Flying Jacket

Physical Description
Khaki jacket.
Specific History
This khaki flying jacket was worn by George Gay at the Battle of Midway, June 4-7, 1942.
General History
On June 7, 1942 the crippled carrier USS Yorktown rolled over and sank off Midway Island. Its crew members, watching from escorting destroyers, broke down in tears. All ships lowered flags to half staff. "The Old York's going down," a chief said over and over. As the carrier sliped beneath the waves, the Battle of Midway finally ended.
Earlier that day the Japanese tried to get closer to the American ships. Fifteen TBD-1 "Devastators" of Lieutenant Commander John C. Waldron's Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8), from USS Hornet, bravely pressed their attack against a swarm of nimble and deadly Japanese "Zero" fighters. All were shot down. One man pulled out of the ocean was Ensign George Gay, the sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron Eight. At the time of Gay’s death in 1996, his ashes were scattered over the grid reference off Midway where his shipmates fell, forever reuniting Torpedo Squadron Eight's aviators.
associated date
1941 - 1945
Gay, George H.
used in
Physical Description
cotton (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 25 1/2 in x 15 1/2 in; 64.77 cm x 39.37 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
George H. Gay
related event
Battle of Midway
World War II
The Great Depression and World War II
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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