Original U.S. WWII 457th Bombardment Group Painted A-2 Flight Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is very nice A2 leather flight jacket issued to a member of the Mighty 8th Air Force, 457th Bombardment Group.

Constituted as the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 July 1943. Trained for combat with B-17's.[1] Moved to RAF Glatton England, January–February 1944, and assigned to Eighth Air Force. The group was assigned to the 94th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-U.

The 457th Bomb Group consisted of the following operational squadrons:

- 748th Bomb Squadron
- 749th Bomb Squadron
- 750th Bomb Squadron
- 751st Bomb Squadron

The 457th Bomb Group flew its first mission on 21 February 1944[2] during Big Week, taking part in the concentrated attacks of heavy bombers on the German aircraft industry. Until June 1944, the Group engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, such as ball-bearing plants, aircraft factories, and oil refineries in Germany.

The Group bombed targets in France during the first week of June 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion, and attacked coastal defenses along the Cherbourg peninsula on D-Day. Struck airfields, railroads, fuel depots, and other interdictory targets behind the invasion beaches throughout the remainder of the month.

Beginning in July 1944, the 457th resumed bombardment of strategic objectives and engaged chiefly in such operations until April 1945. Sometimes flew support and interdictory missions, aiding the advance of ground forces during the Saint-Lô breakthrough in July 1944 and the landing of British 1st Airborne Division during the airborne attack on the Netherlands in September 1944; and participating in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945, and the assault across the Rhine in March 1945. The Group flew its last combat mission, number 236, on 20 April 1945.

After V-E Day, the 457th transported prisoners of war from Austria to France, and returned to Sioux Falls Army Airfield, South Dakota, during June 1945.

The 457th was inactivated on 18 August 1945.

Overall condition of the jacket is good to very good and in large size (42). The leather is still supple but does show wear at the collar and some other areas. The lining is original as are the cuffs and the waist band which all show areas of wear and deterioration. One cuff is nearly detached but can be easily repaired. The zipper is marked on the slider and pull with CONMAR, a known maker of quality zippers.

The original tag is still intact:

DWG. NO. 30-1415
ORDER No.42-16175-P

The most notable aspect of this jacket is the exceptional hand painted artwork. The left front chest bears the an incredibly rare 457th Bombardment Squadron hand painted leather patch. The right front chest features 35 hand painted bombs in white and red. These bombs represent bombing missions.

The reverse of the jacket once featured a B-17 and plane name. however only traces of the original paint are visible.

This is a very nice all original eye appealing A-2 jacket with D-Day association as the 457th Bomb group prepped and fly missions before and during the Normandy Invasion as part of operation overlord.
  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles