I have bought it without any info 11 years ago from ebay.
Inside was an old stamp with an address but i was never able to find out anything. I was close selling it. :pinch:
Until yesterday....... I was able to match an old phonenumber to that address and find the same number with another address not to far from the old location. I gave it a try and to my surprise talked to the son of the airman who once owned the jacket. He was very friendly and told me a lot of his fathers service and he also mentioned how relieved he feels about his fathers jacket being with someone who cares for it and it's history. This was a great compliment for me.
The jacket was worn by Ray Parker from Ohio, SSgt in the 576th Bomb Squadron, 392nd Bomb Group.
He joined the AAF in 1943 and trained as a ball turret gunner on a B-17. Ironically he ended up in a B-24 as waist gunner in the 392nd BG flying out of Wendling, England. He flew his first mission on the 24th December 1944 and added 30 more to his records until the end of the war in 1945.
This was a great day for me and i feel honored to be the caretaker of that piece of history and story of one brave mans service.
The front of the jacket shows the insignia of the 392nd bomb group and a painted Indian Chiefs head and a RAF emergency whistle is hanging from the collar.
Edited by Rattle, 07 August 2009 - 03:43 AM.