Original U.S. WWII 8th / 7th Army Air Force Aerial Gunner Class-A Uniform Coat and Overseas Cap - Laundry Number Marked
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely example of a WWII Us Army 8th Army Air Forces, enlisted Class-A coat that belonged to a Corporal who served as an Aerial Gunner during WWII. The Aerial Gunner Badge was a military aeronautical badge of the United States Army Air Forces and was issued during the Second World War. The badge was first created and authorized on April 29, 1943 to recognize both the training and hazardous duty of aerial gunners, who manned defensive machine guns on board such aircraft as the B-17, B-24, B-25, B-26 and B-29 bombers. The Aerial Gunner Badge appeared as a standard observer badge, upon which was centered a winged bullet. It was primarily awarded to USAAF enlisted aircrewmen, but a small number of commissioned officers also qualified and were awarded this insignia, to include film actor Clark Gable.
The uniform coat is in wonderful condition and is offered without any extensive damage or moth nips. The front left chest features an Aerial Gunner Badge above 3 ribbons. The ribbons are the EAME which has one bronze star device present, Army Good Conduct and American Defense. The left shoulder features an embroidered SSI for the 8th Army Air Force while the right shoulder features one for the 7th. The Shoulder Sleeve Insignia that is worn on the left shoulder represents the service member’s current unit, which in this case is the 8th Air Force, while the right shoulder is reserved for the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia — Former Wartime Service (SSI-FWTS), also known as the Combat patch, which in this case is the 7th Air Force. The SSI-FWTS is a military patch that should be worn with pride as it shows that the soldier put their life on the line to protect their country in a combat zone. Army combat patches are only awarded to those who were in active combat operations and include the insignia of the unit that the soldier served in combat with, a practice still seen today in the US Army.
Both sleeve have a chevron indicating the rank of Corporal. The interior is marked with multiple laundry numbers, making for a wonderful research opportunity.
A lovely example that comes more than ready for further research and display.
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to sleeve: 26.5”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16.5”
Chest width: 19"
Waist width: 18"
Hip width: 23”
Front length: 33.5"
The Eighth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) is a numbered air force (NAF) of the United States Air Force's Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The command serves as Air Forces Strategic – Global Strike, one of the air components of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). The Eighth Air Force includes the heart of America's heavy bomber force: the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the Rockwell B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber, and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber aircraft.
Established on 22 February 1944 by the redesignation of VIII Bomber Command at RAF Daws Hill in High Wycombe, England, the Eighth Army Air Force (8 AAF) was a United States Army Air Forces combat air force in the European Theater of World War II (1939/41–1945), engaging in operations primarily in the Northern Europe area of responsibility; carrying out strategic bombing of enemy targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany; and engaging in air-to-air fighter combat against enemy aircraft until the German capitulation in May 1945. It was the largest of the deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel, aircraft, and equipment.
During the Cold War (1945–1991), 8 AF was one of three Numbered Air Forces of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC), with a three-star general headquartered at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts commanding USAF strategic bombers and missiles on a global scale. Elements of 8 AF engaged in combat operations during the Korean War (1950–1953); Vietnam War (1961–1975), as well as Operation Desert Storm (1990–1991) over Iraq and occupied Kuwait in the First Persian Gulf War.
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