M 1941 dress mundir tunic for a Cadet of a Red Army Air Force School, dated 1942.
In wool gabardine of rough wartime quality, with sky blue piping on the collar and cuffs. The blue and red collar tabs with gold tress stripes and black piping are of the type initially introduced in 1940 for gimnasterka shirt only and then adopted for the 1941 full dress mundir of cadets and army enlisted men. The WW2 vintage buttons in steel are unmarked. Interestingly, contrary to February 1941 regulations, the back of the skirt does not have faux pockets: this is apparently a wartime simplification. The liner has numerous inventory stamps as well as a manufacturer's stamp of the Tudovik Factory in the city of Gzhatsk (this city in Smolensk region of Russia, currently named Gagarin, was overrun by the Germans early during the Barbarossa offensive, but the factory obviously had been evacuated by then and retained its original stamp); the factory stamp shows a 1942 date of manufacture and size 4 (long). There are clearly visible traces of at least three badges worn on the right breast.
Measures approximately 19-20" across the chest from seam to seam under the armpits. Length from top of collar reverse to bottom front hem about 28". Length of sleeve from shoulder seam 25 ½ -26" to edge of cuff.
In good condition. There are occasional scuffs to the rough exterior fabric of the tunic, and some worn areas but no moth holes or any significant damage. The unfinished buttons have rust on the surface but they are still very sound.
This exceptionally rare uniform used only from 1941-43, until the introduction of shoulder boards and new uniforms for both regular army units and military schools. According to the "Uniforms of the Russian Air Force, Volume 2 Part 1 (1935 - 1955)" by Kibovsky at al, during the Patriotic War, the mundir became standard everyday uniform of Air Force schools in lieu of the usual gimnasterka shirt. / see pp. 138, 139/. These pilot trainees would soon be rushed to the front as a replacement for the previous generation of Soviet air force cadres, decimated by the Luftwaffe in the first weeks and months of the war.