The Best 17 WWII Air Corps Bomber Jackets, and the saga of ‘Murder Inc.’

The link above takes you to photos of some of the coolest Army Air Corps jackets worn by bomber crew personnel during the war. One that I found missing from this list however, and a personal favorite of mine, is the ‘Murder Inc.’ bomber jacket. The logo on the back of the leather jacket itself didn’t exactly grab your attention, but apparently the only one ever made for the crew was given to Kenneth Daniel Williams, ‘Murder Inc.’s’ bombardier. “Murder Incorporated,” or “Murder Inc.” as they were more famously known, was the name given to Mafia kingpins Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s gang of ruthless killers. Infamous for their violence, which included murder-for-hire, Murder Inc. kept a deadly roster of hit men on the payroll.  There can be little doubt why such an infamous outfit would inspire a crew of young men participating in the violence of war and therefore would choose to name themselves after such a bloody band of outlaws. When Williams was asked if he wanted something drawn on his bomber jacket which incorporated their plane’s name, he simply responded, “Sure.” Lacking a sexy pinup girl or outlandish cartoon character, the jacket simply bears the name of the 351st Bomb Group’s plane, ‘Murder Inc,’ along with the Army Air Corps star symbol. But in this case, the meaning behind the demonically dark name bestowed upon the plane and crew was worth its weight in gold to the Nazis. When the crew of ‘Murder Inc.’ was shot down in 1944, they were captured and were quickly put to use for propaganda against the US. Strangely enough, the crew had not been shot down in ‘Murder Inc.,’ but another airplane. But that didn’t stop the Nazis from exclaiming that they finally had, in the flesh, the wild, homicidal Yankee gangsters that had bombed, burned, and murdered so many Germans. Williams, wearing the only jacket to sport the plane’s moniker, unwittingly delivered the enemy a propaganda gift. The consequence of an American bomber crew being portrayed as murderous gangsters resulted in the 8th Air Force ordering that all names for every new bomber had to be approved.

murder inc.

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