WWII Identified 15th Air Force B-24 Painted A2 Flight Jacket, Documents, and Photograph Group
A group comprised of the painted A2 flight jacket, the AN 5740 navigator watch, documents and photographs of Lieutenant Angelo Giambusso, who flew 50 combat missions in Europe as the navigator of the B-24 bomber “Belle of the Orchard” in the 720th Bomb Squadron, 450th Bomb Group of the 15th Air Force. The jacket is a size 40 A2 manufactured by the Aero Leather Clothing Company. The front displays the painted insignia of the 720th Bomb Squadron. A leather name tag was once sewn to the jacket above the squadron insignia. The shoulders have the painted rank insignia of a First Lieutenant while the left shoulder displays the painted insignia of the 15th Air Force. The back of the jacket bears a large painting of the B-24 “Belle of the Orchard” above 50 mission bombs and encircled by flak bursts, each of which carries the name of a country where a bomb mission target was located. Close examination reveals that the back of the jacket once had another painting on its surface that was either removed or covered by the “Belle of the Orchard” artwork. The interior lining of the jacket carries the army laundry mark of “H 1391”. This would have been the laundry mark of an enlisted man, and so it seems that Lieutenant Giambusso obtained his jacket from an enlisted man, likely one who had completed his tour of duty. The group also includes Giambusso’s AN 5740 navigator watch, manufactured by the Hamilton Watch Company. The watch does not presently work. The group further includes numerous original photographs of Giambusso and the crew of the bomber. Additionally,the group includes multiple original documents (and several photocopies of documents) relating to Giambusso’s service as a B-24 navigator, including his citation for the Air Medal and a list of his combat missions. Following World War II, Giambusso continued to serve, and was a member of a engineer unit in Korea during the Korean War, and there are documents relating to that service as well. Significantly, the group includes a signed letter from Giambusso, dated in 2003, and confirming the sale of his painted flight jacket, photographs, and documents, to a collector. The flight jacket shows typical signs of wear and use, but the leather is supple and it is without holes or distracting stains. The ribbed knit cuffs and waist have a number of pulls and small holes, but they are intact. Overall the group is a fine example of a World War II painted A2 flight jacket from the crew member of a bomber that saw extensive combat in Europe and it carries impeccable provenance. Item number 32450.