Original U.S. WWII and Korean War 334th Fighter Squadron A-2 Flight Jacket with Helmet

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a fantastic A2 leather flight jacket issued to a pilot that served in the 334th Fighter Squadron (Eagles) during WWII and the Korean War.

The 334th was constituted on 22 August 1942 as an incorporation of the No. 71 Squadron RAF, an Eagle Squadron of American volunteers in Great Britain's Royal Air Force. After the United States entered the war, the squadron was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces. It was officially constituted by War Department letter on 12 August 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England on 12 September 1942.

World War II
The 334th, along with the 335th and 336th Fighter Squadrons, was assigned to the VIII Fighter Command 4th Fighter Group, which was the first United States Army Air Forces unit activated in the European Theater during World War II, which was located in Essex, England.

The 334th flew British Supermarine Spitfire fighters until the arrival of Republic P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft in 1943. After about a year the squadron switched to North American P-51 Mustangs. During World War II, the 334th had a total of 395 kills against the Luftwaffe; 210 kills in the air and 185 on the ground.

Korean War
Equipped with the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, the 334th moved to Andrews Air Force Base in April 1947. In 1949 the 334th moved to Langley Air Force Base, where they were re-equipped with the North American F-86 Sabre.

In November 1950, the 334th were sent to the war in Korea. During the war they were credited with 142 kills, and they had six pilots who achieved ace status.

The 334th remained in Korea until 8 December 1957. They moved to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base as a unit of the 4th Fighter Wing. The 334th flew the North American F-100 Super Sabre until 1959, when the squadron transitioned to the Republic F-105 Thunderchief.

Major James Jabara, Captain Manuel J. "Pete" Fernandez, Major George A. Davis, Medal of Honor recipient, and Major Frederick "Boots" Blesse; the second, third, fourth and sixth (respectively) leading aces of the Korean War were assigned to the 334th. Future astronaut Captain Gus Grissom was assigned to the 334th during the Korean War.

This wonderful set features a WWII issue A-2 leather flying jacket. The left chest bears a Korean war era embroidered original 334th Fighter Squadron patch.

The right chest bears a Korean war era embroidered original 4th Fighter Wing patch.

However, the most interesting aspect of this jacket is the handprinted all original art on the back. This art features the 334th Fighter Squadron fighting eagle emblem. Each boxing glove is labeled USA and ENGLAND. There are two Swass which represent aerial kills as well as a sunken ship, a train and two trucks which represent destruction of this vehicles. The art is full color, vibrant and highly detailed. 

Overall condition of the jacket is very good. The leather is still supple and does not have any major cracking or damage. Size is approximately a US 38. The liner is a period replacement as are the cuffs and waist band. The zipper is fully functional but missing the end stopper. There is an original maker data tag but it is detached. A truly amazing A-2 jacket with wonderful had painted art.

Also included is a early 1950s P-1A Flight helmet which is painted blue and features the 334th Fighter Squadron insignia to the front. Adopted in 1949, the P-1A Flight helmet was basically an advanced version of the P-1 with introduction of a fixed chin-strap, addition of a nape-strap, attachment of the HS-38 headset with Nylon cord. A further modification involved upgrading of the oxygen mask leather attachment tabs. Ruber farmed goggles of the B-8 type were normally used with the The P-1A which in some cases has been later retrofitted with P-3 style visor. The P-1A was utilized with A-13A and A-14 oxygen mask.

Overall an extremely rare and interesting set from a fighter pilot that served in both WWII and the Korean War.
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