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A stunning example of a pre-war RAF sheepskin flying jacket made by 'Wareings'.
In 1935 Wareings were awarded contract 22534/35/C.I by the RAF for making sheepskin flying jackets. It was the only contract awarded to them before the war and lasted from 1935 until 1939. At the beginning of the Second World War they were awarded another contract, B17896/39, in 1939. It was supplied as a 'Wareing Suit' jacket which is evident by the large size label fitted inside the neck of the jacket.
The jacket is typical those worn during the early stages of the Second World by both Fighter and Bomber Command. The rear of the jacket features a single seam which is the most obvious sign of an early war jacket. The collar is noticeably square which is a trait of Wareings made jackets, as are the wider belt loops and the style of metal hanging chain. The collar retains its leather tab and both of the corresponding metal rings are also present to the underside. The original waist belt is also still present and is in good condition as are all of the eyelets under each arm.
The main zip along with both sleeve zips are original pre-war D.O.T examples with the fantastic brown and white interwoven cotton tape backing. All three retain their factory fitted leather pull tabs which is testament to the excellent condition and originality of this jacket. The bucket at the bottom of the main zipper is marked 'DOT British' and all the zips function well.
Inside the jacket the original label is still present although all the information is now missing. It is clearly the Wareing Suit' label used on these early jackets which would have had the logo along with the Air Ministry AM and crown marking as well as the contract number. The original owner has added his name in ink whch reads 'Squadron Leader C Killeen' which may offer the potential of further research. Below this is a size label which may be a later addition and states the jacket as being a 46" chest.
The jacket is a large size which will fit a 42-44" chest well and possibly larger depending on desired fit. These pre-war jackets were not sized in the same way as later jackets but it would correspond to either a size 6 or size 7. When laid flat the jacket measures -
Chest - 25"
Inside arm - 24"
Outside arm - 26 1/2"
Shoulders - 21 1/2"
Length - 27"
The jacket is in superb condition as can be seen in the pictures. It is still a lovely, bright conker brown colour, the sheepskin lining is extremely good and all elements of the jacket are intact and functioning. The overall condition is truly fantastic and would be very hard to better.
A very rare pre-war jacket which would suit a Battle for France or Battle of Britain collector very well. Not only is it in fantastic condition but it is also a large size. A stunning example!