Original U.S. WWII 8th Air Force B-17 GRANITE STATE Painted A-2 Leather Flight Jacket of Waist Gunner Sgt. Kenneth Green With Ike Jacket and Research Binder

Item Description

Painted WWII American A-2 Flight Jackets have realized unprecedented prices in the past year. For example jackets at Rock Island Auctions sold in 2022 for $32,000+ and $23,000+ respectively they can be found at this link and this link. When comparing the Rock Island Auction jackets with the one offered here, one can easily see that our offering is an exceptional value!

Original Items: Only One Grouping Available. This is an incredible grouping featuring a painted leather A-2 flight jacket which belonged to. Sergeant Kenneth A. Green who was a Waist Gunner on several B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft from September 1944 through March 1945 and was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 398th Bombardment Group, 603rd Bomb Squadron.

On November 21, 1944, he was unfit for duty that day (apparently he had been in a bar fight the night before) and his assigned aircraft, The “Nutty Hussy”, was shot down with all personnel Killed In Action. He flew a total of 30 combat missions and was awarded the Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters. He can be found in the American Air Museum in Britain database at this link

The A-2 jacket is in wonderful condition with fantastic hand painted artwork and embroidered insignia. The reverse of the jacket has a painted image of The Old Man of the Mountain, also called the Great Stone Face which was a series of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire. It became a landmark and a cultural icon for the state of New Hampshire. THE GRANITE STATE is painted in a circle around it. This is a nickname for New Hampshire. Beneath this are 30 small bombs painted in white symbolizing the number of combat missions he flew.

The left chest features an incredible Disney inspired squadron patch. The embroidered patch is of Pete, the arch-nemesis of Mickey Mouse. Above the squadron patch is a beautiful embroidered Gunner Badge on a blue felt background. The right side chest of the jacket, in green paint, is the name Greenie which was Sergeant Green’s nickname. The left shoulder has a lovely 8th Air Force patch and the right shoulder strap is Green’s dog tag attached by the breakaway bead chain.

Jacket is in size US 36 and has retained all original components including original knit waist band and sleeve cuffs, something we often see replaced on A-2 jackets that saw extensive service. Also original is the CROWN brand zipper which is still functional.

The interior lining does have tearing and stitching loss present, so do handle it with care. Also present on the interior lining is a stenciled G 8815 which is the laundry number for Green. The tag is still present but unfortunately only the size 36 is still legible.

Also included in the grouping:
- Sgt. Green’s Ike Jacket: This is a fantastic condition Ike jacket which bears the laundry number of Green on the interior lining. The Ike is in a size 36D and features an array of wonderful insignia. The left shoulder has an embroidered 8th Air Force patch with a set of rank chevrons on each sleeve. The left side of the front has a lovely set of Aerial Gunner “wings” on a blue felt square backdrop. Beneath the wings are 3 Wolf Brown ribbons for the Air Medal (4 OLC), Army Good Conduct and EAME (4 Stars).

- Air Medal Citation and Medal with Case: Original Air Medal Citation dated 28 September 1944. Air medal, lapel device and ribbon are in great condition while the case is a little worn with an exposed hinge.

- Name Tag: This is a fantastic name tag which features a picture of Green as well as his name and signature. Whatever material was used to coat the pin is cracking but does not subtract from the beauty of it.

- Dog Tag: Which reads - K A GREEN 31308815 T43-44 MILDRED GREEN 695 MAPLE ST MANCHESTER N.H.

- Binder of Research: This is an amazing source of information on Green and his unit. The binder is all copies of original documents and has a fantastic original pictures, including one from a reunion before he died. The information in the binder contains an account for each of his 30 missions.

This is an incredible example of a identified ultra rare painted A-2 jacket offered in wonderful condition with loads of research.

603rd Bombardment Squadron
The 603th Bombardment Squadron was activated at Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington in early 1943 as one of the four original squadrons of the 398th Bombardment Group. The squadron trained under II Bomber Command with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses. The squadron's training was interrupted in July 1943, when it became a Replacement Training Unit. Replacement training units were oversized units which trained aircrews prior to their deployment to combat theaters.[4] In November, replacement training ended and the squadron resumed its preparation for overseas deployment.

The 603d deployed to England in April 1944 aboard the USS Wakefield (AP-21). Its parent group was the last B-17 group to be assigned to VIII Bomber Command. The squadron flew its first combat mission the following month. Until V-E Day the squadron participated in the air offensive against NSDAP Germany, bombing such targets as factories in Berlin, marshaling yards in Saarbrücken, shipping facilities in Kiel, oil refineries in Merseburg and aircraft factories in Münster.

In June 1944, prior to Operation Overlord, the Normandy invasion, the squadron temporarily suspended its strategic bombing to attack coastal defenses and enemy troop concentrations on the Cherbourg peninsula. Eighth Air Force took advantage of the diversion from strategic bombing to allow newly arrived units like the 603d to fly attacks against nearby targets to gain combat experience. The first target assigned was a V-1 flying bomb launch site near Sottevast, but the unit's inexperience and overcast conditions in the target area caused it to return to its home station without bombing.

The squadron also struck gun positions near Eindhoven to support Operation Market Garden, the airborne attacks in the Netherlands, in September and attacked power stations, railroads and bridges during the Battle of the Bulge from December until January 1945. It attacked airfields in March 1945 during Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine River.

The squadron flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945 when it attacked the airfield at Plzeň, Czechoslovakia. After the German surrender it transported liberated prisoners of war from Germany to France. It left Europe in May and returned to the United States aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth, arriving at the New York Port of Embarkation on 29 June. Squadron members were given thirty days leave, and a cadre assembled at Drew Field, Florida, where the squadron was inactivated in August 1945.

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