JACKET - Type M422A VMB612 PBJ Gunner SSgt H. C. Finkowski
VMB-612 was organised on October 15, 1943 as a specialist Marine squadron flying North American twin-engine B-25s - or as the Marines called them - PBJs.Continue Reading
- US Navy M422A Gordon & Ferguson 416-A
- USMC VMB-612
- Rayon satin
- Suttle-loom woven taffeta
- Original NOS wartime Talon M-42
VMB-612 was organised on October 15, 1943 as a specialist Marine squadron flying North American twin-engine B-25s - or as the Marines called them - PBJs.
Marine PBJs had radar mounted in the nose, and a 50-caliber machine gun in the tail. The squadron was trained to fly at night at low level over the ocean at no higher than 500 feet. The aircraft were painted dark blue to blend in with the night sky.
As well as carrying 500 pound bombs, these aircraft were often fitted with ‘Tiny-Tim’ rockets as an alternative which were much preferred by the crews as they found them to be more accurate.
Commander of VMB-612 Lt Col Jack Cram wrote in a combat report from an attack mission against Japanese shipping near Iwo Jima - “The rockets could either be fired in pairs, or in a salvo of 4, 6 or 8. It was found, to be more effective to fire a salvo. In most cases we fired a salvo of eight rockets when we had a good target”.
S/Sgt Henry C. Finkowski (1923-1984) was a Radio/Gunner operator. His Gordon & Ferguson M422A jacket is adorned with hand-painted kills to the right breast showing the number of ships his aircraft sunk. To the left breast is his gold and silver embossed leather name tag with Air Crew wings, and a hand-painted squadron patch beneath of the VMB-612’s emblem painted upon a fabric sail-cloth.
Decorated jackets like this of the U.S. Navy or U.S.M.C. with hand painted kills marked upon them are extremely rare, and with the added fact of this being a very specialised unit makes this example a truly unique historic piece.
Our recreation of this Elite Unit jacket is an authentic reproduction of the Gordon & Ferguson M422A model, just like Sgt Finkowski’s original.
Made from a beautiful veg-tanned goatskin, all of the hand-painted decorations have been painstakingly reproduced, by hand, using the correct type of paints and materials.
The name tag is made just like Finkowski’s original which is the Air Crew wing insignia done in a two-tone silver and gold hot-foil impression with his name underneath.
Equally authentic is the squadron patch which is hand-painted onto sail-cloth and then stitched down to the jacket.
This product pays homage to this much unheard of, yet incredibly gallant U.S. Marine aviation unit, and a brave individual whose experience in battle is forever recorded on this historic garment. Wear it with pride!