w4 w3 w2 w5 Well before World War II became imminent, women had already made their mark as pilots. Amelia Earhart, Jacqueline Cochran, Nancy Harkness Love, Bessie Coleman and Harriet Quimby were only a few of the women record-holders in aviation. In 1939, women were allowed for the first time to be part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, a program designed to train college students to fly, with an eye to national defense. Women were limited by quota to one woman for every ten men in the program. Jackie Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love separately proposed the use of women pilots by the US Military. Cochran lobbied Eleanor Roosevelt, writing a 1940 letter urging that a women's division of the Air Force be established especially to ferry planes from manufacturing plants to military bases. With no such American program supporting the Allies in their war effort, Cochran and 25 other American women pilots joined the British Air Transportation Auxiliary. Shortly after, Nancy Harkness Love was successful in getting the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) established, and a few women were hired. Jackie Cochran returned to establish the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD). On August 5, 1943, these two efforts -- WAFS and WFTD -- merged to become the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), with Cochran as director. More than 25,000 women applied -- with requirements including a pilot's license and many hours experience. The first class graduated on December 17, 1943. The women had to pay their own way to the training program in Texas. A total of 1830 were accepted into training and 1074 women graduated from WASP training during its existence, plus 28 WAFS. The women were trained "the Army way" and their graduation rate was similar to that for male military pilots. The WASP was never militarized, and those who served as WASP's were considered civil service employees. There was considerable opposition to the WASP program in the press and in Congress. General Henry "Hap" Arnold, US Army Air Force commander, first supported the program, then disbanded it. The WASP was deactivated December 20, 1944, having flown around 60 million miles in operations. Thirty-eight WASP's were killed, including some during training. Records of WASP were classified and sealed, so historians minimized or ignored the women pilots. In 1977 -- the same year the Air Force graduated its first post-WASP women pilots -- Congress granted veteran status to those who had served as WASP, and in 1979 issued official honorable discharges. You can find the Eastman reproduction 1944 pattern womens B-17 flight jacket here, specifically designed for the WASP's, the B-17 was the female version of the B-15. Also available is the WASP squadron patch in the Eastman Insignia category, the authentic chenille patch features Fifinella, a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney for a proposed film from Roald Dahl's book The Gremlins.

gc-hellsangels3 pp-hellsangels pp-hellsangelscrew The end of World War II saw young men returning from combat in droves. Many found the transition back to a peaceful civilian life a more monotonous chore than they could handle. While at War, be they Army Air Corps flight crews, Seamen, Infantrymen, Airborne or Marines, the one constant thread that was sewn throughout these men was the ubiquitous post-mission celebration. Upon their successful return from combat missions, marines, airmen, soldiers and sailors retired to the nearest drinking establishment in an attempt to drown the memories of battle with booze, to heal the scars of armed conflict with laughter, and to try and feel human again, if only for a short while. These men became brothers born of warfare, atrocity, and death, a kinship that runs deeper than blood relations. It is also important to consider the ages of these men: the average age of WWII servicemen was only 26. Many returning combat vets reported feelings of restlessness and a general malaise; their pre-war personalities had been forever changed. It seems logical that the horrors of war and the hell of combat may have melted down the pre-war personalities of these men only to recast them forever in a new form, a form that didn
IMG_0199 A sneak peak at the forthcoming new colourway of the Thunderbird Field Jacket! Hot off the machine, the jacket utilises a super dense Fox Brothers navy blue wool, woven in England to US wartime specifications, to replicate another of the USAAF Instructor Jackets worn on the base. Available soon from the Civilian Classics department.
neil_armstrong2 Aside from the astounding accolade of being the first human on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was also an aerospace engineer, US Naval aviator and ace test pilot. Prior to his NASA career, Armstrong was an officer in the US Navy serving with VF-51 during the Korean War, flying over 78 combat missions in his F9F Panther. Later as a research pilot at Edwards AFB, Armstrong served as project pilot on the F100 Super Sabre A and C variants, F 101 Voodoo, and the Lockheed F 104A Starfighter. He also flew the Bell X-1B, X-5 and most notably the X-15 rocket plane taking the longest and highest flight of any test pilot then successfully landing the aircraft in one piece. It was unanimously agreed amongst all of Armstrong's Air Force and NASA superiors, colleagues and friends that he was the most technically capable of any pilot they had know, he was clinical and single minded, two of the key attributes for astronaut selection. Combining his superior capabilities with clean cut All American good looks, he was the perfect poster boy for the US governments new Man In Space Soonest program. On July 20th 1969, Armstrong did what no human had ever done before and was immortalised in history. The classic image above shows Armstrong resplendent in his lucky red USAF PX cap, you can find the Eastman 6 panel version here in the same red colourway with a subdued wash.
