Original U.S. WWII 313th Fighter Squadron GNAZI GNIGHTMARE II Named A-2 Flight Jacket
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an exceptional A2 leather flight jacket issued to a Lieutenant A.S. COAKUM who was a pilot in the 9th Air Force, 50th Fighter Group, 313th Fighter Squadron. We have not been able to find research on Coakum, but this fighter group did participate in the D-Day invasion and the jacket credits the owner with a downed Focke-Wulf Fw 190 on June 6th, 1944.
During World War Two the 313th Fighter Squadron was established under the Northeast Air District as a pursuit squadron, initially equipped with second-line aircraft. Transferred to Southeast Air District (later Third Air Force) in late 1941, re-equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks. Trained in the southeast, becoming a training squadron at the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics in Florida in 1943.
Re-equipped with North American P-51 Mustangs and trained as an operational squadron, being deployed to the European Theater of Operations, being assigned to IX Fighter Command in England in May 1944. Re-equipped with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, the squadron supported Allied ground forces in France after D-Day, attacking enemy strong points, troop contingents, armor formations, bridges and other targets. Moved to Normandy and operated from several forward bases in Northeast France during the summer of 1944 as Allied ground forces moved eastwards towards Germany. Supported the Fifth Army movement from Southern France though the Lyon Valley, then into Occupied Germany as part of the Western Allied invasion in the spring of 1945. Remained in Germany as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, demobilizing over the summer. Inactivated in Colorado, November 1945.
Overall condition of the jacket is excellent and it is in a large size 40. The leather is still supple, each shoulder has leather Lieutenant bars. The lining is original as are the cuffs and the waist band and show minor wear and deterioration. The zipper is marked on the slider and pull with TALON, a known maker of quality zippers.
The original tag is still intact:
DWG. NO. 30-1415
CONTRACT NO. W535 AC-27752
ROUGH WEAR CLOTHING CO.
AIR FORCE, U.S. ARMY
The most notable aspect of this jacket is the exceptional hand painted artwork. The left front chest bears the an incredibly rare 313th Fighter Squadron hand painted bulldog insignia. This patch features original period authentic vibrant colored paint. Above the patch is an embossed leather name tag that reads A.S. COAKUM.
The left shoulder bears a hand painted 9th Air Force insignia. The reverse of the jacket features incredible hand painted art work that reads:
GNAZI GNIGHTMARE II and features the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon character Elmer J. Fudd holding his shotgun and a fistful of bombs. Below him are three swass. Inside each symbol is a downed aircraft with date. They read:
6 JUNE 1944
11 JAN 1945
28 APR 1945
This exceptional A-2 jacket is sure to be a focal point of any WWII collection!
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