Original U.S. WWII B-17 Bomber Tantalizing Takeoff A-2 Flight Jacket
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The B-17 Flying Fortress Tantalizing Takeoff was part of the USAAF 8th Air Force, 401st Bomb Group, 613 Bomb Squadron. The 401st flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following summer. The Group won two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, awarded to the whole of the 1st Bomb Division, was for an unescorted raid on aircraft factories at Oschersleben on 11 January 1944. The second was awarded to the Group for a raid on Leipzig on 20 February 1944.
This is a fantastic A2 leather flight jacket was issued to the pilot of a crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Tantalizing Takeoff which was assigned to the USAAF 8th Air Force, 401st Bomb Group, 613 Bomb Squadron.
The reverse of the jacket is period hand painted in color. The painting depicts the 8th AAF insignia with a bombshell sitting in the center, 23 bombs in an arc pattern underneath and above is the plane’s name Tantalizing Takeoff. The bombs represent successfully boxing missions. There are also two black crosses with white background inside circles, these represent downed enemy aircraft. The art is faded but period authentic and is still vibrantly colorful in some areas.
Overall condition of the jacket is in 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 post war replacement as are the cuffs and the waist band. The zipper appears to be original and is fully functional. There are a set of sterling captain's bars on each epaulet indicating that this jacket belonged to a pilot or possibly a co-pilot.
Of interest is that this jacket sold on eBay in May 2018 for $3795 (not to us) making this an exceptional deal. You can verify the previous sale at this link.
A truly wonderful A-2 jacket with wonderful had painted art.
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