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#77: A Touch of Patriotism

July 6, 2009

Another in a small but cherished collection of World War II aviator’s bags (add it to the pile with this one and this one). Here comes a great find wheeled n’ dealed at the Stormville Flea over the Fourth of July weekend.

av. bag

This sweet speciman particularly caught my eye because of the two matching Army Air Force shoulder sleeve insignias hand sewn on either side. You think our boy sewed these suckers himself or had his old lady do it?

av. bag2

Blue and orange are the colors of the AAF and the star and circle symbol was used as an aircraft marking. This insignia was approved in 1942 and the most widely worn during the war, and discontinued by the United States Air Force in 1947.
av.3

Reinforced leather handles. Nice little patina in a special detail, built to last.
av bag 4

When Dad saw me admiring the bag in the car after we were all flea’d out, he asked, “You gonna wash that?” “Nope.” This morning on the subway, the woman next to me wearing her nurses’ whites asked me to keep it away from her so it wouldn’t get her uniform dirty. LOVE IT. Another rough n’ tough, war tattered monument reimagined as a ladies purse. Not sure if the USAF can or will condone this, but I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s fabulous. (Even I’m gagging a little at that. Sorry…)

My kinda girls, the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots):
wasp1
All in red lipstick:
wasp2
Groundschool, preppin’ for the worst:
wasp3
“Pistol Packin’ Mamas” returning from a B-17 flight, 1944:
wasp4

Heres a Women’s Army Corp (WAC) promotional video from WWII. If you can make it through this and its subsequent parts, there’s some pretty hilarious interwoven human drama thrown in.

Lots to learn about the heroic women in the WWII Air Force here!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Will permalink
    July 7, 2009 12:13 pm

    Love this post. Having served in today’s Air Force, it’s a wonder how much nicer the WWII/Korea- and even Vietnam-era gear is compared to the modern stuff. Maybe it’s just whole vintage thing, but at least I have my grandfather’s Army foot lockers and assorted coats and jackets.

    • indiansummervintage permalink*
      July 7, 2009 12:42 pm

      cherish those family heirlooms! Though I do occasionally see how certain items and styles seem to have been maintained over the years and appreciate it, you nailed it.

      Thanks for stopping by dear Will, X

  2. July 8, 2009 11:39 pm

    This is a wonderful wonderful post! The bag is a dreamy find!

  3. July 9, 2009 10:38 pm

    what a great bag! i recently came across a b-15b flight jacket and a great souvenir jacket. love the quality and style of the old military pieces. have you noticed that a lot of the newer military clothing is made in china? whats up with that?

    • indiansummervintage permalink*
      July 10, 2009 6:25 am

      I’ve been using this one constantly since the find. It’s remarkably sturdy– but thats to be expected– and I’m ever admiring the shape it falls into while still totally unstructured. I hadn’t known that latest issues have been made in China, I’m sad to know it really, though hardly surprised!!

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