If I remember correctly there's a thread on here, from a couple of years ago, that chronicles the story of bomber gear and the stages and struggles it went through. I don't know if Rick started the thread, but I'm pretty sure he explains the whole story, in his own words. I can't search for it now, but it might be a nice thing I post.
Very sad news...I got to talk with him once and thought he was a really, really nice man. RIP.
"You know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder, everyday..."