Flying Jacket

Description:

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

User: Gay, George H.

Used In: Asia

Related Event: Battle of MidwayWorld War IIThe Great Depression and World War II

Subject:

See more items in: Military and Society: Armed Forces History, Military, Military, ThinkFinity

Exhibition: Price of Freedom

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: George H. Gay

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: AF.59193-NCatalog Number: 59193-NAccession Number: 253618

Object Name: jacketOther Terms: jacket; Man; Navy; Air; Flight; Summer

Physical Description: cotton (overall material)metal (overall material)plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 25 1/2 in x 15 1/2 in; 64.77 cm x 39.37 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a2-a0bb-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_459448

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.