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This type A-2 flight jacket belonged to William E. Hofer, a radio operator attached to the 568th squadron of the 390th Bomb Group. The 568th squadron insignia patch, a panther riding a bomb, is attached to the front left of the jacket. The 8th Air Force insignia patch is attached to the left sleeve of the jacket. The name of Hofer’s aircraft, “Ole Smoke”, is painted in yellow on the back of the jacket. Hofer flew 23 missions over Europe as a member of the 568th squadron. On his 23rd mission, a raid to Augsburg, Germany on March 16, 1944, Hofer and his crew were shot down over Germany and taken as prisoners of war by the Germans.

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Slemp_180316_19659.jpg
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©2018 John Slemp
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390th Bomb Group
This type A-2 flight jacket belonged to William E. Hofer, a radio operator attached to the 568th squadron of the 390th Bomb Group. The 568th squadron insignia patch, a panther riding a bomb, is attached to the front left of the jacket. The 8th Air Force insignia patch is attached to the left sleeve of the jacket. The name of Hofer’s aircraft, “Ole Smoke”, is painted in yellow on the back of the jacket. Hofer flew 23 missions over Europe as a member of the 568th squadron. On his 23rd mission, a raid to Augsburg, Germany on March 16, 1944, Hofer and his crew were shot down over Germany and taken as prisoners of war by the Germans.