were cut large enough to fit over the standard uniform. Regulations of December 1935 dictated the only insignia to be worn on the one piece flight suits was the rank insignia for garments that normally would not have any rank insignia as developed in February 1935 that consisted of a series of stylized "wings" and bars. Originally the December 1935 pattern rank insignia was worn on both upper sleeves of the one piece flight suits but regulations of August 1942 restricted wear to the upper left sleeve as a cost saving measure. Interestingly the sleeve rank insignia was seldom worn in spite of regulations. 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. Of Note: Regulations of July 4TH 1940 and April 24TH 1941 introduced two piece protective flight suits for fighter pilots designed to increase the wearers mobility and not be as restrictive in the close confines of a cockpit but the one piece suits continued to be worn right up until the end of the war. The summer flight suit underwent minor modifications in June 1940 with the replacement of the early, horizontal, fly opening by a vertical fly opening. Another modification was the inclusion of a hidden, quick removal, system of consisting of vertical slash opening with a series of internal grommets and a corresponding drawstring that permitted the wearer to quickly and easily remove the suit as required.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Early pattern, (pre-June 1940), one piece, coverall style, summer flight suit constructed in slightly mottled, white flecked, tan cotton with chocolate brown leather, alloy and sheet metal fittings. All buttons (with the exception of the front flap button), snaps and zippers looks to be complete and in good condition. The suit is in overall very good condition with minimal age and usage toning. The zippers are a combination of the "Zipp" and "Prym" types and still function. The snaps are all the "Prym" type and also still function. The flight suits were cut large to fit over the standard issue uniform and this example is roughly a size 38" chest. Nice makers tag with 1942 date. Nice!

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $895.00

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