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Item:
ONSV1532

Original U.S. WWII P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot 511th Fighter Squadron Named Hand Painted A-2 Flight Jacket

Regular price $3,495.00

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a fantastic A2 leather flight jacket issued to CAPTAIN D. STEVENS who was a pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt  in the 511th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force during WWII.

The 405th Fighter Group was a fighter bomber unit of the United States Army Air Force in World War II. They group flew P-47 Thunderbolts in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) starting with the buildup to the Invasion of Normandy ("D-Day") through the end of the war in Europe. The 405th was a unit of the Ninth Air Force, IX Fighter Command, IX Tactical Air Command, 84th Fighter Wing.The 405th was primarily assigned to support Patton's Third Army. The group consisted of the 509th, 510th, and 511th Fighter Squadrons, plus headquarters elements. The group consisted of 73 aircraft.

Overall condition of the jacket is very good. It is a large size 44, the leather is still supple and does not have any major cracking or damage. The liner is original as are the cuffs and waistband. The cuffs show wear. The zipper is marked on the slider and handle with TALON, a known maker of quality zippers. The right lower sleeve at the wrist is split at the seam 3 inches and there is a bit of white paint in places but it doe snot detract from the look of the jacket.

The original tag is still intact:

TYPE A-2
DRAWING No30-415
POUGHKEEPSIE LEATHER
COAT CO. INC.
PROPERTY
AIR FORCE U.S. ARMY
44


The front of the jacket has a fantastic embroidered 511th Fighter Squadron patch above which is a gold embossed leather name tag that reads CAPT. D. STEVENS and above that his sterling sliver pilto wings. The reverses of the jacket features a vibrant full color hand painted Badger above which in yellow paint reads BAD GERMAN. This is a joke, a play on words, the faster you say "Bad German" it more it sounds like "Badger". Therefore, Badger became a sort of shorthand among pilots and air crews for when enemy planes were spotted in the sky or when the enemy flak guns were firing. ie. "You gotta badger at 2 O'clock".

The 405th Fighter Group was a fighter bomber unit of the United States Army Air Force in World War II. They group flew P-47 Thunderbolts in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) starting with the buildup to the Invasion of Normandy ("D-Day") through the end of the war in Europe. The 405th was a unit of the Ninth Air Force, IX Fighter Command, IX Tactical Air Command, 84th Fighter Wing. The 405th was primarily assigned to support Patton's Third Army. The group consisted of the 509th, 510th, and 511th Fighter Squadrons, plus headquarters elements. The group consisted of 73 aircraft.

The 405th Bombardment Group (Dive) was organized on 4 February 1943, at Drew Field near Tampa, Florida, and activated on 1 March 1943. The group was initially equipped with a few Douglass Dauntless and Curtis Helldiver dive bombers. The group gained some P-39 Airacobras before they left Drew. The group was redisignated as the 405th Fighter Bomber Group on 15 August 1943.[3] In September 1943 the group moved to Walterboro, South Carolina. In Walterboro the group was outfitted with the original "razorback" design P-47 Thunderbolts. In February 1944 the group moved by train to a point of embarkation (POE) camp near New York City. The group soon embarked the RMS Mauritania for transport to England. After six days at sea, two of them in hurricane conditions, the group disembarked in Liverpool. The group traveled by train to Southampton then via lorrie to Christchurch, Dorset.

From March to 29 June 1944, the 405th operated out of the RAF Christchurch.[5] After setting up camp and training over England, the group began combat operations over France. During this period their primary task was ground attack ahead of the coming Operation Overlord invasion of Normandy. The group disrupted German positions and transportation infrastructure. Train locomotives were a favorite target. The group destroyed the Seine River bridge at Mantes-Gassicourt, northeast of Paris, just before the invasion, to inhibit movement of German materiel. The group was grounded during the 6 June invasion activities because Allied command was concerned that inexperienced anti-aircraft batteries would mistake P-47s for the German FW-190. The 405th resumed flying on 10 June, providing close air support to the beachhead. On 18 June 1944, the group was redesignated to the 405th Fighter Group. A few weeks after the invasion, the 405th packed up and moved to a POE near Southampton.

While encamped at Christchurch, the Group officers bivouaced in Bure Homage, an English manor adjacent to the airfield that was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Defence for the war.

The group's most notable action was the destruction of an entire German armored division near the town of Avaranches , France on 29 July 1944. After immobilizing leading and trailing elements of the 3 mile (4.8 km) long column, the rest of the tanks and trucks were systematically destroyed with multiple sorties.

The 405th also accepted the surrender of the highly decorated Luftwaffe ace, Hans Rudel, and his officers at the end of the war

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