"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
 
Summer Aviator's Gloves
At top, Wayne Morris, pre-war Hollywood actor, brother-in-law of CDR. David McCampbell and VF-15 ace. Although we've used this image previously on our Updates page, we repeat it here because it is one of only a few vintage color photos you will find where some of the silver markings on the back of the glove are visible. 

Another example above, from the National Archives, shows Aviation Cadets doing their paperwork after a training flight. You can just see the faint markings on the back of the gloved hand holding the pencil. Also of note (as pointed out by our eagle-eyed reader "Goz"), the Mk-II goggles worn by the student on the left have the distinctive black elastic strap (with light colored stitching) and early dark "Patent Pending" clasp we discussed previously in our "Shot Down in Flames" column.

Note in the photo of CDR McCampbell below, wearing well used gloves, how the exposed cut edge of the leather has darkened after absorbing dirt and oil. 
Above, size markings are found inside each glove, printed in black, surrounded by a diamond shape.

Similar leather flying gloves were used by the Navy until the 1960s when they were replaced with Nomex, so you will find post-WWII gloves with exterior markings in black as well as white. Many of these will have interior stamps that include MIL SPECS and / or post-war contract numbers. Commercial reproductions, both past and present, have also been made and help add to the confusion when looking for the real thing. Some of the current examples have elastic on the underside of the wrist. This was not found on WWII Navy gloves.

Below, we have an example of a post-WWII glove that someone has altered by scraping off most of the black exterior markings in an unsuccessful attempt to replicate the look of a worn WWII vintage glove. You will continually encounter post-war or reproduction gloves being sold as WWII originals, hopefully, due only to a lack of knowledge on the seller's part.  
We also want to mention two additional versions of the summer glove that saw use during the war. First is the pre-war glove, identical in pattern and construction, but made with leather dyed to a chocolate brown shade. It can be seen below, being worn in this still from the documentary film footage taken of VT-8 in May of 1942, prior to Midway. A surviving pair is also shown in the following NMNA photo.
At left above, veteran pilot Machinist Donald Runyon, the Navy's top scoring Wildcat ace, with his pre-war gloves.

Last, but not least, we have a late-war developement of the summer glove that was made in a very dark shade of brown, similar to the AAF B-3A. It can be seen being worn in the film clip on Page 5 of our "Well Dressed Aviator" article. Also, below in use by Hayden Jensen, CO of VBF-153, shown here during his squadron's training in mid 1945. Our thanks to Tom for identifying this photo. To see some of Jensen's earlier flight gear, please refer to Tom's contribution to our "Lucky Bag" page.
While on the subject, we should probably also mention that private purchase gloves will occasionally be seen in vintage photos. Below is an example from Naval Aviation News, showing a gunner in training, with pigskin gloves of the type that were readily available at the time for driving or general wear by the civilian population. The original pair shown here are reported to have been worn by a fighter pilot in WWII.