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Original U.S. WWII B-17 Flying Fortress 365th Bomb Squadron Named A-2 Flight Jacket

Regular price $2,295.00

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The 365th Bomb Squadron, part of the 305th Bomb Group "Can Do" was established in June 1942 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment unit which trained under the Second Air Force. It deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in September 1942, being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England. The squadron began flying long-range strategic bombardment missions on 17 November 1942 and attacked such targets as submarine pens, docks, harbours, shipyards, motor works and marshalling yards in France, Germany and the Low Countries. It continued its attacks on enemy cities, manufacturing centers, transportation links and other targets until the German capitulation in May 1945.

After combat missions ended, the squadron moved to St Trond Air Base, Belgium in July 1945 where it conducted photo-mapping and intelligence-gathering flights called Project 'Casey Jones' over Europe and North Africa. On 15 December 1945 it moved to Lechfeld Airfield, Germany which it had bombed on 18 March 1944 and now used as an occupation base. The squadron was inactivated on October 1946 in Germany.

The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to Muroc Lake Air Base in California for intensive flight training between 29-Jun-42 to 20-August-1942

In early September 1942 the ground unit traveled by train to Fort Dix, New Jersey then on 5-September-1942 the ground unit sailed on the Queen Mary and disembarked on at Greenock, Inverclyde, UK on 12-September-1942 and proceeded to their UK Station 106 at Grafton Underwood.

Meanwhile, the air unit proceeded to Syracuse, New York for six weeks of advanced flight training between late August 1942 until October 1942 when they received new B-17F bombers. The bombers flew via the Presque Isle, Maine-Gander, Newfoundland-Prestwick, UK route during October 1942 and assembled at Grafton Underwood. The Group flew its first mission on 17-November-1942 flying a diversion mission for other groups bombing the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. On 11-Dec-1942 the Group was relocated to Station 105, Chelveston where it remained for the remainder of the war. For a week in July 1945, the Group moved to St. Trond, Belgium, where it conducted photo-mapping flights over Europe and North Africa as part of Project "Casey Jones".

During their tour of duty the Group flew 337 missions in 9,321 sorties and dropped 22,363 tons of bombs. The Group lost 154 aircraft MIA; 13 of those losses occurred on the famous "2nd Schweinfurt" mission of 14-Oct-1943, the most losses of any Bomb Group participating in that action. Because of the losses the Group sustained on that mission, the Group was given the Nazi flag that flew above that city when it was captured by the US 42nd Infantry Division in April 1945.

- Between June 1942 and May 1943, under Commanding Officer Col. Curtis LeMay, the - "Can Do" Group pioneered formations and bombing procedures that later became standard procedure for the Eighth Air Force
- The Group was part of the first raid over Germany, bombing the navy yards at Wilhelmshaven on 27 January 1943.
- First night attack of 8AF by 422BS 8-Sep-43.
- Distinguished Unit Citation 4-Apr-43 Paris.
- Distinguished Unit Citation 11-Jan-44 Halberstadt.
- Congressional Medal of Honor 1Lt William R. Lawley, Jr. 20-Feb-44 Leipzig
- Congressional Medal of Honor 1Lt Edward S. Mitchell 11-Apr-44 Stettin


This excellent condition A-2 jacket features some wonderful features including:

- Hand painted Johnny with a pair of luck dice above a leather hand painted patch of the  365th Bombardment Squadron insignia sewn to left chest.
- 30 hand painted yellow bombs on right breast the final reads FIN US 365. 
- Hand painted 8th Air Force insignia on left shoulder.
- Hand painted G inside triangle insignia on left shoulder (as seen on tails of B-17 aircraft)
- Large size 40.
- Functional TALON zipper.
- Original liner, cuffs and waistband.
- Data label that reads:

DWG. NO. 30-1415

A truly wonderful named jacket from one of the most prestigious Bomb Groups in WWII offered in wonderful condition.

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