Original U.S. WWII B-17 Lassie Come Home 91st Bomb Group A-2 Flight Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The B-17G #42-31673 "Lassie Come Home" was assigned 96th Bomb Group in Snetterton, England on January 16th, 1944. It was transferred to the 322nd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group based in Bassingbourn, England on January 27th, 1944. On August 14th, 1944 the aircraft was on a mission to attack the aircraft factories at Halle, Germany. It was attacked by approximately 25 enemy aircraft, setting the radio room on fire and exploding in mid-air. It crashed in Deiderode, which is southwest of Gottingen, Germany. It was one of six aircraft lost in about 30 seconds. There were 4 KIA, 5 POW according to Missing Air Crew Report 8183. Prior to this date the aircraft had logged 76 missions. The owner of this jacket is unknown, though there is a name written on the interior lining which reads Kirk.

This A-2 flying jacket has fantastic features which include:

- Reverse of jacket features an incredible full color hand painted B-17 Flying Fortress. Above the plane it reads LASSIE COME HOME. Beneath the planes it reads She dood it 41 times! On either side of the plane are the 15th Air Force and 8th Ari Force insignia each with a bomb dropping below and number 26 and 15 respectively. Quite frankly we aren't sure  how the 15th Air Force factors into this plane.

Overall condition of the jacket is excellent. Offered in a very large size 44. The leather is still supple and does not have any major cracking or damage. The liner appears to be original. The cuffs and waist band are period correct replacements. The zipper is by CROWN and fully functional. There is an original maker data tag from the United Sheeplined Clothing Company of Long Branch New Jersey.  

The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla Walla, Washington for the second and third phases of training from 26-June-1942 until 24-August-1942.

Effective 1-September 1942 the Group was re-assigned to 8th Air Force and began preparation for overseas deployment. The ground echelon proceeded to Fort Dix, New Jersey and boarded the Queen Mary on 2-September-1942 arriving at Gourock, UK on 11-September 1942 and then proceeded to their first station at Kimbolton.

The air echelon left Walla Walla, Washington on 24-August-1942 for Gowen Field, Idaho and received their first B-17s. The air echelon then went to Dow Field, Maine and waited until October-1942 to receive the remainder of their B-17s. The air echelon relocates to England via the northern ferry route between 23-Sep-42 and 11-Oct-42 assembling at Kimbolton and then the entire Group moves to Bassingbourn on 14-Oct-42 where they will conduct operations until 23-Jun-45.

The 91st Bomb Group, known more informally as "the Ragged Irregulars", flew 340 missions between 7-November-1942 and 25-April-1945 in 9,591 sorties dropping 22,142 tons of bombs. The Group lost 197 aircraft MIA.

Before D-Day these were predominantly strategic bombing missions, hitting targets like aircraft factories, air fields and oil facilities. After the Allies had gained a foothold on the Continent, the Group carried out more missions in support of ground troops, such as bombing railway yards and tracks. With 420 enemy aircraft destroyed, the Group had the highest total claim of all the Eighth Air Force Bomb Groups. The Group also had the highest losses of any of these Bomb Groups, with 197 aircraft reported as missing in action over the course of the war.

Highest total claims of enemy aircraft destroyed in 1sr Bomb Division: 420
Highest losses of all 8AF Bomb Groups: 197 Aircraft MIA
First 8AF BG to attack a target in the Ruhr: 4-Mar-43 DUC awarded.
Lead the famous Schweinfurt mission of 17-Aug-43
First 8AF Bomb Group to complete 100 missions: 5-Jan-44
Selected to test first flak suits in Mar '43
B-17G 42-31909 "Nine-O-Nine" completed 140 missions without a turn back for mechanical reasons.
Find out more about the history of the 91st at and by visiting the Tower Museum at Bassingbourn (
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