Original U.S. WWII B-17 560th Bomb Squadron Little Boy Blue with Bugs Bunny Gremlin A-2 Flight Jacket
Original Item: One-of-a-kind."Little Boy Blue was a Douglas B-17 in the 388th Bomb Group - 560th Squadron stationed in Knettishall in England during WWII.
388th Bombardment Group (Heavy):
Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England in Jun 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Began operations on 17 Jul 1943 by attacking an aircraft factory in Amsterdam.
Functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment Organization until the war ended. Targets included industries, naval installations, oil storage plants, refineries, and communications centers in Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Norway, Rumania, and Holland.
Received a DUC for withstanding heavy opposition to bomb vital aircraft factory at Regensburg on 1 Aug 1943. Received another DUC for three outstanding missions: an attack against a tire and rubber factory in Hannover on 26 Jul 1943; the bombardment of a synthetic oil refinery in Brux on 12 Ma 1944; and a strike against a synthetic oil refinery at Ruhland on 21 Jun 1944, during a shuttle raid from England to Russia.
Attacked many other significant targets, including aircraft factories in Kassel, Reims, and Brunswick; airfields in Bordeaux, Paris, and Berlin; naval works at La Pallice, Emden, and Kiel; chemical industries in Ludwigshafen; ball-bearing plants in Schweinfurt; and marshalling yards in Brussels, Osnabruck, and Bielefeld. Operations also included support and interdictory missions.
Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by attacking military installations in France, and on D-Day struck coastal guns, field batteries, and transportation. Continued to support ground forces during the campaign that followed, hitting such objectives as supply depots and troop concentrations. Bombed in support of ground forces at St Lo in Jul 1944 and at Caen in Aug. Covered the airborne assault on Holland in Sep 1944 by attacking military installations and airfields at Arnheim. Aided the final drive through Germany during the early months of 1945 by striking targets such as marshalling yards, rail bridges, and road junctions.
Little Boy Blue was piloted by Lt. Gordon K. Penton who flew over 50 combat missions in "Little Boy Blue." This jacket is not named but after carefully inspecting a photo of the crew we do believe that we can identify the jacket as the location of the eagle wing can just been seen in the photo of the crew in front of their plane.
This A-2 jacket features some wonderful painting including:
- Painted art featuring the B17's name "Little Boy Blue" on the back along with 15 yellow bombs (indicating successful missions flown) and a large American Eagle.
On the front of the jacket is the logo for the 560th Bomb Squadron which is a Warner Brother's Gremlin from The Bugs Bunny cartoon series. You cartoon buffs out there recall the Bugs Bunny shorts from World War II featuring little gremlins who tear apart Bugs' warplane in flight? They were based on a short story by Roald Dahl done during the war for Disney Studios. Disney was developing a feature from the story, but could not secure the complete rights, partially owned by the British Air Ministry, so he mothballed the project. Dahl would release it in book form using Disney development art as illustrations.
Offered in very good condition, supple leather with original lining (upper portion of lining appears to be a period replacement), original waistband, original cuffs and an original functional TALON zipper. A classic with a vintage Warner Brother's character on an A-2 jacket, this is not one to miss!
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