Original WWII 90th BG Jolly Rogers 319th Bomb Squadron Asterperious Named Grouping

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Sargent William M. Clapie serial number 13172113 from Mckeesport, Pennsylvania enlisted March 2nd, 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA. He was an Aerial Gunner in B-24 bombers and was a member of the 5th Air Force, 90th Bomb Group The Jolly Rogers, 319th Bomb Squadron Asterperious. He served for just over 3 years and was honorably discharged on March 12th, 1946 with the following decorations: Asiatic Pacific Medal, American Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

He was stationed in New Guinea and flew numerous missions on B-24s during the summer of 1945 some of which are documented in his flight folder which contains pages of Individual Flight Records, Orders, Reports and his Honorable Discharge.

Included in this wonderful grouping are the following items:

1) Rare excellent condition B-10 flight jacket (size 36), with exceptionally rare 319th Bomb Squadron Asterperious patch and two 5th Air Force Patches. The condition is near mint. The original label reads: DANN CLOTHING CO. PROPERTY AIR FORCES, U.S. ARMY.

The U. S. Army Air Force Type B-10 Intermediate Flight Jacket was developed as a replacement for both the leather A-2 and sheepskin B-6 Flight Jackets.

The B-10 Flight Jacket was the first cloth-shelled, alpaca fur-lined flying jacket of the USAAF, being standardized for service in July 1943. However, actual combat issue did not take place until late February 1944, with the 8th Air Force in England receiving an initial issue of B-10 Flight Jackets with the corresponding A-9 Trousers. By the spring of 1944, the B-10 Flight Jacket was appearing in much greater quantities, as evidenced by the many 8th and 9th Air Force aircrews outfitted in this jacket in time for the D-Day invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The B-10 Flight Jacket was an instant success with just about every aviator who encountered one, being much lighter and more versatile than the jackets they replaced. Intended for wear in climates between 25 degrees and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the B-10 was ideally suited for early spring, late fall and winter. Fighter pilots took a particular shine to this slick new jacket style, as it afforded them far less bulk and considerably more comfort in their cramped cockpits. Just as with all of the flight jackets of the USAAF, the B-10 Flight Jacket's natural good looks and smart style immediately made it a coveted garment with anyone who could get their hands on one. This proved especially true among most of the senior officer ranks of the U. S. Army fighting in Europe, as numerous photographs depict non-flying, non-USAAF personnel, such as Generals Ridgeway, Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley wearing the B-10 Flight Jacket even though they had no rightful authorization to wear the jacket. Furthermore, all officers of the U. S. airborne units received B-10 Flight Jacket as issue garments just as they had once been issued leather A-2 Flight Jackets, thus furthering their elite image within the army. But it was the fighter pilot of 1944 and 1945 who was most typically personified through the wearing of a B-10 Flight Jacket.

Though very popular, the official lifespan of the B-10 Flight Jacket designation was, however, rather short, being superseded by the newer B-15 Flight Jacket specification in late 1944. Still, the B-10 Flight Jacket saw combat service right up until the end of WWII. After the war, veterans continued to wear these beloved jackets until threadbare, while surplus B-10 Flight Jackets found new homes via the great Army-Navy stores of the era. Today, an original vintage B-10 Flight Jacket in really nice condition is a very, very scarce and desirable garment to a collector, with jackets in superior condition commanding a four-figure buying price in a heartbeat.

2) Class A uniform jacket with Sergeant chevrons, 5th Air Force patches, sterling silver flight wings, and the following ribbon bars: Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, American Defense Medal (one star). Offered in excellent condition, approximate size 36 US.

3) Personal flight folder of William Clapie featuring a red cover with the 90th BG Jolly Roger insignia, the 5th Air Force insignia and the 319th Bomb Squadron Asterperious insignia. This folder is filled with pages of Individual Flight Records, Orders, Reports and his Honorable Discharge.

All in all, this is an exceptionally rare grouping, due to the where he was stationed and the rarity of the squadron to which he was assigned and the immaculate condition of the B-10 jacket.

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