1356786008_611930a158   10063916ve tiger 2 While the Vietnam War is inextricably linked to the usage of Tiger Pattern Camouflage, its links with actual Tigers are less known. The Bengal Tiger is native to Southeast Asia. It grows up to 10 feet in length and weighs around 400 to 575 pounds. It was hunted, captured, and poisoned to such an extent that it has practically disappeared however during the Vietnam conflict its numbers were relatively abundant compared to today. Reports of tiger attacks from both sides of the war were prevalent, there were stories amongst the Viet Cong of tigers making off with people in the night and short time G.I.
Thunderbird_AZ_41SepSect 77914d1301963926-how-do-you-remember-phoenix-stories-thunderbird-field history0510 image_preview tower_061-674x380 thunderbird-eastman-08 Thunderbird Field was a military airfield in Glendale, Arizona, used for contract primary flight training of USAAF pilots during World War II. Created in 1939 as a collaborative project by Hollywood agent and producer Leland Hayward, former Air Service pilot John H Connely, and LIFE Magazine photographer John Swope, the project was financially backed by investors that included Hollywood legend James Stewart ( later commander of the USAAF 445th Bomb Group), singer-actor Hoagy Carmicheal, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Robert Taylor, and Margaret Sullavan. Construction of the pilot training facility began on 2 January 1941, and was completed in three months. The site, 25 miles from central Phoenix, was laid out by artist Millard Sheets to resemble (from the air) an etching of a mythical Anasazi Thunderbird. The control tower formed the head of the bird, the administration buildings and barracks its body, the hangars its wings, and the gardens its feathered tail. A Hollywood movie, Thunder Birds (directed by William Wellman), was filmed on location at the field in the spring of 1942. Aerial shots clearly show the original Thunderbird design. In November 1943, the facilities peak was reached; 615 cadets flew an average of two hours a day, making 1,845 separate takeoffs and landings. In a period of ten weeks, students received a total of 65 hours of flight training and 109 hours of ground school. In spite of the intensified training, the field gained a widespread reputation for thoroughness of instruction and high caliber graduates. Every graduating cadet received the coveted Thunderbird Field patch depicting the Anasazi Thunderbird. Head over to the Eastman Civilian Design Classics section to check out our exacting replica of the 40's period Thunderbird Field A-1 flight instructor jacket complete with a beautiful reproduction patch made on original 1920s looms with authentic rayon yarns.
image Marilyn_Monroe,_Korea,_1954 Marilyn-in-Korea-marilyn-monroe-16211643-500-641 marilyn-monroe-in-korea Marilyn066 photo-10 4 4646-Annex+-+Monroe,+Marilyn_082 482193 7625949210_2c89414332_z In February 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were just married and on a Honeymoon trip to Japan. The bride decided to take a detour to Korea to entertain the troops, performing ten shows in four days, in front of audiences that totaled more than 100,000 soldiers and Marines while making the B-15 Flight Jacket sexy in the process. Later Monroe recalled that the trip "was the best thing that ever happened to me. I never felt like a star before in my heart. It was so wonderful to look down and see a fellow smiling at me."  
elc1 elc11 elc2 elc7 elc6 elc4 elc3 elc5 elc10 elc8 elc9 Back on a cold Sunday morning in 2012 we ventured into the wilds of Sussex to shoot the ELC / Buzz Rickson's AW12 Lookbook with renown photographer John Isaac. Above is a selection of shots from that day featuring a variety of ELC and Buzz gear. The lookbook itself gained a lot of blog and media attention both here in Europe and the US and also in Japan and we had a lot of fun in the process so it was well worth the frost bitten hands and chapped lips!

Welcome to the new Eastman Leather Clothing Blog. We'll be posting various articles of interest covering a wide range of topics which inform and reference the brand, including product development, cultural influences, original vintage garments, etc. Be sure to check in regularly to keep up with the latest scoop!