Original U.S. WWII 600th Bomb Squadron Painted A-2 Flight Jacket
Original Items: One-of-a-kind. This is an excellent WW2 U.S. A-2 flight jacket in size 36 was produced by Perry Sportswear. The jacket features a highly detailed full color 600th Bomb Squadron insignia patch on the left chest. The reverse has a full color handprinted Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The jacket has an original functional zipper, original liner and original knit cuffs and waistband. The leather is in very good supple condition and the original data tag is still intact.
The 600th Bomb Squadron was part of the 398th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. The group was constituted as the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 February 1943, and equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress. It was activated 1 March 1943 at Ephrata Army Air Base, Wash., with the 600th, 601st, 602d, and 603d Bombardment Squadrons. The Group assembled at Blythe Army Airfield, California, and then moved to Geiger Field, Washington, on 20 April 1943 to complete training. On 20 June 1943 moved to Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota, to take up Replacement Training Unit duties. Trained 326 B-17 crews from August to December 1943 but at the beginning of the New Year reverted to training for combat. Ground echelon began movement overseas on 4 April 1944. The unit moved to Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts, on 7–12 April 1944. Personnel embarked on USS Wakefield. Sailed to Boston on 13 April, and arrived in Liverpool on 21 April 1944.
Moved to England in April 1944 and assigned to Eighth AF. The 398th BG entered combat in May 1944, and until V-E Day operated primarily against strategic objectives in Germany, attacking targets such as factories in Berlin, warehouses in Munich, marshalling yards in Saarbrücken, shipping facilities in Kiel, oil refineries in Merseburg, and aircraft plants in Münster.
The group temporarily suspended strategic missions to attack coastal defenses and enemy troops on the Cotentin Peninsula during the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944. The group struck gun positions near Eindhoven in support of the air attack on Holland in September 1944, and raided power stations, railroads, and bridges during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. The group flew missions attacking airfields to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
The 398th flew its last combat mission, attacking an airfield in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, on 25 April 1945. After V-E Day the group transported liberated prisoners from Germany to France.
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