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USAF Museum: WWII Flight Jackets and More


gwb123

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It probably will not surprise anyone that the National Museum of the United States Air Force has a wide variety of WWII flight jackets on display.

 

Some are painted with garish images of aircraft and sweethearts. Others have only a single squadron patch, yet are tied to historic individuals and missions.

 

These are not in any specific order, so I hope the viewer will forgive me if these jump around in both theme and time frame. However, they help remind the museum visitor that the story is not just about the planes, but also the men and women who flew in them.

 

Most of the photos on here were taken by me, but I did have to augment with a few provided on the USAF Museum's extensive website.

 

For more information, see:

 

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/MuseumExhibits/FactSheets/Display/tabid/509/Article/196847/wwii-aviator-jackets.aspx

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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If you are walking up the central corridor of the USAF museum, past the WWII Gallery and before you come to the Southeast Asia War Gallery, there is a hallway on the left hand side.

 

It nominally leads to the National Aviation Hall of Fame. But it is lined on two sides showing flight gear ensembles over the years on one side, and a selection of flight jackets on the other.

 

The only reason I explain this is I've read accounts of visitors actually walking right past this without realizing it was there.

 

Here is a rare example showing a B-32 bomber superimposed on a 5th Air Force logo.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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Eighth Air Force jacket.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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91st Bomb Group.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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This one is a bit difficult to see (and photograph). If you look closely, you will see an unclothed young lady riding inside the glass.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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Ice-Cold Katy is riding a frosted over bomb with a pair of red snow boots on.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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It's like going to a toy store when you're a kid...but you're not allowed to buy anything....

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Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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Photo taken from the USAF Museum Website. I believe this one has actually been moved elsewhere in the WWII display.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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"The Flyin' Moose" was a B-24J assigned to the 409th Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group, based at Hardwick, England. The pilot, Lt. Howard F. Bolton, named the aircraft for his father, "The Moose," and decorated his A-2 jacket with the bomb-carrying panda squadron insigne, bomb symbols for 35 missions flown, and other artwork."

(USAF Museum Website)

 

I tried very hard to create a close up of the B-24, but it basically fades out to brown on brown. At one time it may have been a chrome color.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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Moving elsewhere in the museum, these three were part of the Disney at War exhibit.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
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From the Flight Nurse's exhibit.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
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The rest of these are scattered through out the WWII Gallery.

 

AVG flight jackets. I could not get a full photo of the first one as it was placed flat in a display case.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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Doolittle Raiders.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Doolittle Raiders.

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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Tenacity over Bougainville

"Jay Zeamer and his crew performed a mission that still stands out in my mind as an epic of courage unequaled in the annals of air warfare."
- Gen. George Kenney, 5th Air Force Commander

Capt. Jay Zeamer's remarkable crew was the most highly-decorated aircrew in history. Zeamer and the bombardier, 2nd Lt. Joseph Sarnoski, received the Medal of Honor, while seven other members of the crew were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Nation's second highest honor. Nearly all received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat.

In the spring of 1943, a 43rd Bomb Group crew headed by Zeamer salvaged a wrecked and bullet-ridden B-17E and fitted it with extra machine guns -- 19 in all. Nicknamed the "Eager Beavers," they regularly volunteered to take their B-17E Old 666 on the most dangerous missions, including a seemingly impossible one on June 16, 1943.

In preparation for a planned major amphibious landing, they flew 600 miles unescorted over open sea to photograph Buka and Bougainville islands. While passing over Buka, about 20 Japanese fighters took off to intercept the lone aircraft. Rather than break off the mission, however, Zeamer continued on. As the crew finished the photo run down the coast of Bougainville, the first of several vicious, coordinated attacks began. Zeamer and his crew desperately fought against overwhelming odds to bring back their B-17 and its precious reconnaissance film.

During the first attack, the bombardier, Sarnoski, shot down a Japanese fighter, but he was knocked back by cannon fire. Although mortally wounded, he crawled back to his gun position and shot down another Japanese fighter before collapsing. He had been scheduled to go home just a few days later.

Zeamer maneuvered the B-17 to shoot down a fighter with a fixed gun in the B-17's nose, but cannon fire shattered his left knee, paralyzed his legs, and caused profuse bleeding. Enemy fire also shot the rudder pedals away, started a fire, and disabled the hydraulic, oxygen, and interphone systems. Zeamer refused medical attention, and continued to forcefully maneuver the aircraft while the crew, many of whom were also wounded, fought back.

Finally, after 45 minutes of continuous combat, several Japanese aircraft had been shot down, and the attacks ceased. For the rest of the flight, Zeamer passed in and out of consciousness from blood loss. The B-17 had received nearly 200 machine gun and five cannon hits. The flaps and brakes were inoperable, but Zeamer managed to land the aircraft at Dobodura without further injury. With about 120 metal fragments in his body, Zeamer's life hung in the balance for several days, but in the end, he survived.

 

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/MuseumExhibits/FactSheets/Display/tabid/509/Article/196216/zeamer-and-the-eager-beavers.aspx

 

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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

donation2017.gif

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


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