The 20th Air Force was created in 1944 by legendary General Hap Arnold, who wanted to ensure that the complete inventory of the new B-29 Superfortress would not be diverted to tactical missions in China or Europe, and would focus entirely on the strategic bombing of Japan. With the recapture of Saipan in July 44, the Seabees would get to work and turn the tiny Marianna Island, along with its neighbour Tinian into one of the largest airbases in the world. From November 1944 until the end of the conflict, B-29s from the 20th would fly daily missions against the Japanese homeland.
The flight suit belonged to Gerald W. Jones, and my research shows that he was a Flight Engineer with the 877th BS, 499th BG. Unfortunately, the DC-3 with the squadron's records crashed on takeoff when returning to the US after the war, so I haven't found much, but I'm sure a for a good researcher there is more of Gerald's story to be found.
This is in good vintage condition. The print to the back is faded but still shows through strong. There are a couple of small holes here and there, some marks and stains, and some discolouration around the leather name tag. The Hap Arnold logo is still visible on the shoulder. One button is missing from the ankle strap of the left leg. The
- Tagged a size 38
- Fits a size 38 chest, but would suit someone around 5"10 and below
- Pit to pit 20"
- Shoulder to shoulder 18"
- Shoulder to cuff 20"
- Collar to crotch 34"
- Inside leg 25"