Original U.S. WWII B-17 Named Pilot 613th Bomb Squadron A-2 Flight Jacket - 31 Documented Missions

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Captain John W. McGoldrick was a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Pilot who flew 31 missions over Germany and Occupied Territory during WWII from 09/25/1944 (mission #147) to 03/18/1945 (mission #231). This information along with a record of all 31 missions can be verified at the 401st Bomb Group website at this link. There is also a 146 page document of the history of the squadron where he is mentioned dozens of times which can be read at this link. One of the many planes he flew was called MAC'S GOLDBRICKS, which is a play on the last name McGoldrick.

He was assigned to the 613th Bomb Squadron, 401st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Captain McGoldrick flew missions to some of the most well known German cities and high value targets of the Second World War. His mission list is as follows:

1) 09/25/1944    Frankfurt (#147)     44-6132 Snicklefritz
2) 09/26/1944    Osnabruck (#148)     44-6313 Budd's Dudds
3) 09/30/1944    Munster (#151)         43-37706 Satan's Chillen
4) 10/03/1944    Nurnburg (#152)     42-102947 D-Day Dottie
5) 0/06/1944    Stargard (#153)     43-38267 Maximum Effort
6) 10/07/1944    Politz (#154)         44-6104 Homing Pigeon
7) 10/17/1944    Cologne (#157)         Unknown
8) 10/19/1944    Mannheim (#158)     Unknown
9) 10/22/1944    Hanover (#159)         43-38187 Carrie B III
10) 10/25/1944    Hamburg (#160)         (Unknown)
11) 10/26/1944    Bielfeld (#161)     (Unknown)
12) 11/02/1944    Merseburg (#164)     44-6132 Snicklefritz
13) 11/04/1944    Hamburg (#165)         42-102947 D-Day Dottie
14) 11/05/1944    Frankfurt (#166)     44-6132 Snicklefritz
15) 11/06/1944    Harburg (#167)         44-6132 Snicklefritz1
16) 11/26/1944    Misburg (#173)         42-31072 Betty J.
17) 12/06/1944    Merseburg (#178)     44-8449 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
18) 12/12/1944    Merseburg (#180)     42-31891 The Shape
19) 12/27/1944    Gerolstein (#184)     43-38941
20) 12/31/1944    Krefeld (#188)         42-97780 Blue Bomb Express
21) 01/01/1945    Kassel (#189)         44-6313 Budd's Dudds
22) 01/17/1945    Paderbom (#197)     44-8550 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
23) 01/28/1945    Cologne (#200)         44-8550 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
24) 02/06/1945    Giessen (#204)         44-8648 (PFF Ship)
25) 02/09/1945    Lutzkendorf (#205)     44-8648 (PFF Ship)
26) 02/15/1945    Dresden (#208)         44-8449 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
27) 02/22/1945    Ludwigslust (#212)     44-8449 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
28) 02/23/1945    Ottingen (#213)     44-8550 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
29) 02/28/1945    Soest (#218)         44-8256 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
30) 03/01/1945    Heilbron (#219)     44-8825 (PFF & Gee-H Ship)
31) 03/18/1945    Berlin (#231)         42-97947 (PFF Ship)

Though Captain McGoldick had many crew members, during different missions, his primary #1 crew consisted of the following crewmen:

Crewman                Role
Capt John W. McGoldrick     Pilot
1st Lt Harry C. Miller         Copilot
1st Lt Lester G. Lewis         Navigator
1st Lt George W. Peek         Bombardier
T/Sgt Gerald L. Beck         Radio Operator
T/Sgt James F. Sheldon         Engr / Top Turret
S/Sgt James R. Grumann         Ball Turret Gunner
S/Sgt Robert E. St. Ledger     Tail Gunner
S/Sgt James E. Lindsay         Waist Gunner

One notable mission (#154) occurred on October, 7th 1944 to Politz Poland in the B-17 44-6104 "Homing Pigeon" to bomb the Synthetic Oil Plant. This was one of the most difficult and costly missions flown by the 401st. The Group furnished three 12 aircraft squadrons comprising the 94th Combat Wing "C" unit and 12 aircraft making up the High Squadron of the 94th "B" unit, plus PFF aircraft. Although much cloud cover was encountered en route, weather over the primary target was clear except for an effective smoke screen over the target. For that reason, and because the Group was forced out of position by another formation, the lead bombardiers had difficulty identifying the MPI's. However, bombs were observed striking in the approximate area of the assigned MPI's.
Flak on the bomb run from Stettin to Politz was intense and accurate. As a result the 401st lost five aircraft, and the Wing lost 17 of the 142 aircraft which attacked Politz.

