A very nice identified World War II leather A2 Painted Flight Jacket size 34 with name “L.
POPE” written in inside collar. Sewn label with maker name “J.A .DUBOW MFG. CO./
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS”. Showing wear commensurate with age and use. Has faded Army
Air Forces paint on left shoulder. Has some cracking on upper left breast. Rest of the body
looks pretty good other than one tear as pictured on the back upper neck. Beautiful paint
reads “Fancy Nancy” with a hula girl which is present but faded. Has 35 bombs painted on
bottom. The leather is mostly pliable, a little bit dry but not flaking. Cuffs and waistband
show wear and some mothing. Zipper is Talon made and liner is in really nice shape with
no rips or tears other than that one area on the back of neck. Overall a really nice original
authentic World War II US Army Air Corps Army Air Force leather painted bomber flight
jacket with outstanding documented history.
Staff Sergeant Leroy G. Pope, Oct 20, 1921 – Aug 13, 1999, flew 32 missions with the 8th
Air Force, 401st Bombardment Group, 612th Squadron from 09/25/1944 to 02/21/1945 as a
ball turret gunner, most aboard the B-17 “Fancy Nancy IV”. He was in the crew
commanded by Lt. Walter E. Cox. Fancy Nancy IV was the 4th aircraft in the squadron to
carry this name. The first Fancy Nancy was lost on the 401st’s first mission due to a
midair collision. Fancy Nancy II was lost when it ran out of fuel on its 2nd mission and the
crew bailed out near Kimbolton, Cambridgshire. Fancy Nancy III lasted only slightly longer
when it was shot down by FW-190 fighters on its 4th mission. One might think of changing
the name with such an inauspicious start, but Fancy Nancy IV flew 134 missions with the
401st, more than any other aircraft in the group and over 50% of the total missions flown
by the 401st. Of the nearly 13,000 B-17’s built during the war, only 9 flew more missions.
The 401st holds the distinction of having the highest bombing accuracy rate of any B-17
group during the war. It’s motto is “The best damned outfit in the USAAF” and it maintains
an active association at www.401bg.org.
Professionally mounted in a custom-made glass-faced hardwood case on gold velveteen
with brief history and photos of Pope, his crew, and “Fancy Nancy IV”. It is mounted in a
manner that in no way affects the jacket and it can easily be removed and reinstalled.