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  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF
  • United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF

Item: W6079

United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF

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United States. The Air Medal and Army Officer's Ike Jacket of First Lieutenant Kohn, 426th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF

Air Medal (in bronze, engraved "1ST LT / DONALD ROBERT KOHN / 426 NI FTR SQ", measuring 42 mm (w) x 50 mm (h), original ribbon with brooch pinback, extremely fine. Accompanied by its 36.5 mm (w) x 10 mm ribbon bar with pinback and its 17.3 mm (w) x 3.7 mm (h) enameled ribbon bar with button hole attachment, in its hardshelled case, marked "AIR MEDAL" on the lid); and his Army Officer's Ike Jacket (fabricated from olive green wool, each shoulder with epaulette straps held in place via small brown plastic buttons, each of the straps adorned with a First Lieutenant's rank insignia in silvered bullion wire, the insignia in fine wire within a beaded wire frame. Both collars have a "U.S." collar tab along with a Prop and Wings insignia in silvered and gold-coloured bullion wire. The front has two large pockets, one on each breast, which have decorative straps giving them a pleated-look, both with a fold over flap with dual snap closures.

Above the left breast pocket is an Army Air Forces Pilot's Badge in silvered bullion wire, the badge in fine wire with the outline of the shield and definition in the wings highlighted in beaded wire. Sewn in place at the waist is a wide band that encompasses the entire jacket, with two reinforced button holes on the right side near the opening, along with two receiving snap closures at the far right side, and when joined to the two small brown plastic buttons and the two studded snaps sewn in place on the underside of the flap that extends from the left side, ensures a secure fit at the waist. The front is completed by a vertical row of four large brown plastic buttons on the right side, facing an equal number of reinforced button holes on the left side, which are discreetly hidden behind a solid panel. The right shoulder is adorned with a theater-made 14th Air Force Flying Tigers Patch, the patch featuring a right-facing leaping tiger in black embroidery and silvered bullion wire, the outline of the tiger and detail in the wings in beaded silvered wire, surmounted by the AAF Star in silvered bullion wire and outlined in beaded silvered wire, with red embroidery representing the eyes, nose and mouth of the tiger, as well as the center of the star above, the tiger and star surrounded by a circle in silvered bullion wire flanked by beaded silvered wire on either side, all on a steel blue cotton base. The left shoulder is adorned with a China-Burma-India Theater Patch, the patch featuring two fine silvered bullion wire stripes bordered by three stripes of red embroidery, all stripes outlined in beaded silvered wire, the sun and star in silver bullion wire, the outline of the sun in blue threading, the outline of both and the arms of the star detailed in beaded silvered wire, the sun and star resting upon a navy blue felt field. The left sleeve cuff has two Overseas Service Bars in silvered bullion wire, with First Lieutenant rank stripes in olive green wool, in an alternating chevron pattern, the stripes held in place via brown threading on both cuffs.

The inside is lined in olive green rayon on the breasts, around the armpits and in the sleeves, the left side incorporating a side entry pocket just inside the opening, with a tailor's label illustrating the United States Army insignia and inscribed "REGULATION ARMY OFFICER'S UNIFORM" sewn in place on the pocket. The collar has a rayon braided strap for hanging the tunic on a hook. The jacket measures 460 mm across the shoulders and 480 mm in length overall, the stitching holding the Flying Tigers insignia coming away on its left side and exposing the underlying white cotton mesh backer, the jacket itself free of mothing, with very light soiling. Near extremely fine.

 

Footnote: Donald Robert Kohn was born on May 20, 1924 in New York City. He attended Herbert Hoover High School in Glendale, California and had completed one year of college at Glendale Junior College before he enlisted in the United States Army in 1944. After completing cadet training and flight school, he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. During the Second World War, First Lieutenant Kohn was stationed in Burma and China, serving with the 426th Night Fighter Squadron as a night fighter pilot, engaging the enemy under the cover of darkness with the first two-engine planes equipped with radar for flying at night. His unit was tasked with attacking enemy air bases and destroying Japanese supply trains that were bringing arms and ammunition to the Japanese front lines. The 426th Night Fighter Squadron was a night fighter squadron assigned to Tenth Air Force in India, and Fourteenth Air Force in China. The 426th Night Fighter Squadron was formed at Hammer Field, California in January 1944. It was the first night fighter squadron formed in California and was the first programmed for deployment to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. It and the 427th Night Fighter Squadron were also the first squadrons fully trained on the Northrup P-61 Black Widow night fighter. The two squadrons remained close to each other through their training cycles, flying training missions in the Bakersfield area. With its training as a unit completed, the members of 426th Night Fighter Squadron packed their bags and left California's sunny San Joaquin Valley in mid-June 1944. October 5, 1944 marked the start of the 426th's combat deployment, with four aircraft sent to Chengtu Airfield, China. Upon their arrival the mission of the 426th Night Fighter Squadron was night defense for the Twentieth Air Force B-29 Superfortresses based there. The 426th replaced the P-51B Mustangs of the 311th Fighter Group that had escorted the B-29s. However, as the 426th was several aircraft short of its full complement, the 311th transferred eight of its Mustangs to the squadron. By the end of October, the 426th was up-to-strength with P-61s at Chengtu. On October 27, 1944, a detachment of the 426th initiated operations out of Kunming, China, where Fourteenth Air Force was headquartered. The Japanese were well aware of the P-61s effectiveness, however many bomber crews were aware that there were too few of them to cover the entire Chinese front.

Another issue faced by the Americans was the fact that the terrain in China was very rugged and it caused permanent echoes on radar. This made picking out enemy aircraft very difficult, and because of this, the Japanese flew many of their aircraft low to the ground. It was impossible for the P-61s airborne radar to pick up the enemy aircraft without the help of ground-based interceptor radar, so in many areas, the freelance interceptions by the P-61s was almost impossible. Bomber escort missions continued until February 1945, when Japanese night fighter flying against the B-29s nearly ceased. More and more, the squadron flew night intruder missions. The 426th started staging out of Ankang, Liangshan, and Sian (now known as Xi'an), China, from which they attacked communication, motor transport and railway lines until the end of the war. After the war, Kohn returned to the United States, where he attended and graduated from Glendale College with a degree in Engineering. He became an aircraft designer with Northrup Grumann in Southern California from 1950 to 1975. In the latter portion of his career, he worked for two years overseas in Saudi Arabia designing oil refineries, after which he retired in 1975 and moved to Grass Valley, California. He enjoyed traveling and photographing his trips around the world, documenting them with an extensive slide collection that would rival National Geographic. He was a lifelong hunter and was an avid fly fisherman, making annual fishing trips every year during his retirement. He especially liked catching trout in New Zealand and going to the Amazon River in Brazil to fly fish for giant Peacock Bass. He was a bachelor, who also enjoyed investing in the stock market and following sports. Kohn was a resident of Grass Valley, California when he passed away at Sierra Nevada Hospital on January 25, 2017, at the age of 92. He was interred in March 2017 and is remembered with honour on a plaque at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, in Dixon, Solano County, California, Plot: Column 2, Court F, Site 47-A, the plaque inscribed "KOHN / DONALD ROBERT / 1LT US ARMY / WORLD WAR II / 1924 - 2017 / GONE FISHING".

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