US Wings A-2’s & G-1’s honors America’s Greatest!


US Wings A-2’s & G-1’s honors America’s Greatest pilots.  Hero’s who have protected our country from those who have tried to harm us.

The A2 Leather Flight Jacket, sometimes referred to as the A2 Bomber Jacket was adopted by the Army Air Corps as standard issue in 1931.  The A2 Leather Flight jacket was made famous by the U.S. Army Air Corp airmen of World War II.   The first A2’s were made of Horsehide, then Cowhide and then switched to Goatskin in 1943.  Fliers and crewmen adorned their jackets with squadron patches and often hand painted nose art replicating their aircraft. All  A2 Leather Flight jackets had several distinguishing characteristics: two  front snap patch pockets on either side without hand warmer compartments (hands in pockets were considered unfit for a military bearing), snap-down collar, shoulder straps, knit cuffs and waistband, a single piece of leather on the back to limit stress on the garment, and either lightweight silk or cotton inner lining. In 1943 the Army canceled any further leather jacket contracts in favor of newer cloth-shell jackets like the B-10 and B-15. The jackets continued to be popular with Aircrew members for the balance of the war continuing into the Korean War.

All contracts from 1988 to 1998 were awarded to Neil Cooper USA, now U.S. Wings of Ohio.  According to FLIGHT JACKETS – HELL BENT FOR LEATHER, authored by Derek Nelson and Dave Parsons, the Air Force opted for goatskin instead of the original horsehide because it is very strong but not stiff.  Cooper found that at 3.5 skins per jacket, there weren’t enough American goats available to make 53,000 jackets.  They had to import goat skins from Nigeria, Tasmania and Pakistan.

In 1996 Neil Cooper USA was awarded a contract from the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia (DSCP), to redesign the A2 Leather Flight Jacket to be more functional and to improve the fit. Side entry pockets were added to the patch pockets and inside wallet pockets were added. The fit was enlarged by adding extra pieces under the arms and on the sides and eliminating the neck clasp.

The modern Air Force A-2 is authorized for wear by Air Force aircrews and space operations personnel who have completed their mission qualifications.

The G-1 Military Flight Jacket was originally called the M-422A and introduced by the U.S. Navy in the 1930’s.  In 1943, this jacket was named by the Navy and the Army Air Forces as the ANJ-3.  It officially became the G1 in 1947. The G1 as compared to the A2 leather flight jacket has a fur lined collar, Bi-Swing back & button down flap pockets on the front. Early jackets were constructed of Goatskin and had a real Mouton collar, subsequently some model issue jackets were constructed of cowhide and have synthetic collars. The G1 is issued to new U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine and U.S. Coast Guard flight crew personnel and remains a current-issue item in Naval Aviation for Officers and Enlisted aviation personnel on flying status.

In November 2003, AVG (American Volunteer Group), fighter ace, Dick Rossi, at the newly opened Flying Tigers Museum in Zhijiang China donated his G1 jacket, a reproduction of the jacket he wore as a member of the AVG.  This jacket was custom made for Dick Rossi by US WINGS, and is now on display at the museum.

In 2011, US Wings, developed a WINGS OF GOLD G1 leather military flight jacket to honor the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of Naval Aviation.  The Centennial of Naval Aviation WINGS OF GOLD G1 featured an embroidered Navy WINGS OF GOLD and the NAVAL FLYERS CREED honoring all Navy Flyers.  CEO David Hack presented the first WINGS OF GOLD silk lining to Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.   Arguably, the G1 is best known as the leather flight jacket worn by Tom Cruise in the film TOP GUN.

US Wings has a complete selection of those jackets our heroes wore.