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The A2 leather flight jacket, an iconic piece of WWII Americana

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Posted 5 years ago


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My son Sam Dance is shown here wearing the original leather A2 flight jacket which belonged to 1st Lt. Eathan Allen of South Burlington Vermont. Lt. Allen was the Aircraft Commander of a B-17G during WWII.

The squadron patch on the front of the jacket depicts a bumble bee on it's hind legs wearing boxing gloves. On it, is written the Squadron's logo: Fightin n Bitin!

From a historical standpoint, this jacket is important for several reasons. First, Eathan Allen was the direct decendent of the US Revolutionary War hero Eathan Allen. A second interesting point is that the 369th Bombardment Squadron, which is depicted in the patch, was part of the 306th Bombardment Group and in 1949 was the basis for the mythalogical 918th bombardment grou in the movie 12 O'Clock High.

The "306th" was part of the Mighty 8th AAF and was based out of Thurleigh England. In later years, a book entitled First over Germany was written by a former member of this group. His name was Russell A. Strong.

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