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    Korean War Ace General Frederick "Boots" Blesse's Flight Jacket. "Boots" Blesse is considered by many to be America's greatest fighter ace. His gunnery skills and instinct for the science of air combat virtually assured that he would one day win a well-deserved place in military history. A West Point graduate, Blesse was commissioned a second lieutenant and qualified pilot in the closing days of WWII. During the Korean War he flew two volunteer combat tours and completed 67 missions in F-51 aircraft, 35 missions in F-80 aircraft, and 121 missions in F-86 aircraft. He is officially credited with destroying nine MiG-15s and one LA-9 aircraft and it is likely that he destroyed or damaged an additional four MiG-15s. On his return to the United States in 1952 he was the U.S. Air Force's leading jet ace. Throughout the 1950s Blesse held a number of assignments and along the way won gunnery competitions that have yet to be equaled. It was also during this time that he wrote No Guts, No Glory, a manual of fighter tactics still used by the Air Force and several other countries. Blesse continued to add to his already impressive resume by flying 108 combat missions over North Vietnam and another 46 over Laos and Cambodia. His thirty-year career was capped by his appointment as deputy inspector general of the United States Air Force. Major General Frederick C. Blesse retired on April 1, 1975. General Blesse flew about every airplane in the Air Force arsenal and was awarded an impressive array of medals including the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with five oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with 20 oak leaf clusters and many other impressive awards.

    We are pleased to offer General Blesse's L-2B light zone flight jacket. This medium-sized sage green nylon jacket with orange rayon lining and jersey cuffs, collar and waistband is complete with Blesse's black leather nametag with name and Command Pilots wing printed in white. A cotton Tactical Air Command patch is sewn to the right chest. Though his general's stars have been removed their sewn outline is clearly visible on each shoulder. The nomenclature tag sewn inside the left slash pocket is contract dated April 22, 1965. Blesse would most likely have worn this jacket during his time as director of operations of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing in Da Nang or as director of the 47th Tactical Fighter Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. The jacket is soiled from use with some small holes in the cuffs, collar and waistband. Otherwise it is complete with all snaps and zippers in functional condition.

    The consignor purchased this flight jacket directly from General Blesse. Personal items belonging to aces of General Blesse's stature are rarely offered for sale.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2008
    25th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,816

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