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Korean War USMC Fighter Pilot's Flight Jacket


Dave
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Some of you may have seen my thread at: https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/351743-what-are-these-marine-squadron-patches/ where I asked about what several squadron patches were. These all came from a storage unit sale. The pilot who owned them originally flew from 1943 to 1953, being shot down in WW2 and later earning a DFC (for specific heroism) and multiple Air Medals for the amount of combat missions flown in Korea. 

So this last week, the same picker contacted me and told me that he came across the Marine's flight jacket. Not wanting to disappoint, I purchased it from him, though admittedly, I don't have a clue about flight gear and have stayed away from it for the 30+ years I've been collecting. 

 

That said, I got the jacket in the mail today and it's GORGEOUS. It's softer than my newly-issued Navy leather jacket and while it's not in perfect condition, for a 60 or 70 year old jacket...it's in pretty darn nice shape. The kicker is the gorgeous patches. I asked about the squadron patch (there was a loose one in the group) in the previous thread. However, the jacket has the "Flying Daddies" patch on the sleeve - and I can't find a thing about them on the web. I'm guessing this was a local nickname for the squadron because they had so much time in the air over Korea? 

Anyway...it's an absolutely beautiful piece that I'm honored to own...something I never thought I'd own in a million years!

Dave

 

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That is a gorgeous jacket. I love how goatskin ages and this one is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing. If you ever decide you made a mistake acquiring flight gear, let me know. I have been looking for a jacket like this forever. Congrats! 

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pararaftanr2

Just a guess here, but I wonder if the "Flying Daddies" refers to the many Korean War USN / USMC pilots who were "re-treads", having served in WW2, then, when in the reserves, were called back for the Korean conflict and had to leave wife and kids behind? 

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Thanks guys! Here are a few other things that were found with the jacket...

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  • 1 month later...

Great jacket and love those Japanese made inlaid lighters!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dave, That is a very nice jacket! My thoughts on the coins on the pull differ. One coin is a zipper pull. 5 coins has some other meaning. Any idea of the value of the coins at the time compared to USD? Or, do you know if he had any kills?

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Here is an example. When my dad was in the Airforce in the mid 50's (He was not a pilot or crewman) he was photo tech with 45th TAC Recon Squadron the Polka Dots when they were in Japan. His job  was to install, remove, develop and print film from aircraft. When they would go drinking off base every time you "killed" a bottle of Seagrams 7 you would take the ribbon off that bottle and attach it to your button hole as a tally for that kill.  I don't know if that was wide spread practice at that time or not, but I do know that's what they did. Those coins may be more than just coins. You have to find out what the unit customs were at that time. Hell for all I know they could be a tally for girls, who knows. One day when I was in my 20's I was going through my dads air force carry bag and found this strange metal object that kind of looked like a large key with a round end instead of flat. I asked him what it was. He looked me in the eye for a few seconds then told me when he was stationed in Japan he was such a regular at the local house of ill repute (not his words) they gave him his own key.  🤫

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