Lot #1491
Lot #1493

Lot 1492: WWII USAAF 8th Air Force Veteran’s Painted Leather Jacket

Historic Documented and Identified World War II USAAF 8th Air Force Veteran’s "Hell's Angels" Painted Leather A-2 Jacket

Auction Date: December 10, 2022

Lot 1492: WWII USAAF 8th Air Force Veteran’s Painted Leather Jacket

Historic Documented and Identified World War II USAAF 8th Air Force Veteran’s "Hell's Angels" Painted Leather A-2 Jacket

Auction Date: December 10, 2022

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Estimated Price: $8,500 - $15,000

Historic Documented and Identified World War II USAAF 8th Air Force Veteran’s "Hell's Angels" Painted Leather A-2 Jacket

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Type: Other
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Item Views: 523
Item Interest: Average
Catalog Page: 349
Class: Other
Description:

This privately purchased commercial leather jacket (no label, Talon zipper) displays a large painted design of a Hell’s Angels on the back, 8th Air Force insignia painted on the left shoulder and USAAF Far East Air Force Command insignia painted on the right shoulder. An embossed named tag is affixed to the chest above the left pocket. The tag has the name “MILLARD WILKERSON” along with embossed USAAF air crew wings. Wilkerson was a very talented artist. He painted this jacket, which is pictured in Maguire and Conway’s “American Flight Jackets” on page 266 along with several other jackets Wilkerson painted and owned. The publication also includes a short bio: "Sgt Millard Wilkerson was a flight engineer/gunner who served in the 715th Squadron of the 448th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force. He went to England in January 1944, completed 35 missions, and returned to the states in the autumn of that year. He was attached to several Air Force units in the states, but in April 1945, with flight engineers in short supply, he was reassigned to Air Sea Rescue service. His assignment was to the 6th Emergency Air Service Rescue squadron, ironically an Eighth Air Force unit now in the Pacific searching for downed B-29 crews." Considering the Far East Air Forces insignia this jacket was likely painted when Wilkerson was serving with the 6th Emergency Air Service Rescue squadron. Provenance: The Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good displaying the honest wear and tear of a beloved article of clothing with some missing stitching on the right sleeve. The “nose art” retains much of the vivid paint while the shoulder insignias show minimal loss. This jacket certainly has the look of a personalized art piece worn by an identified World War II veteran who captured his war experience in paint and leather.



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