The intermediate post-war period fueled a massive development in equipment in the U.S. Forces. The global distribution of troops made equipment necessary from the tropics to Antarctica. Much of the equipment that was used in WW2 was already outdated when the war broke out and hasty development started. This resulted in a massive flood of new experimental equipment which was put in use from 1945 onwards. Not only new fits were tested but also lighter and more versatile synthetic fabrics.
The 1947 Shirt, Heavy, Flying is a piece of gear that showed the transition of that time. The coat-like fit with 4 front pockets showed a resemblance to the newly developed M43 and M51 Jackets. However, the heavy wool fabric remained of a typical 1930s fabric approach.
There is hardly any documentation of that jacket of exactly when it came out but the first pieces seemed to appear by late 1945 as testings. The first production in olive drab was in about 1947. During the early 1950s, it was also produced in blue but then quickly discontinued. This is because the synthetic fibers proved to be more practical in different environments.
We think it is a great piece of equipment because it shows how much development was done in that era. The 1947 Shirt, Heavy Flying has its place in the classic garments hall of fame.