Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3588: Historic A-2 Flight Jacket of General Douglas A. MacArthur

Auction Date: December 3, 2010

Estimated Price: $75,000 - $150,000

Historic A-2 Flight Jacket of General Douglas A. MacArthur

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 5542
Catalog Page: 311
Class: Other

World War II leather A-2 Flight Jacket worn by General Douglas MacArthur when he was Commander of U.S. Army Forces Pacific, 1944-45 and Commander of United Nations Forces Korea, 1950-51. General Douglas MacArthur was one of the most famous and decorated military commanders in U.S. history. His career begin with his graduation from West Point in 1903 and ended with the Korean Conflict in 1951. MacArthur's decorations for valor included the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and five Silver Stars. He was one of only five officers ever to hold the rank of General of the Army (five star general). Always conscious of his public image, MacArthur affected an iconic uniform that included his Philippine Field Marshal's cap with extra braid, aviator sun glasses, a corncob pipe and Army Air Corps A-2 flight jacket with four or five star insignia on the shoulder straps. There are numerous photographs of MacArthur wearing his A-2 Jacket during WWII and the Korean Conflict. One of the most famous photographs shows MacArthur wearing this flight jacket while observing the 1st Marine Division's amphibious landing at Inchon, South Korea, on September 15, 1950. This flight jacket is a Army Air Corps regulation, size 44, horsehide A-2 flight jacket made by the Rough Wear Clothing Co., of Middletown, Pennsylvania. The jacket has a seal brown leather shell with dark brown wool waist band and cuffs and a brown cotton interior. The jacket has a "Crown" zipper, and press stud snaps on the collar and pockets. The regulation interior label is black with gold thread and reads: "TYPE A-2/DRAWING NO. 30-1415/CONTRACT NO. W535AC-23380/ROUGH WEAR CLOTHING CO./MIDDLETOWN, PA./PROPERTY/AIR FORCE U.S. ARMY/44" in eight lines. A small factory inspection tag on the inside of the left pocket reads: "RW/NO.1917/SIZE 44". A regulation leather military name tag stamped: "Mac ARTHUR" is sewn on the left breast of the jacket. The shoulder straps have the sewn outline of the four-star general officer's insignia worn by MacArthur prior to his promotion to General of the Army on December 18,1944, and the impression of the metal five-star insignia MacArthur wore for the remainder of WWII and during the Korean Conflict. The jacket is complete with two sets of five-star insignia. Documents with the jacket state that the five-star insignia were found in the pocket of the jacket. The insignia are framed and mounted with Honor Guard insignia from Headquarters, Far East Command (FEC) and a photograph of MacArthur inspecting the FEC honor guard. Also included with the jacket are a number of photographs of General MacArthur wearing the jacket and a detailed evaluation and appraisal of the jacket by the Friends of the Omar N. Bradley Foundation, U.S. Army Military History Institute, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The evaluation states that the jacket has been compared with documented photographs of General MacArthur wearing an A2 flight jacket and the distinctive wrinkles on the jacket in the photographs correspond with this jacket. The evaluation further states that when General MacArthur was relieved of command by President Truman in April 1951 he gave some of his uniforms, including his A-2 jacket to aides and members of his military staff as mementos.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The horsehide leather shell is in a remarkable state of preservation and shows minimal wear. The wool cuffs and waist band are free from mothing or tears. The zipper is original and appears to be completely functional. The brown cotton lining is in very good condition. The lining has the usual tears around the collar which are found on almost all A-2 jackets that saw any actual wear. The pocket and collar snaps are intact. The name tag has been partially re-sewn; this repair is noted in the Bradley Foundation evaluation. This A-2 jacket is a unique and historic piece of American history worthy of museum display. This historic artificact played a key part in the public image of one of the most famous generals in U.S. history, Douglas A. MacArthur.

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