Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 306: WWII Pacific Theater USAAF B-24 A-2 Flight Jacket

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Rare Identified Early World War II Pacific Theater USAAF B-24 “80 Days” Bombardier A-2 Flight Jacket

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $16,000 - $27,500

Rare Identified Early World War II Pacific Theater USAAF B-24 “80 Days” Bombardier A-2 Flight Jacket

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
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Item Views: 842
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 278
Class: Other
Description:

This fabulous World War II Pacific theater A-2 flight jacket was worn by Lt. Carvell G. Keeny. Per the biography given by the consignor, “Lt. Keeny reported to an airbase at Chen Kung, China July 3, 1942. He was assigned to the 308th Bomber Group, 374th Squadron, ‘The Flying Wombats,’ 14th Air Force, as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator. Lt. Keeny was a crewmember on the B-24 nicknamed ’80 Days.’ On July 15, 1942 he flew his first combat mission, thereafter logging 33 missions totaling 335 hours of combat flying time. After completing his 300 combat hours he then returned stateside in 1943.” Included is photograph (reprint) of Lt. Keeny’s B-24 “80 Days” and a photograph of Keeny circa 1980s-1990s passing the jacket to a collector. The size 36 jacket was made by Star Sportswear Manufacturing Co. (contract no. 42-18245-P). On the left chest is Lt. Keeny’s leather name tag. This tag features his name in English as well as in Chinese. Below the name tag is a fantastic multi-color leather insignia of the 374th Squadron: a highly stylized wombat clutching a pair of bombs. On the right chest is a painted white triangle with “80 DAYS” in red lettering. The shoulders carry a multi-leather CBI patch on the left and a 14th AF patch on the right. Lieutenant bars are sewn to the shoulder straps. A blood chit is pinned to the lining. The back of the jacket has a wonderful multi-color leather blood chit. At the end of World War II, the 308th Bomb Group had dropped more than 3,000 tons of bombs on Japanese targets and officially shot down 22 enemy aircraft. Provenance: The Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good overall as an A-2 jacket worn by a bombardier of the 374th Squadron operating out of China. The painted “80 DAYS” has faded. The cuffs and waist band show wear and repairs. The leather patches and both blood chits are fine. A-2 jackets identified to a B-24 crewmember stationed in the Pacific theater are rarely encountered. Finding one in any condition is difficult. The tropical environment meant many did not survive. This A-2 jacket is certainly a prized crown jewel for the World War II aviation collector.



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