Blue Nosed Basrds of Bodney A-2

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Estevan, Jul 13, 2007.

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  1. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    More information on the jacket and pilot.

    Sorry it's so long folks, but I thought it would be some great information to post. Come to find out, this man participated in D-day! A long read, but well worth it. It was sent to me this morning by a friend of Red's who flew with him as well. This was obtained firsthand from Red. Simply amazing if you ask me.

     
  2. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Just marvellous.

    This just doesn't get any better Steve, does it! A fantastic, fantastic piece!
     
  3. number6

    number6 Familiar Face

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    352 nd FG Jacket

    Oh wow! What a find . Great reading . I visited Bodney last year , It is an Army training facility now.
     
  4. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Steve, next time you come to the UK...

    You've just got to bring 'that' jacket and visit Bodney. Possibly the first time it's returned 'home' in well over 60 years. You do realise there's a multitude of old 8th AAF bases you'd just love to walk over. And also some cracking museums often run by volunteers/enthusiasts (and sadly no assistance from either the UK or US Govts[huh] ).
     
  5. DiabolicalAngel

    DiabolicalAngel One of the Regulars

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    Is it still looking a bit like this now??............

    http://www.controltowers.co.uk/B/Bodney.htm

    Great jacket, lovely read of the history ! :eusa_clap
     
  6. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    Thanks Paddy, I´d really love to...

    That would be a trip that I´d love to do. I need to save some funds first, between the house and my little clandestine Harley Davidson purchase (still looking for the perfect Sportster :eek: :eek: ) sadly funding will be tight for a little while.

    Thanks DA for posting that link, I wonder what building this photo was taken by?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Stony

    Stony New in Town

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    He actually said "I knew the war was over when I saw the P-51 Mustang over Berlin". The 352nd FG wasn't mentioned directly.
     
  8. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    Thanks Stony, I stand corrected.
     
  9. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    The main thing to focus on here gents...

    ...is the 'fact' that this is a cracking thread for those of us who appreciate military aviation history of the 20thC, and Steve's luck of taking possession of an old WWII flight jacket, and then slowly unravelling the history of 'the man' behind it, is just an incredible dream come true. The sort of dream that we can all 'share' through Steve's sharing of his discoveries of "Red."

    Isn't this the sort of thing we'd all love to experience ourselves?[huh] To me this is the next best thing, seeing the photos of Red and hearing about him from others who knew him. It just adds to the whole magic of this A-2.

    Let's all enjoy this:eusa_clap Isn't it just fabulous!!;)

    Enjoy gentlemen! This is a 'homage' to one man, who in my mind, 'symbolises' 1000's of men just like him, willing to lay down his life for our freedom.
     
  10. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    I had pulled the quote up directly from the 352nd's web site. The actual quote that he said was in fact only referencing the P-51. I guess the site should be corrected. Thanks again Stony for pointing that out. ;)
     
  11. Stony

    Stony New in Town

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    Steve, you should have been here in April as we hosted a symposium of 352nd pilots. Punchy Powell was the moderator of the symposium and we also had aces Don Bryan, Sandy Moats and Alden Rigby here along with one other P-51 pilot. After the event, the local association brought 5 blue Ford Mustangs to the museum to take all the pilots to a dinner. It was quite the event.
    By the way, nice jacket!
     
  12. number6

    number6 Familiar Face

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    Bodney


    Looks like I need another visit this summer, I looked for the tower but failed to find it .Nice link , thanks.
     
  13. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    A bit more.....

    I requested information regarding a crash landing "Red" had from Accident-Report.Com and received the following information.

    INQUIRY NUMBER: 17-440202-526
    DATE: February 2, 1944
    AIRCRAFT: P-47D
    SERIAL NUMBER: 42-8466
    PILOT: Donald Y Whinnem
    LOCATION: Holland
    REMARKS: Crash Landing

    TOTAL PAGES OF REPORT: 5



    I will be requesting a copy of the report. More to follow...........
     
