Original U.S. WWII Jet Wilson Fighter Pilot A-2 Flight Jacket Grouping - 383rd Fighter Squadron

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. This is a wonderful A-2 flight jacket with flight helmet and oxygen mask which all belonged to Captain Bruce B. Wilson aka "JET WILSON" who flew a variety of fighter planes including a Lockheed P-38 Lightning and a North American Aviation P-51 Mustang during World War Two as a member of the 383rd Fighter Squadron, 364th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force. He had a least one confirmed aerial victory (kill) which occurred on September 12th, 1944 when he flew the Lockheed P-38 Lightning serial number 43-28406 which was named "The Gallant Warrior". Captain Wilson and his service in the ETO in the Army Air Force can be easily found through online research complete with photos and documents.

The following links provide more information:

Photo of Lt. Wilson and Crew - Lt. Wilson And Crew Of The 364Th Fighter Group, 67Th Fighter Wing, Pose Beside The Lockheed P-38 'Gallant Warrior' At 8Th Air Force Station F-375, Honnington, England. 12 June 1944.

Photo of Captain Wilson in Cockpit - Capt Bruce B. Wilson (1 vict on 12 sept 44) one of his mounts : P38-J 43-28406 "The Gallant Warrior"

Captain B. Wilson Group A call sign "sunhat"

American Air Museum

The 383rd Fighter Squadron, organized and trained in California in 1943, was assigned to the 364th Fighter Group. It arrived England in February 1944 and was assigned to VIII Fighter Command at RAF Honington, East Anglia.

It initially flew escort, dive-bombing, strafing and patrol missions in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. It initially operated primarily as an escort for B-17 and B-24 Liberator heavy bombers.

It patrolled the English Channel during the Normandy invasion in June 1944, and, while continuing escort operations, supported ground forces in France after the invasion by strafing and bombing locomotives, marshalling yards, bridges, barges and other targets. It switched from P-38 aircraft to P-51C/D Mustangs in the summer of 1944, and from then until the end of the war flew many long-range missions, escorting heavy bombers that attacked oil refineries, industries and other strategic objectives in Berlin, Regensburg, Merseburg, Stuttgart, Brussels and elsewhere. It also flew air-sea rescue missions, engaged in patrol activities, and continued to support ground forces as the battle line moved through France and into Germany.

The squadron demobilized in England during the late summer and fall of 1945, and its personnel returned to the United States. It was officially inactivated in November, 1945.

Including in this wonderful named grouping are the following items:

- Russet brown leather A-2 flight jacket in size 42. The jacket beautiful hand-painted detail to the back, featuring an impressive depiction of a full color angry turtle flying at speed with "JET" WILSON below in yellow letting with black highlights. The left chest bears an extremely rare full color embroidered 383rd Fighter Squadron insignia patch, featuring a BUGS BUNNY hurling lightning bolts. Beneath the insignia is an embossed leather name tag that reads B.B. WILSON.

Manufacturer tag reads:
Type A-2
DWG No. 301415
Cont. No. W 535 AC-28557
Star Sportswear MFG Co
Air Force, U. S. Army.

The jacket is totally original and in very good condition. Has original TALON zipper, two front pouch buttoned pockets (functional snaps), and original knit waist band but the knit wrist cuffs are missing. In very good condition, with some minor tears to the inner lining and nips to the waistband with overall expected wear from use and storage.

- Leather flying helmet, with head phones 10A/12401, Type A-14 oxygen mask with microphone 10A/12570. Air Ministry Helmet is marked BB WILSON on inside near left ear. Overall condition is good, but does show wear and age.
- High quality printed copies of photos of Wilson during wartime in England in uniform with this crew and in the cockpit.
Overall a fantastic very rare set that belonged to a fighter pilot who flew missions over the English channel and occupied Europe during WWII with at least one confirmed aerial victory in 1944. It doesn't get mush better than this!
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