Group of World War II uniform items belonging to Lt. Gerald Arkfeld, 1st Air Commando Group, comprising a leather A-2 flight jacket, USAAF enlisted man's peaked cap, and a pair of US M-38 canvas leggings. The jacket was manufactured by Bronco Mfg. Co. (size 38), and has intact brown leather with heavy scuffs and wear along the front and back, as well as flaking along the sleeves. The dark brown elastique hem and cuffs are correct, but not original, and are in excellent condition. The jacket has a single, functional front zipper with collar snaps, and a half of the wire fastener at the throat. The interior of the jacket has a completely new brown cotton lining with the original manufacturer’s tag resewn in place. The cap is of high quality manufacture, with enlisted man's eagle disc on the front of the crown, and a crazed, but intact, brown fiber peak. The chinstrap is in place, as is the crown stiffener. The interior has fine brown and salmon colored silk lining, and the leather comfort band is intact. The celluloid sweat shield has come partially undone, and contains a small paper label annotated in ink, “Cpl. Gerald Arkfeld / 403rd School / Squadron / Sheppard / Field, Texas”; “Gerald Arkfeld” is also written at the front of the cap underneath the comfort band. The leggings/gaiters are the eight hook type, size 2-R, and are in excellent, little-used condition without their laces.
Cpl. Gerald Arkfeld completed his flight training, and was commissioned and assigned to the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando), 1st Air Commando Group, based in Burma. The Group supported operations against the Japanese in Burma by Wingate’s Chindits and Merrill’s Marauders, as well as operations in China towards the end of the war. Includes a copy of a newspaper article, noting that Arkfeld took part in the first glider raid in Burma behind Japanese lines. This is an impressive lot of items, identified to a member of an extremely interesting special unit of the Second World War.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.