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Exposure Suits for Sea Rescue

Mark IV exposure suit. This is the type worn by fighter pilots over their G-suits, with a life preserver. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Mark IV exposure suit. This is the type worn by fighter pilots over their G-suits, with a life preserver. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Model R-1 exposure suit. This type of suit was packed in a quick-release bag for rapid donning by aircrew or transport passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Model R-1 exposure suit. This type of suit was packed in a quick-release bag for rapid donning by aircrew or transport passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Exposure suits protected downed pilots and other aircrew and passengers from freezing in the icy waters of the Yellow Sea between Korea and Japan. Fighter pilots commonly wore exposure suits while flying, since they would not have time to put one on if they had to eject from a damaged aircraft. Aircrew and passengers in larger aircraft like bombers and transports had access to quick-donning exposure suits packed in highly visible yellow bags hung inside aircraft. If a plane ditched in the water, they could rapidly slip them on for protection from the elements.

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