Item:
ON4309

Original U.S. WWII 61st Fighter Squadron Named M-1943 M43 Field Jacket

Regular price $1,095.00

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. From 1943 to 1945, the 61st produced 19 Aces, the highest of any squadron in Europe, destroying 248 aircraft in the air and 67.5 aircraft on the ground. In 1944, it was recognized as the first fighter squadron in the European theater to score over 100 victories

The 61st Fighter Squadron was constituted as the 61st Pursuit Squadron as part of the 56th Pursuit Group at Savannah, Georgia, on 15 January 1941. The squadron immediately began training for its wartime missions under III Fighter Command, rapidly transitioning through the P-35, P-36, P-39, and P-40 aircraft. On 7 December 1941, the 61st stepped up to defend the Southeastern United States from anticipated enemy air attack while it converted to the P-47 aircraft and prepared to deploy overseas. In November 1942, P-47 Thunderbolt dive test pilots achieved 725 mph, faster than the speed of sound.

It was re-designated 61st Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942, and deployed to RAF Kings Cliffe (AAF-367), England on 9 January 1943. It was declared operationally ready two months later and flew its first combat missions 13 April. The squadron was given fuselage code "HV" and operated from several RAF stations during the war, flying the P-47C Thunderbolt as an VIII Fighter Command bomber-escort unit initially for B-17 Flying Fortresses and beginning in 1944 for B-24 Liberators attacking enemy targets in Occupied Europe. From 1943 to 1945, the 61st produced 19 Aces, the highest of any squadron in Europe, destroying 248 aircraft in the air and 67.5 aircraft on the ground. In 1944, it was recognized as the first fighter squadron in the European theater to score over 100 victories. After the end of the war in Europe, the squadron demobilized in England, and was inactivated as an administrative unit on 18 October 1945.

This is a genuine M43 Field Jacket used by member of the 61st Fighter Squadron during World War Two. It is in excellent condition and approximately a size 36. All buttons are present and the internal drawstring is complete. It has technical sergeant chevrons on each sleeve and an allied air force insignia patch on the left shoulder.

The reverse of the jacket features a hand painted 61st Fighter Squadron insignia of a bulldog holding a lightning bolt in its jaws. The interior is named Thomis which stands for Joseph Thomis who became an officer after the war but was killed in 1948.

This is an incredible hand painted one-of-a-kind jacket from the most famous fighter squadrons of World War Two.
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