  14. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Steve, any family, next of kin..etc, still alive?

    Just wondering if anyone survives him in the family?[huh]
     
  15. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    Paddy, that's my next project. I don't know why they would sell it, but it would be nice to know someone in the family was still around.
     
  16. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    I have decided....

    I have decided to contact the family and see why they sold the jacket and if there are no sentimental ties or no-one wife etc. that would cherish the jacket I am going to contact the 352nd directly and see if they would like to have it for display on permanent loan (not sure how that works)I don't want to donate it as I know museums sell off items to pay overhead and operating costs. I'd hate to see it end up on eBay in a few months for sale. I will never wear this jacket, it has too much history and auctioning it off feels like sacrilege. I would hate to see this jacket end up in Japan somewhere in someones private collection. I'll let you know how it goes. I have bought and sold many jackets in my time, but this one I feel deserves respect and hanging in my closet or being shipped off to some far-away land just doesn't feel right.
     
  17. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    Steve, I think that's a very honourable thing to do.

    A jacket such as this, with so much known personal history with it, is an important historical item.

    I for one, believe that most of the time, rare wartime items (named flight jackets, gallantry medals, etc) should (if possible) be in the possession of the family members or descendents who survive, or permanently displayed in the appropriate museum. I know that I would be heart-broken if my great uncle's DS0 ended up in someone's "cupboard".

    Well done Steve, I salute you on your selfless act. It must be tough to let it go, but you understand why you are :eusa_clap :eusa_clap

    Best,

    Smithy.
     
  18. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    An honourable thing Steve...

    ...My heart tells me that 'that' is the way to go Steve. 'If' the Association have a permanent display in a nationally recognised museum either in the US or in the UK, then some form of contractual 'loan' would be great, along with photos of the man. You could have a great display.

    Something has gone 'wrong' when it has left the family (some folk just don't want/appreciate these things, a sad fact).

    I don't know if there is a museum at Bodney now[huh] Some of the old USAAF airfields in Britain, that are now Army training camps, still have a small quarter where there is a museum to it's heritage and history. Worth enquiring?

    I still smart, when I think that my uncle's wartime decorations were auctioned off just for the money and now are in a private collection, but no-one can tell me where[huh] This jacket needs to be shared as a window to showing others the importance of people like "Red," who have preserved our freedom.
     
  19. Rufus

    Rufus Practically Family

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    Fantastic plan Steve, and very noble of you.
    It's amazing to think this could've left the family...but these things do happen.

    My Grandad served in the RAF on a Wellington bomber, and shortly before he died, burned all his personal effects (uniform.papers,photos) as he didn't want them to be a 'burden' to whomever dealt with his estate (ie- my Grandmother).

    We were all heartbroken, as he destroyed an entire record of his family and his own life.

    I have fond memories of trying on his blue wool RAF jacket, and covetting his RAF badges as a child!

    It'd be great to see Red's jacket on display, adding such a personal touch to such an extraordinary time in history.

    Rufus
     
  20. Estevan

    Estevan One of the Regulars

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    Spent some time talking to Punchy Powell.....

    I have contacted the 352nd and received a response. I would love for this jacket to be displayed, not traded nor kept in some stuffy basement, if that were the case I'd prefer to have it in my closet. I would prefer to have it returned to the family, but if it got back to the original ones who sold it what's to keep them from doing it again. If the family doesn't care about his legacy then at least a museum should put it behind glass. I don't mind donating it just so long as it is displayed. As for credit, I don't want any. Right now Bob Powell is searching around to see what he can do.

    Joe Noah, the founder of the Preddy Memorial Foundation is saying Bob Powell might be able to get it displayed in the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum near Savannah, GA. The 352nd FG has a display case in there and if anyone can get it in there Bob Powell can.

    The following is the email I received from Bob Powell in regards to the jacket. I have my fingers crossed.

     
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