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I have noticed that there are very few photos online of the US Air Force personnel and uniforms from the early days of the service.There's lots of Army Air Force and a fair amount of modern USAF but not much of the early days.If we can get enough photos we might break them out into categories but for now let's see what we can come up with and provide create a reference source for early USAF uniforms.I'll start with a 1949 USAF jacket: This photo is seen in various places on the web and it's one of my favorite USAF photos: the 1956 summer uniform with khaki shorts: As noted on the Air Force Association website at the summer uniform also included long pants and the bush coat: Here is a set of USAF EM collar discs and possible early USAF hat emblem from the late 1940's or early 1950's.It's an interesting glimpse at some of the changes in uniforms.Notice the Army style visor caps in this photo (remember the USAF was established in Sept 1947): Interesting to note that by April 1950 we see both the Army cap and a dark blue cap being work with the khaki uniform: A February 1953 class: Here's a January 1960 class: notice how geeky the uniform looks compared to those from the 1950's.
I've always had the understanding that the gold cut-out hat emblems were US Army WAC and not USAF, but since these came together, I'm now wondering if the hat emblem is USAF?
Transitional and Korean War era USAF is one of the most undocumented and underappreciated areas of US military history and collecting. Gary I once saw an AF blue Ike jacket like that shown at the top, but with ARMY labels! I have also seen OD wool Ikes with the new AF chevrons -- definitely transtitional. This came from the same estate as the Ike and bush jackets above: this guy enlisted in AAF in 1944 and retired from USAF in 1964 and left two trunks of uniforms spanning the years.
Apparently made to same specs bu the same contractor, but now with new material. The shirt's labels were missing but I believe this was late 1950's: I found a load of official US Air Force photos showing basic training classes dating back to 1948.
These were worn on the Army Ikes before the new blue uniform came out.
The same hat badge was also used later for females in the Army, but originally were USAF enlisted . James Jabara, the first USAF all jet ace from the Korean War. On the right is General Hoyt Vandenberg who at the time of the photo was Chief of Staff USAF.