Original U.S. WWII Downed Normandy Fighter Pilot Painted A-2 Jacket with Disney 31st Fighter Squadron Patch - DSC Recipient Lt. Lyle Monkton

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this was an incredible discovery! This A-2 jacket features an incredibly rare Disney designed squadron patch below the name tag that bears the name L. MONKTON. Lieutenant Lyle Monkton was a Fighter Pilot with the 31st Fighter Squadron as well as various other units, which is where he earned his Distinguished Service Cross. His citation can be found at this link. The best feature of this jacket is the story we uncovered behind the photo (see photo section) of a lovely nurse lighting the cigarette of Lt Monkton.

The caption we found for the photo reads as:

“Lt. Jennie K. Miller, Lexington, Ky., U. S. Army Nurse, is lighting a cigarette for Lt. Lyle Monkton, Clinton, Iowa, somewhere in Normandy. He owes his life to his love of chewing gum. Shot down behind enemy lines while on a mission over Cherbourg, he suffered a nasty thigh wound. He chewed a wad of gum, packed the wound with it and hid in a creek until an American patrol found him. His unusual first aid technique was a success and saved his life”

The A-2 jacket, which is in wonderful condition, features all original components including period replacement sleeve cuffs, something we often see on A-2 jackets that saw extensive service. Also original is the Crown brand zipper which is still functional. The left side of the jacket features an incredible Disney Animations Studio designed “Wolf Standing on a Cloud” patch armed with a sidearm. The paint is retained quite nicely though there is the expected cracking in the paint present. By the time America entered WWII, Disney animations had proven themselves as true feature-length films with box-office toppers like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Dumbo. Disney’s animated shorts had already gained immense popularity to the point where Mickey Mouse was depicted on the patch of a Naval Reserve Squadron.

Although unsanctioned by Disney, the pre-war patch started a trend that exploded across the military during WWII. In fact, Disney had to dedicate five artists to the full-time task of filling requests for military insignias. The Navy in particular had a fondness for incorporating Disney characters into its insignias.

The interior lining does have tearing and stitching loss present, so do handle it with caution. The top rear back portion of the liner still retains the original tag which reads as:

DRAWING NO. 30-1415
A.C. NO. 42-18776P

He had what appears to be a long career in the US Air Force, making for a wonderful research opportunity!

Distinguished Service Cross Citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Air Corps) Lyle Monkton, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a P-38 Fighter Airplane of the 428th Fighter Squadron, 474th Fighter Group, NINTH Air Force, in action against enemy forces on 22 June 1944, in the European Theater of Operations. Captain Monkton's unquestionable valor in aerial combat is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the United States Army Air Forces.

A lovely example that comes more than ready for further research and display!

Approximate Measurements
Collar to shoulder: 10"
Shoulder to sleeve: 24”
Shoulder to shoulder: 16”
Chest width: 18"
Waist width: 17.5"
Hip width: 17”
Front length: 26"

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