Original U.S. WWII China Burma India Hump Pilot Named A-2 Jacket Grouping

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Lieutenant Milford B. Bates Jr. ASN 078177 was a an air transport pilot in the China Burma India theatre of operations during World War Two. He was stationed at 1306th Army Air Force Base Unit at the Karachi Airport, India. Activated in March 1942. ATC Station #16. Was western ATC hub of India-China Air Route, receiving large numbers of ferried aircraft from Africa and Middle East. Large Technical Service Command presence and depot facilities. Trans-India movement made via New Delhi and Calcutta for Tenth Air Force aircraft; through Chauba for Fourteenth Air Force ferried aircraft. Also performed air transport of supplies and material in CBI. Moved large amount of shipments from port facility across India via transport aircraft. Detachment was closed on 26 June 1946.

The Hump was the name given by Allied pilots in the Second World War to the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains over which they flew military transport aircraft from India to China to resupply the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces (AAF) based in China. Creating an airlift presented the AAF a considerable challenge in 1942: it had no units trained or equipped for moving cargo, and no airfields existed in the China Burma India Theater (CBI) for basing the large number of transports that would be needed. Flying over the Himalayas was extremely dangerous and made more difficult by a lack of reliable charts, an absence of radio navigation aids, and a dearth of information about the weather.

Included in this grouping are the following items:

- Type A-2 flight jacket in very good condition in a large size US 40. The leather is still supple without cracking or damage. The lining is original as are the cuffs, the waist band appears to be a period replacement. The zipper is marked on the slider and handle with CONAMR, a known maker of quality zippers. The original data tag is absent.

The most notable aspect of this jacket is the hand painted artwork. The front bears female angel drinking from a green bottle and above the gold lettered embossed name tag that read Lt. M. B. BATES is writing his name in Chinese characters. Below the name tag is an embroiled CBI patch with star, Chinese flag emblem and mountain range to top. One the left should is a classic leather CBI patch and on the right shoulder is a leather AAF patch.

Approximate Measurements of A-2 Jacket:
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to sleeve: 25"
Shoulder to shoulder: 17.5"
Chest width: 16"
Waist width: 17"
Hip width: 17"
Front length: 25"
Back length: 24"

Also included are the following items:

- Officer Overseas Garrison cap with Lieutenant bar. Size of hat is 7 1/8.

- Original Air Medal in case.

- Williams Field Class 44F year book.

- The HUMP photo album produced by photographer Neal Lynns.

- Original photos of Lt. Bates in uniform and in flight uniform.

- Binder full of wartime documents and correspondence.

- Copies of dozens of wartime photos of Bates.

Overall a really interesting A-2 jacket for a WWII CBI Hump Pilot with loads of original documentation and provenance!

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