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Throwback Thursday #DYK: L-2B Flight Jacket
By AlphaNews
3/19/2015 9:26:00 AM
March 2015:
The bomber jacket is one of the hottest styles in the world of fashion. Flight jackets such as our MA-1 have been seen on the runways of fashion weeks and on celebrities such as Kanye West, Robert Pattinson and Beyonce. With the first day of spring just a few days away our lightweight bombers, such as the L-2B, are starting to steal the spotlight.

The U.S. military first introduced the L-2B Flight Jacket in the early 1950s as a solution for servicemen who were operating in light temperature zones (50 to 86 degrees F). It replaced the L-2A Flight Jacket which had been done only in Air Force blue nylon. Both were an alternative to the leather bombers that had been popular when open cockpits exposed pilots to all the elements. The nylon allowed for better movement in tight quarters.

When it was first issued, the L-2B was used primarily by Air Force pilots and ground personnel so it featured the USAF insignia on the sleeve. It also had epaulets, oxygen mask tab, and snap tab at the center waistband. The mil-spec flight jacket went through 10 revisions (A-K) that changed its look. The oxygen mask tab was discarded around 1959 and the jacket was made reversible with an Indian Orange lining (D revision). As other divisions of the U.S. armed forces adopted the jacket for use the USAF insignia was dropped from the sleeve (E revision). In 1965, the snap tabs and epaulets were removed (G revision). Late 1970s Utility L-2B’s had sage green linings, but were still reversible. The L-2B was replaced by the CWU 36/P flight jacket in the 1970s for air crews but some ground crews and USAF personnel continued to wear later revisions of the L-2B (Utility L-2B) into the 1990s.

Alpha Industries was awarded its first contract to make L-2B flight jackets for the U.S. government in 1960. We continued to produce them for several decades and started manufacturing them for the commercial market in the 1970s. They were identical to the mil-spec L-2Bs except for the label and the introduction of epaulets back onto the jackets. The flight jacket was offered in the sage green of the military along with a navy blue option.

In the 1980s and 90s we made the L-2B in limited quantities, but now with our Spring 2015 Collection we are introducing modern variations of the iconic lightweight flight jacket. Explore the jackets and secure the one that’s right for you.

L-2B Flight Jackets Vintage L-2B Flight Jacket from the early 1960s, one of the first with the Indian Orange lining (L); Our new modern
L-2B Annex Flight Jacket (R)

Tags: L-2B Flight Jacket, jacket history, lightweight bomber
Categories: Military History
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