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ONCSS21031

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Original U.S. WWII B-24 SPLASH Radio Operator 785th Bomb Squadron Named and Painted A-2 Flight Jacket

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Technical Sargent Norman Boehm, ASN 15121335, was a radio operator of the  B-24 Liberator (# 42-52510) SPLASH, crew number 533 (Pilot Morgan Cox) which was assigned to the 785th Bomb Squadron, 466th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. Norman completed 32 mission combat runs between June 1944 and Auust 1944. In addition to using his plane's nose art he personalized his A-2 jacket with he and his wife's nicknames "Haze and Norm".

The 785th Bomb squadron arrived at its combat station, RAF Attlebridge in England in March 1944. It flew its first combat mission on 22 March in an attack on Berlin, Germany. It engaged primarily in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, with targets that included oil refineries and facilities at Bohlen and Misburg, marshalling yards at Liège and Saarbrücken, factories at Brunswick, Kempten and Eisenach, repair facilities at Reims, mining facilities near Hamburg and airfields at Saint-Trond and Chartres.

The squadron also flew air support and air interdiction missions. It attacked pillboxes in Normandy on D-Day to support Operation Overlord and performed interdiction missions against targets beyond the beachhead in the following days. During Operation Cobra, the breakout at Saint Lo in July, it bombed German positions in the city. It attacked lines of communication during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and January 1945. On 24 March, it supported Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine by attacking a military air base at Nordhorn. The squadron's last mission of the war was flown on 25 April 1945 against electrical facilities at Traunstein.

This is a very nice condition size 42 A-2 flying jacket manufactured by Perry Sportswear of Newburgh, NY. It retains the original data label, original functional zipper and has period accurate post war replacement knit cuffs and waistband. The reverse side features hand painted nose art of the B-24 liberator SPLASH along with 32 bombs which signify combat missions and "Haze and Norm" which were Norman and his wife's nickname. Also included is a binder of research and pages of photocopies of original documents and photos. Technical Sargent Norman Boehm along with a photo can be found on the American Air Museum in Britain database website at this link.
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