"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
A reconstruction can serve it's purpose, that of showing the types of equipment in use and how they were worn, but it falls short of the mark when compared to the actual historic items in question. It is our privilege to now show you some actual items that were worn by our subject, Robert W. McClurg, thanks to this contribution from J. Klein. We will let him explain:

"I have been a WW2 aviation collector for about 12 years. I have had an interest in WW2 aviation since I was very young. My collecting focus tends to be towards WW2 flight jackets, A-2 jacket groupings in particular, but anything related to WW2 aviation will normally catch my attention. It's a hobby that I thoroughly enjoy. I have also made some very good friends along the way.

These items were acquired in a large auction roughly 2 years ago. They were lumped in a group with a vague description. The auction house didn't realize the significance of these items or maybe even what they really had. I was extremely happy to add them to my collection and I am happy to be able to share them with collectors and historians alike."

J. Klein

WW2 Aviation Enthusiast
Midwest USA


Below:  M-421A flight jacket, B-3 life vest and M-668 flight suit, all attributed to R.W. McClurg. Photo by J. Klein
 Above:  The Goodyear manufactured B-3 vest with the "R. W. M." stencil (as seen on our previous pages) that was also used to mark his rigger-made bag. The inflation tubes have broken off with age, but some of the original red rubber still remains. Rubberized fabric patches have been applied to the lower front of the vest to counter the harmful effect of wear and tear from the aircraft seatbelt. Photo by J.Klein. 

Below:  A close-up of the leather chest patch. Due to repeated contact with the parachute harness chest buckle and the passage of time, it is difficult to make out, but the vest has also been marked "VMF-214" in ink. Photo by J. Klein.


Above:  McClurg's M-421A jacket also shows signs of time spent in the cockpit. His name patch has been worn by the life vest and parachute harness, but some features of the original embossed and gilded markings still remain. All things considered, the condition is remarkably good. Photo by J. Klein

Below:  Mr. Klein has enhanced the letters of McClurg's name in this photo to assist us. The aviator's wings and eagle, globe and anchor are visible below it. Photo by J. Klein.

Bottom: Showing little use, his M-668 summer flight suit would date from sometime after McClurg was a member of the Blacksheep and had been promoted to Captain. Photo by J. Klein
We would like to thank Mr. Klein for graciously allowing us to view these rare items from his collection. They are something which one would normally expect to find only in a major aviation museum, not in private hands.  

Below:  More VMF-214 Corsairs.
 
ACE APPAREL