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    "Mareeba Butchers" Painted Flight Jacket

    Fantastic WWII Army Air Force Type B-15 Flight Jacket "Mareeba Butchers", 403rd Bomb Squadron, 5th Air Force. A beautiful B-15 intermediate flight jacket, size 36, manufactured by the Rough Wear Clothing Company. This example features several hand-painted insignia including a 5-inch in diameter 403rd Bomb Squadron patch on the left breast, a 5 ¼-inch in diameter 5th Air Force insignia on the upper right breast, hand-painted navigator's wings on the upper left breast, an Army Air Corps winged star on the upper right sleeve, and finally on the back, a hand-painted B-24 with 11-inch wingspan superimposed upon a 4 ½-inch yellow sun underneath which is painted "Mareeba Butchers". The identity of the navigator is unknown but the initials "J.P.Z" are inked inside the jacket near the left inside pocket. There was a Lt. John P. Zanetti, listed as a navigator in the 403rd. The jacket is in remarkable condition with little wear to the olive drab cotton. All buttons and snaps are present and in working condition. The Conmar zipper retains the leather pull.

    The "Mareeba Butchers" nickname came from a Tokyo Rose radio broadcast in which she claimed that the airmen flying out of Mareeba were guilty of intentionally killing innocent women and children. She called the men the "Mareeba Butchers" and the 403rd adopted the nickname as their own. In fact, it was the 19th BG (to which the 403rd was originally attached) that bombed Geisha houses killing Japanese officers and Geishas. The 403rd initially flew B-17s but later switched to B-24s.

    Condition: Excellent. Some brittleness to the painted insignia, with a 2-inch split in the sun on the reverse side of the jacket.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2017
    11th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,137

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