Auction Date:2012 May 23 @ 18:00 (UTC-5 : EST/CDT)
Location:5 Rt 101A Suite 5, Amherst, New Hampshire, 03031, United States
Rare leather 4th Fighter Group, 334th Fighter Squadron A-2 flight jacket belonging to Lieutenant James Ayers. Leather jacket, size 38, bears a manufacturer’s label inside of collar which reads, “Type A-2, DWG. No. 30-1414, A. C. Contract…J. A. Dubow Mfg. Co., Chicago, Ill.” Ayers’s name and serial number are stenciled on the lining under the collar. Left breast boasts the very rare 334th Fighter Squadron painted leather patch depicting a large and intimidating rooster with raised fists covered in boxing gloves, with a blue eagle in the background. The back of the jacket has an incredible hand-painted image of Ayers’ nose-diving P-51D Mustang firing all of its machine guns, bearing the plane’s call letters and nine painted swastikas. Jacket has two front flap pockets, knitted waistband, and period replacement cuffs. In very good condition, with some separations to inside original lining, and overall light crazing and fading to leather. Squadron path is lightly faded and cracked, with some scattered paint loss and expected crazing. Painting on the reverse is also cracked, with just a few small areas of surface loss. Formed in 1942, the 334th began with Americans who had volunteered to serve with the Royal Air Force prior to the United States entry into World War II. During World War II, the 334th had a total of 395 kills against the German Luftwaffe; 210 kills in the air and 185 on the ground. The 4th FG was formed directly from many of the original American ‘Eagle Squadron’ members. The scarcity of any item from the celebrated 4th FG cannot be overstated, in addition to the extremely rare ‘kill’ examples painted on the reverse, with even less of them documented to their former owner. Ayers is officially credited with seven ground kills and one victory in the air.