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Original U.S. WWII Named Pilot B-17 Smokey 508th Bomb Squadron A-2 Flight Jacket

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Captain Marvin V. Harman (ASN O-735077) flew 34 bombing missions between May 13th, 1943 and August 18th, 1944 as a Pilot, Co-Pilot, and Tail gunner aboard multiple B-17 Flying Fortresses as a member of 508th Bomb Squadron, 351st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force during World War Two. Many of the missions he and his crew flew on the B-17 "Smokey". A complete list with full details of his missions can be found on the 351st Bomb Group Association website at this link.

This A-2 flying jacket has fantastic features which include:

- Reverse of jacket features an incredible full color hand painted B-17 Flying Fortress with correct tail sign for the 351st Bombardment Group and nose art SMOKEY. Beneath the planes are 35 bombs all of which are yellow except 3 are red. One bomb is circled which we believe indicates the D-Day invasion mission which is confirmed on his mission list for June 6th, 1944. He flew to Caen, France and bombed a gun emplacement.

- The left chest bears a hand painted leather patch with the 508th Bomb Squadron insignia. Just this patch alone is considered exceptionally rare.

- Above the insignia patch is a branded leather name tag that reads PILOT M.V. HARMAN.

Overall condition of the jacket is excellent. Offered in a large size 42. The leather is still supple and does not have any major cracking or damage. The liner is original. The cuffs and waist band appear to be original, the wrist cuffs are a bit tattered. The zipper is by TALON and fully functional. There is an original maker data tag from Star Sportswear of Lynn Massachusetts.

The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer gunner for the making of recruitment film 'Combat America'. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing an aircraft factory at Anklam, Germany under heavy fire, on 9 October 1943 and the second for a mission on 11 January 1944 bombing aircraft factories at Oschersleben, a DUC that was awarded to all 1st Bomb Division Groups.
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