Displays

97th Bomb Group Flight Jacket and Helmet

B 3JacketAndFlightHelmetOn 23 April 1944 the 97th Bomb Group's target was the German aircraft factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

On this mission B-17 serial number 42-5943 of the 414th Bomb Squadron was attacked by enemy aircraft and hit by flak resulting in it crashing at Sieding not far from the target. Heavily damaged and still in flight the tail section of the B-17 broke loose and fell to the ground. The German photo shows the tail section where it landed.

 

There were four survivors of the ten man crew, 2Lt Jack Cole, Sgt Phileas Boase, Sgt Vern Garis, and Sgt Harvey Patterson. This B-3 jacket and leather flight helmet were given to a girl whose family helped one of these four survivors after safely parachuting from the plane.

The jacket shows a lot of heavy wear. After the zipper broke buttons and loops were sewn on for continued use. The woman's grandson found the jacket in the attic of her home after she passed away in 2010. The jacket and flight helmet were sent to us shortly after. Talking with the families of Cole and Boase we believe the jacket and flight helmet belonged to Garis or Patterson.


 

B 3JacketAndFlightHelmet

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