612 BS A-2 Jacket and Officer's Dress Tunic on Ebay

By: Jim Moschgat
On: 12/03/2004
I thought someone might be interested in these items currently up for bid on E-Bay (www.ebay.com)(auction #2291192503).  It's purported to be an original 612 BS A-2 leather jacket and dress tunic belonging to Lt Bob Burge, who flew as bombardier on B-17 Twan-n-g-g-g.  The auction ends on December 12th.  Here's how the seller describes the items:

"This WWII USAAF Officers Tunic & A-2 Flight Jacket was part of a large "East Coast" collection I recently purchased. It is complete with photos of the Vet wearing the A-2 during WWII and a list of his missions.
A-2 is very clean overall and has nomenclature label present at the collar. Manufacturer indicated is Bronco Mfg. Corp. with size shown as 42 (it fits as a size 38). There are NO rips, tears or losses anywhere to the exterior and horsehide leather remains pliable overall. Snaps that function are present for the collar and pocket flaps. Waistband is original and cuffs are correct style wool replacements (see photo). Cuffs are perfect but waistband has a few of the usual small snags or losses. Zipper run and pull (Crown) are original and work perfectly. Lining is original to the jacket and is clean overall. There is moderate wear with minor losses to the collar area. Front left chest has a period made/sewn paint on leather 612th Bomb Squadron patch. The painted portions have a nicely aged appearance and patch is absolutely guaranteed period made (see photo). Jacket is named to Lt. CR. Burge on the leather namestrip but the gilt is mostly worn away and it is hard to read. It is also period painted to the left chest with the nickname "Bob". Back of the jacket has a period painted B-17 flying through blue clouds and ther are 30 mission bombs painted below. Painting is still quite legible but there are losses to the body as expected with wear and age.

Ike appears tailor made and is very clean overall with NO rips, tears or losses anywhere to the exterior. It has NO tailors label or pocket tag present and it fits the mannequin as a size 34. The interior is clean overall and without problem.

To the chest is a period/British made bullion Bombardiers Wing on blue felt with ribbon bars sewn below. Ribbons indicate award of: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal and European Theatre Medal (with three battle stars). Lapels have standard AAF officers insignia. Left sleeve has a theatre made 8th Air Force patch and both shoulders have Lieutenant's bars. There is a "ruptured duck" patch to the right chest.

Included with the tunic and A-2 jacket are 3 photos. The first is a 3.75 x 4.75 inch period photo of Lt. Burge wearing his A-2 jacket with a friend. The second is a 3.5 x 2.75 inch photo of four of the crew in front of Burge's plane and the last is an 8 x 10 inch photo of the planes name (Twan-n-g-g-g) and its nose art (see photos)."

I'm not endorsing E-Bay; I simply thought readers of this forum might be interested in these items of possible historical significance to the 401st Bomb Group.