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WW2 709th Bombardment Squadron Type A-2 Leather Flight Jacket


The 709th Airlift Squadron is part of the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

709th Airlift Squadron

A crew from the 709th prepares for a training flight on the first C-5M at Dover Air Force Base

Active1943–1945; 1947–1949; 1973–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofAir Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQDover Air Force Base, Delaware
Motto(s)Global Airlift
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations
Operation Just Cause
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
709th Airlift Squadron emblem (approved 29 September 1980) 
709th Bombardment Squadron emblem (approved 6 September 1943) 
ETO Fuselage Code and Squadron ColorIE
447th Bombardment Group tail markingSquare K

The squadron was first activated during World War II as the 709th Bombardment Squadron. After training in the United States, it deployed to the European Theater, where it engaged in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. After V-E Day, it returned to the United States, where it was inactivated in the fall of 1945.


The squadron was briefly activated in the reserves from 1947 to 1949. In 1973, the squadron was redesignated the 709th Military Airlift Squadron and activated at Dover as a reserve associate unit of the 436th Military Airlift Wing. Its reservists operated the 436th's C-5s alongside members of the regular Air Force.


The squadron was first activated on 1 May 1943 at Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington as the 709th Bombardment Squadron, one of the four squadrons of the 447th Bombardment Group.

The original mission of the squadron was to be an Operational Training Unit. However, by the time the 447th Group reached full strength in October it had been identified for overseas deployment and its key personnel were sent to the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida for advanced tactical training. The cadre trained at Brooksville Army Air Field with the 1st Bombardment Squadron, engaging in simulated attacks against Mobile, Alabama, Charleston, South Carolina and New Orleans. The squadron then trained at Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota with the 17th Bombardment Training Wing. In June 1943 the group moved to Harvard Army Air Field, Nebraska for Phase I training. The unit sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on 23 November 1943 and arrived at the Firth of Clyde on 29 November 1943.[7] The squadron's B-17s began to move from the United States to the European theater of operations in November 1943.


The squadron was stationed at RAF Rattlesden, England, from December 1943 to August 1945. It flew its first combat mission on 24 December 1943 against a V-1 flying bomb launch site near Saint-Omer in Northern France.


From December 1943 to May 1944, the squadron helped prepare for the invasion of the European continent by attacking submarine pens, naval installations, and cities in Germany; missile sites and ports in France; and airfields and marshaling yards in France, Belgium and Germany. The squadron conducted heavy bombardment missions against German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20 to 25 February 1944.


The unit supported Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy in June 1944 by bombing airfields and other targets. On D-Day the squadron bombed the beachhead area using pathfinder aircraft.


The squadron aided in Operation Cobra, the breakthrough at Saint Lo, France, and the effort to take Brest, France, from July to September 1944. It bombed strategic targets from October to December 1944, concentrating on sources of oil production. It assaulted marshalling yards, railroad bridges and communication centers during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. In March 1945 the group bombed an airfield in support of Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine. The unit flew its last combat mission on 21 April 1945 against a marshalling yard at Ingolstadt, Germany.


The 709th redeployed to the United States during the summer 1945. The air echelon ferried their aircraft and personnel back to the United States, leaving on 29 and 30 June 1945. The squadron ground echelon, along with the 711th squadron sailed 3 August 1945 on the SS Benjamin R. Milam, from Liverpool. Most personnel were discharged at Camp Myles Standish after arrival at the port of Boston. A small cadre proceeded to Drew Field, Florida and the squadron inactivated on 7 November 1945.

WW2 709th Bombardment Squadron Type A-2 Leather Flight Jacket

SKU: WW2 709th Bombardment Flight Jacket
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