Page 261 - 4090-BOOK3
P. 261

       LOT 3466
Identified World War II USAAF 93rd Bomb Group “Ted’s Traveling
Circus” Painted A-2 Flight Jacket - This A-2 flight jacket is identified to gunner-
engineer Technical Sergeant Charlie M. Forrest. He flew 15 bombing missions with the 328th BS from November 18, 1943-February 25th
1944 aboard the B-24 “My Buxom Bitch” and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “extraordinary achievement” during a bombing
run over Germany, the Air Medal with three Oak Clusters and two Presidential Unit citations. Prior to joining the 328th BS, 93rd BG, Forrest
flew 12 anti-submarine patrols aboard the B-25 “Lil De-Icer.” The 93rd BG was the lead group of the 20th Combat Bomb Wing, one of only three combat wings of B-24s assigned to the Second Air Division, the only B-24 division of the 8th AF. The 93rd was commanded by Brigadier General Ted Timberlake. In honor of their commander, the 93rd went by the name “Ted’s Traveling Circus.” They flew 396 missions during the course of the war and participated in the infamous mission against the oil fields at Polesti, Romania and “Big Week,” the joint USAAF and RAF series of bombing raids intended to destroy the Luftwaffe in preparation for the invasion of Normandy.
Forrest’s jacket was made by the Fred Ostermann Co. (contract no. W535-AC-23383). Fred Ostermann Co. received only one contract to manufacture 8,000 A-2 jackets in December 1941, making a Fred Ostermann
A-2 a rarity. The jacket is a size 38, has a Talon zipper, and has “W.D” and “C.M. FORREST” hand marked on the lining just under the maker’s tag. The back of the jacket serves as the leather canvas for fantastic painted artwork. “TED’S/Flying Circus” is beautifully painted in bold yellow and red font, and a B-24 unloads bombs on a building shaped as a swastika. The right chest features a painted “E” wing. The left chest shows evidence of a removed patch and carries pinned bombardier wings. There was something painted above the left pocket but it has since been removed. The left shoulder carries a USAAF patch. An accompanying 1995 dated handwritten letter from Forrest’s widow confirms this jacket was worn by her husband. Several photographs are included. Among them are pictures of Forrest wearing his USAAF uniform, the B-25 “Lil De-Icer”, and the B-24 “My Buxom Bitch” and its crew.
CONDITION: Very good, displaying authentic use with typical heavier wear on the cuffs and waist. Zipper has an absent slide as well as a missing 1 1/2 inch section of teeth towards the collar. Most of the vivid paint remains. A great looking USAAF painted A-2 identified to a member of the 93rd BG, “Ted’s Flying Circus.”
Provenance: The Saloga Collection.
Estimate: 6,000 - 9,000

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