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L-2A Flight Jacket Named to a WWII P.O.W.


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This jacket is part of a small grouping I bought last Saturday at a garage sale. Usually I don't have much luck but as I was looking through the hall closet a majors oakleaf caught my eye. Low and behold it was a flight jacket with leather shoulder rank and name tag. I don't know much about flight jackets, but when the lady running the sale said $20, I took it.

 

As for the officer who owned this jacket. Lt. Ralph N. Leo/ne was a B-26 pilot in the European Theater. In April of 1944 after completing a bombing run of a V-1 site in France, his plane took multiple hits and caught fire, forcing the crew to bail out. All survived but Lt. Leo/ne was captured after he landed, and was eventually sent to Stalag Luft III. He was liberated at war's end and went on to serve 24 years in the Air Force and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

This is an abridged version of his service. I will be more detailed when I post the entire group at a later date.

 

As for this jacket, I know very little about this area of collecting. I have conducted some research, and have read that originals are uncommon and quite sought after by collectors. Though most original examples I have seen have the AF insignia printed on the left shoulder, mine however has no evidence of such printing. Putting the jacket and the provenance behind it together, I still don't know how much the jacket itself is worth (And no, I won't be splitting up the group). If those who know more than I could provide their two cents, I would greatly appreciate it.

post-153059-0-08256400-1468542570.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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post-153059-0-69358600-1468542968.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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Share on other sites

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post-153059-0-75353000-1468542986.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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post-153059-0-66575500-1468543010.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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post-153059-0-44729600-1468543043.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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post-153059-0-72756600-1468543062.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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post-153059-0-12663200-1468543084.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

.

post-153059-0-23424000-1468543140.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

.

post-153059-0-40471000-1468543156.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

.

post-153059-0-25056200-1468543227.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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Lt. Ralph Leo/ne in 1946.

post-153059-0-75101400-1468543341.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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Thanks Tom!

 

A minor correction to the first post: his plane took multiple hits from antiaircraft shells.

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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Share on other sites

That is a GREAT find! Over the years I've really come to appreciate how rare these early post-war flight jackets are. Congrats!

"Sometimes the bravest meet death with their deeds known only to heaven." --S.L.A. Marshall

 

 

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excellent score for 20.00...hard to come by in any condition and yours is in excellent condition and great size...with a nice tag...I think you are ok without the star on shoulder...I don't recall seeing any L-2As with the star...if anyone has a pic of the L-2A with a shoulder decal .... excluding aftermarket...

 

look forward to the rest of the group, but must assume this is the cherry on top..

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Amazing find to a real hero.Looks like he was with the 344th Bomb GP and was probably shot down durn a pre-D-Day bomb run. http://www.344bg-b26.org/

 

 

http://amarillo.com/stories/2001/08/06/obi_leone.shtml#.V4pfCznFVD0

 

http://wwii-pows.mooseroots.com/l/64185/Ralph-N-Leone

 

http://www.ww2pow.info/index.php?page=directory&rec=86825

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ASMIC #1098

 





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excellent score for 20.00...hard to come by in any condition and yours is in excellent condition and great size...with a nice tag...I think you are ok without the star on shoulder...I don't recall seeing any L-2As with the star...if anyone has a pic of the L-2A with a shoulder decal .... excluding aftermarket...

 

look forward to the rest of the group, but must assume this is the cherry on top..

 

Here is a photo I found. It looks to be the same as mine but I'll let someone more knowledgeable verify it. I have also seen photos where the was no printed image.

 

05-53_maj-ruby_squadron-co_may-53.jpg

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on a great find

Looking for: Fourth/ Seventh Rhode Island Infantry items


Purple Heart : Robert L. Freitag KIA ETO 2/11/45


Any US/German items with the last name "Freitag"


also, war-related posters



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  • 4 weeks later...

On some of my L-2A I've owned, the star was still visible on the left shoulder. As the most part of USAF clothes from this era, it was erased washing affter washing and use.

 

Even on those in very good shape, the star could have been disapeared. But perhaps you could still distinguish it with a good light.

 

Franck

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've looked over the spot where the insignia is located on others, but didn't find any indication it was removed. I was going to check it with my blacklight but it conveniently died.

Interested in items related to:

-Amarillo A.A.F. / Amarillo Air Force Base

-Military instillations located in the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and West Texas.

-"F" Company, 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard)

-413th Civil Affairs Battalion (USAR)

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2019.gif

In Memoriam:

CSM Juan H. Hernandez - U.S. Army WWII, Korea, Vietnam

RM1c William C. Denney - U.S.S. McDermut (DD-677) Korea

 

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