A WWII USAAF 8th Air Force B-17 crew private purchase flight jacket with impressive painted back belonging to Staff Sergeant Spencer Scherer, Tail-Gunner on 'Hangover' (369th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group), with supplements including photographs, medals, and flak shrapnel. This is a high end, extensively decorated, private purchase jacket with plaited leather front seam, and zippered breast pockets. The jacket has a single, original Talon front zipper, and embroidered Bond Sportswear label. The high quality leather is still supple, with minor wear and flaking along the edge seams and collar, and heavier flaking on the forearms and sleeves. The jacket is embellished with a painted 9th Air Force emblem on the right breast with Ace and Jack of Spades below the zippered pocket, an English-made embroidered 369th squadron patch depicting the squadron’s “Fightin’ Bitin’” mosquito in flight helmet and boxing gloves mascot, and the owner’s name painted in silver-white with red outline: “Spence.” The back of the jacket has a large painted aircraft name at the top: “Hangover”; with a large 8th Air Force emblem surcharged with a mission tally bomb (“26”), and a painting of a B-17 with unit identifiers on the vertical stabilizer (it should be noted that Scherer was also known to be a tail-gunner on at least one other B-17: the 'Impatient Virgin,' also a plane in the 369th). The interior lining of the jacket is quilted brown cloth, and is in very good shape, with some fraying at the neck, and a few scattered stains. Included with the jacket is a binder containing numerous photographs and mementos of Sgt. Scherer’s wartime service, including a modern print of an image showing him wearing this very jacket. Additionally accompanied by a piece of flak shrapnel that, according to the accompanying label, “pierced his tail position, hit his leg, and fell to the floor of the plane”; a group of more than 50 original 3.5 x 2.5 candid photographs taken during his service; a cased Air Medal (with oak leaf); and a cased Distinguished Flying Cross. The 306th Bomb Group 'Reich Wreckers' was the longest serving bomber unit in the 8th Air Force and served as the inspiration for the novel '12 O’Clock High.' The Group took part in the whole of the daylight bombing campaign against Germany, and was highly decorated with multiple Distinguished Unit Citations, and six Campaign Stars. This is a fantastic lot of 8th Air Force history, worn by an airman who served his country well.
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