Saturday, July 18, 2015
The most elite military issued jacket during WW2 was the A-2 leather, during wartime these jackets were decorated with scantily clad babes riding phallic bombs. On others, iconic cartoon characters charge forward, bombs in tow posed and ready to kill. Some jackets depict caricatures of Native Americans or Pacific Islanders, usually drawn with bones in their noses. Even rarer are those showing Hitler being humiliated—while the number of bombs designated missions flown, swastikas represented German aircrafts destroyed. These painted flight jackets from the second world war are a personal journal of sorts logging the amount of bombing missions a soldier had flewn, and what specific locations were on the receiving end of those bombs. Although these jackets were worn around the world during actual wartime, most of these jackets were hung up in closets and retired after the war, as it would be frowned upon to walk down the street in the late 40's with Naked women on your coat or other violent imagery. These are American war momentos capturing one's days spent in hell defending our country, The conceptual thinking, and process of painting the jackets were done in their down time with other soldiers sharing the camaraderie and enjoyment of the chosen imagery and addition of successful bomb raids symbolized by painting small bombs on the jacket. Along with trench art, nose art, rifle art, these jackets share a story of young American men in war and their way of self identification in a place were everyone looks the same with a buzz haircut, dressed in full olive drab green garments.