The first Police Jackets were worn by Motorcycle Policemen, who copied or emulated the Military’s World War Two Flight or Bomber B10 and B15 Canvas Jackets that pilots and bomber crews wore. Soon other Agencies were also looking for a less expensive and lighter wearing jacket to meet their personnel needs as well. The up and coming Nylon Bomber Jacket fit the bill quite nicely. However, it had an ancestor, a forefather so to speak ---the Military B10 and B15 Canvas Service Jacket.
his is a great image of a real WWII era B10 Bomber Jacket that as pictured in the brilliant work, “8th AIR FORCE – American Heavy Bomber Groups in England, 1942-45, by Gregory Pons, (pp166, published 2006). Notice the front Patch Pockets! This was the jacket that was slowly replacing the heavier leather A2’s and B3’s. It was worn by Ground Crews and Flight Crews who used the new heated flight suits that were making their first appearances. B3 Bomber Jacket was heavy and people were many times working around the clock. Any jacket that was lighter was a welcome addition. Anyone wishing to learn more about WWII Bomber Jackets and all manner of flight gear from both sides in the war should read Gregory Pons outstanding large volume. It is one of the best references available for historians, and a must have for any WWII Library or Collector’s interest. Plus, it is an amazing read with lots of outstanding photographs.
After the war was over, setting on a bike for long hours, wearing the hardware and riding against the wind in all kinds of weather, Motorcycle Cops everywhere experimented with different leather styles and textile style manufactured jackets. Around the country, most Motorcycle Police finally adopted a particular leather style of Police style nylon jacket.
owever, other Police and Emergency Agency’s began to search for something lighter than the usual leather jacket. Increasingly, situations arose that demanded a lighter type of service jacket as part of the everyday utility uniform. When carrying a thick service belt, with ammo pouches, holster, handcuffs and a communications system, everyone was ready to reduce the weight in the service jacket and the uniform suit coat did not serve well as a utility. The B15 Nylon Bomber Jacket soon found itself a steady bona fide home with Law Enforcement, Civilian Services and all manner of Government Agencies.
At first, right after WWII, B15 Canvas Jackets were still in use, but as textiles quickly changed with the increase in the use of different Plastics, the Nylon blends quickly began to overtake and dominate the market place, not just the Military.
Air Force Pilots in Korea were already wearing a hodgepodge of different service textile-blend jackets of many different colors, styles, and materials. The old Army Air Corps was transitioning into the modern U. S. Air Force and it seemed everything was being tried out and tested. As the 50’s wore on, the bomber and flight jackets became more standard and the B15 design in Nylon and Cotton Blend struck a chord with both military and civilian markets. Did you know that back then, these nylon jackets were only 25 inches long? Pant styles back then had a much higher wait than those manufactured today and most people are larger and taller today than back then. Due to those factors, the jackets are made to fit 27 inches for Regulars for today’s market and 29 inches for Longs or Tall’s.
he Nylon Bomber Jacket B15 became very popular with its slash pockets and front zipper, and its ability to be dyed any color to fit the needs. Police and Sheriff Departments, along with Emergency Service personnel began to wear them and over time, it place in American apparel was solidified. Easy to wash and maintain, the nylon bomber jacket, with warm pile filler has kept people warm and snug in the winter winds more than any other kind of service jacket. Styles may vary a bit, but the nylon bomber jacket became king of the marketplace.
The nylon bomber jacket is so versatile for the retail market and the business place, as real or pile fur collars can be added to the design, along with web cuffing and a webbed waistline to hug the body to keep out the cold. It can take snaps or use buttons, and many kinds of zipper products. Even the styling can be altered a bit and manufacturers often do make different designs. And it is still light weight, which is why the nylon bomber jacket is so popular.
The 9115 Nylon Bomber Jacket sold by Americanmistique.com is a prime example of continuing modern quilted warm in a retro design to meet the demands of today’s market place. Retail Customers go for the look because it is something they trust and the design is so traditional. The 9115 Bomber Jacket is time-honored and has a long established history that goes back to the Korean War and the emerging hot shot pilots of the F86 Saber Jet. You see it in films of the time period, like Hollywood’s the Movie, “The Hunters” (1958) and the “Bridges of Toko-Ri (1955).
ut the stalwart B10 design was not finished and is now back in the marketplace with the newer designed, the 9149 Nylon Bomber Jacket. And it now features a more modern approach to customer demands. At first look, it appears somewhat close in style to the other design, but inspection soon shows a closer approach to the B10 Bomber Jacket. With Fur Collar and front patch pockets, it clearly features a retro look going back to the WWII design. However, the more modern 9149 Bomber Jacket comes with a removable quilted liner, something the older styles and the 9115 design never had. The older conventional military B-10 and B-15 styling never featured anything like a Zip-Out liner or removable collar. However, the upgraded ensign has been made to meet the demands of emergency and law enforcement personal, along with businesses that need a jacket for employees exposed to the elements, even city transit bus drivers favor this new design of nylon jacket.
The T20 Bomber Jacket is a favorite of those customers who enjoy a cooler collar with no fur or pile against their neck. The T-20 is a nylon quilted jacket that mirrors the look of the old historical Tanker Jacket. During WWII, battle tank personnel word a special jacket that came to be called the Tanker Jacket. The T20 mirrors its details and fit.
he Military has changed it’s nylon bomber jacket design as well. From the older B15 style, we now see the different Weapons Jackets, like the CPU-55P Cold Weather Weapons Jacket and the U.S. Navy Nylon Flight Jacket. And these two are now increasingly becoming popular among younger customers, developing a market of their own.
No matter how the design is changed or altered a big, the WWII B10 and B15 war era Bomber Jackets were the fathers of many of the Nylon Bomber Jackets civilians wear today. Some will be just light weight wind breakers, but others will feature warmer designs with quilted linings and removable fur collars. After 70+ years, this jacket design is still the King of the Marketplace the world over.