Original U.S. WWII Barking Devils 549th Bomb Squadron A-2 Flight Jacket
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an fantastic A2 leather flight jacket issued to a member of the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 549th Bomb Squadron, 385th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force known as the Barking Devils. We have been unable to trace the exact airman but we know his name was Bob and he was most likely from City Island. As City Island Bob is painted in red on the right chest. The left chest bears an original 549th Bomb Squadron Barking Devils insignia patch. The patch is painted canvas that has worn somewhat and has separated from the jacket along the upper most edge, but overall is solid and looks great. The reverse of the jacket is hand painted with a wonderful 8th Air Force insignia and bombs all falling atop a Nazi Swastika which is painted with cracks as if its beginning to crumble. The colors of red and yellow are vibrant and in very good condition.
Overall condition of the jacket is in very good condition. The leather is still supple, and while a bit dry, does not have any major cracking or damage. There is some minor wear in places. The liner is original as are the cuffs, which show minor damage due to wear or moth, as they are definitely wool. The zipper is marked on the slider and handle with CONMAR, a known maker of quality zippers.
The original tag is still intact:
ORDER NoW 535 A. C. 2779
J.A. DUBOW MFG. CO.
AIR FORCE U.S. ARMY
History of the 549th Bomb Squadron, 385th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force "Barking Devils": Activated in late 1942 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomb squadron, trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to England in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during June 1943, assigned to VIII Bomber Command as a strategic bombardment squadron. Participated in the air offensive over Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe until German capitulation in May 1945. Personnel demobilized in England and returned to the United States; squadron reassigned to Second Air Force and was programmed to be re-equipped with B-29 Superfortresses for deployment to Pacific Theater. Japanese capitulation led to units inactivation in September 1945, being neither manned or equipped.
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