The 17 most hardcore WWII Air Corps bomber jackets

Cartoon characters with machine guns, sexy pin-ups riding phallic bombs, and/or — for the more skilled — an array of Nazi Swastikas or Japanese Rising Sun flags indicating the number of aircraft or ships destroyed . . . these are just a few of the common images worn on the backs U.S. Army Air Corps pilots, bombardiers, and navigators in World War II.

Whether it was for good luck, a sense of home or belonging, or just because wearing a jacket featuring Bugs Bunny Pulling Hitler’s severed head out of a hat fueled stories for the grandkids, there’s no doubt these jackets will always be enduring icons of a hard-fought air war.

oken4Ha

16. Props (see what we did there?) to this unit. This jacket looks pretty damn good for being hand painted:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.08.12 PM

15. After 35 bombing runs, this probably says it all. TWANNGGG:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.13.47 PM

14. Does that type look familiar? During WWII, the Walt Disney Company was much looser with its trademarks when it came to the war effort. Disney designed many of the unit and morale patches used by the Army Air Corps:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.07.55 PM

13. Native American imagery was a popular theme, not just because this imagery was born in the Western Hemisphere and is associated with the Western U.S. and Great Plains, but also because the percentage of Natives who serve in the U.S. military is disproportionately high:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.07.42 PM

12. Lady Liberty was every pilot’s best girl:

a-2-flight-jacket-art-62-wwii

11. Not just an awesome jacket with great art, using German seems like a it would be a bigger F**k You to Hitler and the Nazis, and it’s a really funny name. Der Grossarschvogel translates to “The Big Ass Bird”:

cd4fd8453105fafa239fa4347acfe57c

10. John McClane preferred Roy Rogers, But the Lone Ranger is good too (Yippy Ki Yay, Motherfu**er):

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.07.04 PM

9. Finally, a play on words using an aviator’s term:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.07.09 PM

8. This gets to the point faster than TWANNGGG:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.06.56 PM

7. The award for incorporating (what would become) the Air Force song:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.13.07 PM

6. The thing about being crazy is if you know you’re crazy, then you’re not crazy.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.13.58 PM

5. This way, you’d always remember your crewmen’s names.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.14.40 PM

4. Who among us hasn’t dated Ice Cold Katy at least once? This guy is a hero.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.13.53 PM

3. Nice use of the Air Corps star:

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 5.07.37 PM

2. Ramp Tramp – n. military/aviation term for a semi-skilled or unskilled airbase flightline worker, typically a baggage handler or aircraft cleaner. Flight crew and skilled mechanics/avionics personnel would not be considered “ramp tramps.” This is a nice shout out:

983468e1a52af50f48683ef4e754beb4

1. The top spot has to go to this guy. There’s no room for scantily-clad women when you’re trying to work in 100 bombing runs, five Japanese aircraft kills, and 12 ships, one of them a battleship.

f574235a2cb394b3fab7dc4d31b0f829

[jwplatform nO7lJLka]