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The B-6 Jackets

As the Army Air Corps acquired more closed-cockpit planes, there arose the need for a warm flying jacket that was not as heavy or bulky as the B-3. In response to this need, they developed a medium- weight shearling jacket, designated the B-6. The B-6 sheepskin jacket was similar in appearance to the B-3. The most apparent difference was its less substantial collar, with one buckled closure strap, and its trimmer fit. The shearling was still visible at the cuffs and waist, but the pile was much thinner (usually only one-fourth inch deep as opposed to the typical one-half inch for the B-3. The B-6 bomber jacket was dyed the same seal brown color with a lacquer coating, had two flush-sewn slash pockets on the front, zippers or straps at the cuffs, but lacked the B-3's full-length wind flap behind the zipper. B-6 sheepskin jackets were not really warm enough for high-altitude use by bomber crews, but were warm enough (and trim enough) for use in the marginally heated cockpits of some fighters. And, like the B-3s, the B-6 flight jacket was most often seen on the backs of ground crews working on the planes.This is one of the rarest flight jackets of WW2.

Although the introduction of a heavy sheepskin flying jacket, the Type B3, was very popular with flight crews, at anything but the highest altitudes the B3 proved too bulky and cumbersome even in the relatively roomy heavy bombers, and impossible to wear in the cramped confines of a fighter cockpit. The AAF's answer to this dilemma was to produce a lightweight sheepskin in 1939, very much along the lines of the D1, but with a bi-swing back, adjustable cuffs and epaulets.

This stylish Flight Jacket has other unusual features- the side adjustment features a unique zip closure waist adjustment method, drawing the bottom of the jacket in at the waist. The cuffs fasten by stud, and the B6 is the only AAF Shearling Jacket with epaulettes.

B6's had the lowest survival rate of all the AAF WWII sheepskin jackets, and an original B6 jacket is a very rare item indeed. The rarest of the rare of course is a Redskin B-6. Although some of the early versions were made in what had now become known as "redskin" sheepskin (a term not used during WWII) the vast majority were made in the standard seal brown.

Standardised on June 12th 1939, the B-6 shearling flying jacket was a lighter weight alternative to the B-3, and categorised in the ‘Intermediate Zone’ for flight clothing.

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Made from 1/4 inch sheep shearling it was intended to fill the intermediate gap between the lightweight A-2, which was often not warm enough, and the heavier weight B-3.


It was especially popular among fighter pilots of the pre and early war period; earlier fighter aircraft were without heating, (the P-38 was particularly cold), so an insulated jacket of some description was necessary. Being less bulky than the B-3 it better suited the cramped environment of the fighter cockpit.


Unlike all other sheepskin flight jackets the B-6 is uniquely cut in that it is slightly longer in the torso, and with a flared lower section; normally a flight jacket will not go past the bend in the body so as to avoid bunching when sitting down. Hence it could be worn without the companion A-5 sheepskin trousers but still give adequate cover to lower back and haunches. To each side (at the hip) a zip was placed so the flare could be drawn in when standing, and relaxed when sitting down.

Together with the bi-swing back and two front slash pockets the B-6 exhibits good functional thoughtful design.

As the Army Air Corps acquired more closed-cockpit planes, there arose the need for a warm flying jacket that was not as heavy or bulky as the B-3. In response to this need, they developed a medium- weight shearling jacket, designated the B-6. The B-6 sheepskin jacket was similar in appearance to the B-3. The most apparent difference was its less substantial collar, with one buckled closure strap, and its trimmer fit. The shearling was still visible at the cuffs and waist, but the pile was much thinner (usually only one-fourth inch deep as opposed to the typical one-half inch for the B-3. The B-6 bomber jacket was dyed the same seal brown color with a lacquer coating, had two flush-sewn slash pockets on the front, zippers or straps at the cuffs, but lacked the B-3's full-length wind flap behind the zipper. B-6 sheepskin jackets were not really warm enough for high-altitude use by bomber crews, but were warm enough (and trim enough) for use in the marginally heated cockpits of some fighters. And, like the B-3s, the B-6 flight jacket was most often seen on the backs of ground crews working on the planes.

The Army Air Corps standardized the B-6 Flight Jacket in 1939, specifically intending it to fill the gap between the lighter A-2 and the heavy B-3 Flight Jackets. Originally produced in very small numbers from the very costly hand-dyed, vegetable-tanned “redskin” hides of thon. As with the original flight jackets it copies, you’ll find it practical, comfortable and versatile due to its light weight and double-pleated, bi-swing back. Our B-6 Flight Jackets may be the only B-6 Flight Jackets in the world today being manufactured with the correct depth of wool (nothing other than 1/4” sheepskin was ever specified for the B-6 Flight Jacket). Additional features include: two slash, internally hung pockets made of heavy, all-cotton off-white twill, heavy leather hangar in neck, zippered hip adjusters on both sides for cinching the fit, single leather collar strap, two press stud adjustment positions on each sleeve cuff, snap-down epaulets, russet brown horsehide trim, and reproduction 1942 nickel-plated Crown zips. This is a perfect jacket for most climates, and it can be made all the more versatile by adding or subtracting layers of undergarments.

The short-sheared sheepskin B-6 bomber jacket was first introduced in 1939 and used extensively by the U.S. Army Air Force training command when pilots flew open cockpit training planes but needed a lightweight jacket for ease of movement. Light enough to wear with other layering pieces; this men's shearling bomber jacket is an incredibly contemporary piece of clothing designed by artisans years ago but an easy piece for the field or street. Designed with shoulder epaulets and a leather collar strap, the B-6 bomber will help you stay warm in style.

Order the B-6 bomber jacket in brown leather today!

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