Trash to Treasure: WWII bomber jacket - AmericaNowNews.com

Trash to Treasure: WWII bomber jacket

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  • Trash to Treasure: WWII memorabilia

    Trash to Treasure: WWII memorabilia

    Historical items collected by soldiers while serving overseas often end up really appreciating in value. Here's a look at how old uniforms in the attic could be treasures in disguise.
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Authentic combat clothes from WWII can be prized souvenirs that are also worth a lot of money. Here's how to tell if you've got an old military jacket in your closet with a "sky-high" value.

"What I have is a WWII naval aviator's jacket," says avid memorabilia collector, Michael Roman. "What's significant about it is the pilot was an Ace, determined by five or more kills. Every time an American pilot shot down an enemy plane, a small symbol of the enemy's flag was painted on the backside of his jacket, like notches on a gun." 

Artistic details, like a hand-painted picture of a fighter-bomber, make a jacket far more valuable.

"This item is very unique, because not very many naval aviators survived the war," says Michael.

But he says be careful -- reproductions of WWII aviator jackets are for sale in many places.

"One way to tell that this is an authentic jacket is from the fur on the neck," says Michael. "This fur is called 'mouton' and it came from a sheep that was a very specific color and a very specific-grade brown."

Michael says other telltale signs of authenticity include wool webbing and signs of age, like worn leather. Another clue is revealed right under the collar, where you'll find the faint initials for the United States Navy.

"And if you turn it around to the front here, you can see the pilot, his naval aviator wings, his name was Fred Felix Curtis," says Michael. "He has his squadron patch here; he's actually painted a Felix the Cat holding a bomb."

"A general-issue aviator's jacket from WWII can sell for a couple hundred dollars," says Michael. "But this one is so unusual, it would sell for far more. Conservatively, a jacket like this is worth about $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the buyer."

So if you discover a vintage aviator jacket in a dusty old closet, make sure you inspect it closely! If you find you have the genuine article, then you've got a valuable collectible and a true historic treasure.

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