In addition to the lost aircraft, three 401st ships received major flak damage and 40 received minor damage. The casualties totaled 45 killed or missing in action, three seriously wounded and four slightly wounded. McGoldick and his crew returned to base safely.

This fantastic A2 leather flight jacket was issued to Captain John W. McGoldrick. The left chest bears an original 613th Bomb Squadron insignia which is hand painted in full color and features a cartoon character bomb wearing boxing gloves. Above the insignia is an embossed leather name tag that reads J.W. McGoldrick.  Each shoulder bears embossed Captain's bars and the left upper sleeve has a wonderful embroidered 8th Air Force insignia patch.

The right chest features 30 white bombs indicating 30 successful bomb runs (successful meaning he made it back alive). Under the left front pocket flap are two more white bombs which we believe represent missions in which he served as a co-pilot.  

The reverse of the jacket is hand painted with MACS GOLDBRICKS in white. Research shows that there was a B-17 called MAC'S GOLDBRICKS which was part of the 401st Bomb Group and was almost certainly the one listed as "unknown" in Captain McGoldrick's mission list as B-17 name is a play on his last name.

Overall condition of the jacket is very good. The leather is still supple and does not have any major cracking or damage. There is some minor wear in places but it is as to be expected. The liner, cuffs, and waistband are all original. The zipper is TALON and is complete and original and even has a British Air Ministry marked while attached to the pull. The data tag in the jacket is present. The jacket was produced by STAR SPORTSWEAR and is a size 40.

Also include with this set is a binder with 164 pages of the history of the 613th, printed photo of McGoldrick with his crew and a printed photo of another MAC'S GOLDBRICKS A-2 from a photo taken in 1945.

Overall this is nothing short of an incredible jacket named to a well researched known pilot who completed 31 successful missions over German forces during WW2!

History of the 613th Bombardment Squadron: On arrival in England, half of the 401st group's aircrews were immediately reassigned to the 351st Bombardment Group.[6] The rest of the squadron became part of Eighth Air Force at RAF Deenethorpe. The 613th became part of the 92d Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-S.

On 26 November the 613th flew its first combat mission against Bremen, Germany. The 401st group did not suffer the combat loss of an airplane until its ninth mission on 30 December.[8] The squadron operated chiefly against strategic targets, bombing industries, submarine facilities, shipyards, missile sites, marshalling yards, and airfields. On 11 January 1944 the squadron was in the lead group of the 1st Bombardment Division in an attack against aircraft manufacturing facilities at Ochsersleben, Germany. Although the bombers were able to attack, poor weather conditions prevented the division from receiving effective fighter cover. For over three hours the bomber formation suffered more than 400 attacks by Luftwaffe fighters, including air-to-air rocket attacks. Despite these attacks the unit continued its attack and struck a telling blow against German aircraft production for which the squadron was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC).

A little over a month later, on 20 February, the squadron earned its second DUC for an attack on the Erla Maschinenwerke aircraft manufacturing facilities in Leipzig, Germany. Despite fighter attacks and battle damage to the 613th's planes, 100% of the unit’s bombs fell within 1000 feet of the aiming point. Beginning in October 1944, the unit concentrated its attacks on Axis oil reserves.

In addition to strategic missions, squadron operations included attacks on transportation, airfields, and fortifications prior to the Normandy invasion. On D-Day the 613th attacked Normandy beachhead areas dropping bombs five minutes before troops landed. The following month it provided close air support for the breakthrough at Saint-Lô, it also supported the siege of Brest in August and Operation Market Garden in September. During the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and January 1945, the unit attacked transportation and communications in the battle area. It supported airborne forces involved in Operation Varsity in March 1945.

The squadron flew its last combat mission on 20 April 1945 against Brandenberg. It had flown 254 combat missions from Deenethorpe airfield After V-E Day, the squadron flew missions to Linz, Austria to evacuate British and French prisoners of war. It also flew Trolley sightseeing missions at low level, flying ground support personnel over the Ruhr and Frankfurt am Main to see the damage that had been done as a result of their efforts.

The unit was alerted for redeployment to the Pacific Theater and the last plane departed Deenethorpe in early June. The ground echelon sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on the fifth. Upon arrival in the US, personnel were granted thirty days leave, reassembling at Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, but plans had changed and personnel were either transferred to Boeing B-29 Superfortress units or processed for discharge and the squadron was inactivated.

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