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    Description

    5th Air Force B-25 Gunner Group

    Type A-2 Flight Jacket Group Attributed to Aerial Gunner Angelo Joseph Zangari, 71st Bomb Squadron, 38th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force. A large group attributed to Sgt. Angelo Zangari who was credited with shooting down 8 Japanese aircraft. Comprising: 1.) Russet brown Type A-2 flight jacket, size 36, manufactured by Rough Wear Clothing Company, Middletown, Pennsylvania. The jacket retains all snaps and hooks which are in working condition. The Talon zipper is present but the pull will come off the zipper if pulled all the way down. A 4 ½-inch in diameter painted leather patch featuring a fire-breathing cat riding a bomb is sewn above the left breast pocket. This patch may be an early version of the 71st Bomb Squadron insignia before they adopted the more common drooling wolf insignia. An original photograph included in the lot shows Zangari wearing this jacket posed beside a man wearing an A-2 with the later drooling wolf insignia. 2.) 3-inch Aerial Gunner's wings. Pin-back, with "STERLING" in raised letters on the reverse. No maker's mark present. 3.) Type A-4 flight suit, size 34, complete with belt and working snaps and zipper. 4.) Aviator-style sunglasses in the original case. 5.) Military ANB-H-1A headphones. 6.) Two original black and white photographs, 2 ¼ by 3 ¼-inches in size, one of which is a group picture of four that includes Zangari wearing the A-2 flight jacket offered here, with the same squadron patch on the left breast. Note that the airman next to Zangari also wears an A-2 jacket, but with the later "Drooling Wolf" insignia of the 71st Bomb Squadron. The other photo shows a B-25 bomber in flight. Eight photographs that are copies of original photographs showing "Torrid Tessie the Terror" and her crew. One of the photographs shows Zangari sitting on a ladder outside of the cockpit and pointing to the emblems on the plane reflecting three of his "kills" as the plane's air gunner. A photocopy of Zangari's Silver Star citation, awarded for gallantry in aerial flight on August 21, 1943 and numerous photocopies of newspaper articles about Zangari that were compiled by his family during the war. The articles report on Zangari's multiple aerial victories, the award to him of various decorations and, finally, his safe return home, etc.

    Sgt. Angelo Joseph Zangari (1922-2006) was a native of Hartford, Connecticut who, at age 19, enlisted just a few weeks after Pearl Harbor, on January 11, 1942. He served as an aerial gunner on "Torrid Tessie the Terror", a B-25 bomber of the 71st Bomb Squadron. During his tour of duty in the Pacific, Zangari flew 53 combat missions and was credited with shooting down 8 Japanese aircraft. Zangari was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with oak leaf clusters, and two Purple Hearts. His Silver Star recommendation reads, in part: "...The Japs attacking from 6 and 9 o'clock hit the plexiglass cover of T.Sgt. Zangaris [sic] turret, causing a section to break loose. The Zeke attacking from 11 o'clock shot off the remainder of the turret cover, knocking T./Sgt. Zangari out of the turret and causing him to lose consciousness...After regaining consciousness...Zangari displayed great courage in insisting on returning to his damaged turret where...he manned his guns helping to guard off additional attacks. Before he was shot out of his turret he was observed to have shot several good bursts into the attacking Zeke. The plane was seen to smoke but due to its disappearance into a cloud it cannot be verified weather [sic] this plane crashed or not."

    Condition: 1.) Very good. Evidence of operational wear including some scuffing and rubbing to the exterior leather. One side of right breast pocket has come unsewn. Tan cotton lining frayed at the neck from wear. Jersey waistband and cuffs in very good condition. 2.) Very good. Catch missing the safety lever. 3.) Excellent. 4.) Very good. Case a bit chipped. 5.) Excellent. 6.) All material in very good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2017
    11th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 968

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