WWII US 530TH BOMB SQ. GROUP WITH PAINTED B-15 JACKET

$2,280.00

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Item Code: 979-03

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World War II American group of paper items and a painted B-15 Jacket belonging to a 5th Air Force veteran Richard Ebel, serial number 33680164 who served as radio operator on the crew of Lt. Benjamin F. Kelly in the 530th Bomb Squadron, 380th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force in the Pacific Theater in World War Two.

The first item in the group is Ebel’s B-15 flight jacket. The B-15 replaced the more well-known A-2 leather jacket late in the war. The B-15 had a green cloth body with a brown fur collar. Mr. Ebel’s jacket is in overall excellent condition but unfortunately he must have worn the jacket to paint his house as the front and both sleeves show numerous spatters of white paint. The fur collar is in very nice shape. Often these are found dry or missing fur but this one is first rate. The body of the jacket has some light surface dirt from being worn in a B-24 that like any wartime aircraft probably leaked oil and hydraulic fluid. There are no rips or tears. The left sleeve has a faded color AAF decal and a narrow slanted pocket for pencils or pens. The front has two slanted snap closure pockets which retain their original corduroy pocket linings. Zipper is “CONMAR” marked which is correct and still retains its leather pull tab. Zipper does not operate. Knit waistband and cuffs show only light wear. The back of the jacket is hand painted with the insignia of the 380th Bomb Group which consists of a globe with the Western hemisphere facing, topped by a winged Lion and a scroll reading "KING OF THE HEAVIES", with a small 5th Air Force insignia at the lower right, and underneath, "FLYIN' CIRCUS." The painted insignia is approximately 5.50 inches across, with the entire painting meas. approx. 7.00 inches. All colors are strong and paint is 100% present.

The jacket is ID twice on the inside. The name "EBEL" is written near the zipper on one side while the other is marked with “E0164” which is the first letter of the last name and the last four digits of Mr. Ebel’s serial number. The garment has its original property tag in the neck showing it is a size 36 and was made by W & C Clothing Company along with U.S. Army Air Force marking.

With the jacket is a black binder that contains the following items:

A sheet of paper with the 530th Squadron insignia as it's letterhead, with Bugs Bunny riding a bomb, and the header "Ben's Mens" with signatures and home addresses of several other members of Mr. Ebel’s crewmates.

Two World War II period photographs, one showing the air crew gathered near the tail of a B-24, and another of the nose art of Ebel's plane, "Lucky Strike." The crew photo has names of the men listed on the back. The photo of “LUCKY STRIKE” is inscribed by Mr. Ebel with “THIS IS THE PLANE WE FLEW OVER SHINCHIKU, FORMOSA WHEN “ACK ACK JACK” SHOT US FULL OF HOLES. SHE’S A GOOD GIRL EVEN THO’ SHE MAY NOT LOOK IT AND I’M GRATEFUL TO HER FOR BRINGING ME HOME.”

Two Large Army Air Corps aeronautical maps, one of Devil's Island, and the other Ilha de Marajo.

Seven black & white aerial photographs of what appears to be the 380th Bomb Groups airfield. Palm trees, B-24 bombers, P-38 fighters and many other details are visible from above. Each of these photos meas. approx. 17.75 inches long x 8.75 inches across. When laid together side by side they create a panorama of the airfield.

Two-page typewritten poem of unrequited love to a woman named "Laura" on Sylvania Electric letterhead.

The 380th Bombardment Group (H) flew B-24 Liberator bombers primarily in the Southwest Pacific Theatre. The group was awarded both the Distinguished Unit Citation and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for its combat service in Borneo, New Guinea and the Philippines.

Richard H. Ebel was born January 16, 1925 in North Warren, Pennsylvania. He was drafted into the Army on June 5, 1943. He attended flight school in Florida as an Aviation Cadet. After being washed out as a pilot, or voluntarily dropping out, he went to flexible gunnery school in Laredo, Texas and then radio school before being assigned to the crew of Lt. Benjamin F. Kelly in Salinas, California in April of 1945. The crew arrived at the base of the 380th Bomb Group in Mindoro, Philippines a few days later and after orientation began flying combat missions.

In August the Group moved to Okinawa. While there Mr. Ebel met up with his brother Fred who was serving in another bomb group nearby. After the wars end he arrived back in the US in January of 1946.

Richard Ebel died on February 8. 2012

With the group comes several pages of internet research relating to “LUCKY STRIKE” which was one of the aircraft Mr. Ebel flew on as well as some personal research and an obituary.

This is a great collection of items from a veteran who saw his share of combat missions between April and September of 1945.  [AD]

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