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'The Flying Circus' 380th Bomb Group (531st Squadron) Donald Duck A-2


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all1knew

Hello all,

 

 I personally see absolutely nothing wrong with this A-2 from Chicago but would like to get some additional feedback and opinions. The grouping is currently on hold and just want to make sure everything checks out. The lot includes a book about the history of the 380th Bomb Group 'The Flying Circus', pilot is named on page 183, he is also listed on page 30 of the separate 380th Bomb Group Association book,

 

My main concern is the Donald Duck patch. I can't find anything wrong with it but better safe than sorry.

 

Thoughts please?

 

William Kramer

 

 

PMU17A.png.0f7a5fb88b2efb434d82ae9c7519b0b8.png

 

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walika

It's hard to tell not having the jacket to examine but I have concerns about the patch. Embroidery does not look right to me. Note the loose, coarse and imprecise stitching, including the black border, Donald's hat, face and cuffs, missing outline to white head and lower portion of yellow beek. Add to this that the patch does not present as though it has been attached to this jacket for 75 years. Does the stitching of the patch on the inside of the lining look old?

 

From my post, here.

 

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Jeffro

Personally, I think it looks good. That appears to be the olive drab sewing thread commonly issued in sewing kits of the period and the name tag is sewn the same way using the same thread. The slight fading around edges of liner creases around patch and name tag look to me like they were seen on that long ago. The slightly raised leather around both are consistent with patches seen on that long ago. There’s no way of knowing how frequently the jacket was worn and I would suspect not that often given the theater of operation. It looks like the original owner took care of this jacket, and given the other supporting items, I think it’s good. Just my opinion. Jeffro

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I also think it looks right for the reasons mentioned sbove. 

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1canpara

I’m not a patch expert at all, but I love this jacket! Incredible! …and the connection to the Flying Circus is awesome! I have a heavily (and badly) modified M-1 made into a flak helmet that has a Flying Circus “King of the Heavies” paint scheme on it. 
 

A371AFB1-ACD7-457F-9769-2D4EE892FD08.jpeg.6862b457745096631408131d328a583c.jpeg

 

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The materials used are more so the give away on the better fakes vs. the variation of Donald per say.  These patches had variations.  I've had a few of these patches over the years, and this looks like a nice Australian made patch in my opinion.  If you could see the back of the patch, that obviously would help, but...... 

 

Just my "2 cents".  Dave

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dmar836

Am going with good as well. I don't think the added parts add much as they are not specific to the flyer(picture aside). Great stuff and real but could be added to any appropriate jacket.

Replacement cuffs aren't a deal breaker. I like the A-2 a lot!

 

1canpara, I have never seen one with putty or otherwise - just those formed with the period tool. What does the inside look like? Appears a nicely painted tribute piece. Or is there provenance?

Dave

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Replaced cuffs...here is a pic I like to keep in my files from a photo album I used to own. Cuffs were definitely replaced during the period. These jackets were pieces of flight equipment and many saw heavy use. The jackets themselves were somewhat fragile IMO, especially the knits. I think the cuffs in question stand a good chance of being period replaced and wouldn't bother me at all. I think it is a very nice A2!

s-l1600.jpg

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dmar836

My P-47 pilot buddy's jacket had those big ribbed cuffs as replacements. Ugly for sure but period as well. Those of the OP A-2 are much more appropriate IMO. Many were replaced.

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1canpara
1 hour ago, dmar836 said:

Am going with good as well. I don't think the added parts add much as they are not specific to the flyer(picture aside). Great stuff and real but could be added to any appropriate jacket.

Replacement cuffs aren't a deal breaker. I like the A-2 a lot!

 

1canpara, I have never seen one with putty or otherwise - just those formed with the period tool. What does the inside look like? Appears a nicely painted tribute piece. Or is there provenance?

Dave


Yeah it’s a real mess actually, as far as being done “properly”. It seems too elaborate and labour intensive to have been done as a fake and it’s shows real age with both the paint and the putty that was used to smooth out the ear cups. There’s a name “Duke” painted on the back but nothing else and no provenance. My guess is that is was an attempt by a crewman to make his own flak helmet and later repaired and painted up, or done post-war as a tribute piece. In any case, it displays nicely and is fun to have in my collection….and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg 😉

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I have owned this more than 30 years. Was informed its Australian made.

 

I see the similiar thick threads in the sewing of the posted patch. This patch has a white muslin cloth type backing

 

RoughRaiders.jpg

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On 6/10/2021 at 11:03 AM, MAA said:

The materials used are more so the give away on the better fakes vs. the variation of Donald per say.  These patches had variations.  I've had a few of these patches over the years, and this looks like a nice Australian made patch in my opinion.  If you could see the back of the patch, that obviously would help, but...... 

 

Just my "2 cents".  Dave

I agree. If you’re still unsure, hit it with a UV or good black light and see if it glows. Barring removing the patch or talking to veteran, that’s about as good as it gets. Jeffro

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