Original and reproduction- 449 BG/ 719th Sqn


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I just received this one today, it's both an original and a repro. It's new, only a month old and painted on very grainy Kangaroo hide ( :eek: pretty rare in Grottaglie) but it was freshly painted by an 87 year old B-24 Ball Turret Gunner from the 719th Sq so that might make it an original I guess. I find the design kind of intriguing as it's nothing like the typical Disney created types. It has a very unselfconscious handmade feel about it.

Roberto, you will surely be aware of this outfit. They must have had an incredibly tough beginning.

This is a description of the design;

"719th Symbolic Insignia,
Motto, "First with Many"

The 719th Bomb Squadron arrived in Italy in Dec. 1943 and entered combat operations on 8 jan 1944. During deployment from Bruning Nebraska in Nov-Dec 1943, weather related accidents caused the loss of virtually the enitre Quadron command and staff personnel.
The unite insignia was designed during the first few months of operation and partly reflects the Squadron experiences during this time.
The overall view is of Naples harbor, where the ground echelon debarked, getting their first glimpse of the Italian mainland. The buildings mark the Naples skyline. In the background is Mount Vesuvius in eruption, an event that occurred shortly after arrival.
The two hourglasses and the lighted candle in the foreground spell out the Roman number XXI, signifying twenty one squadron missions flown during the first month of operation, a record at that time, seldom, if ever, exceeded during the remainder of WWII.
The motto, "Primo Con Multo", translates lossely into "First with Many", to reflect the record number of missions flown by the Squadron in its first month of operation.
The somber colors reflect the dreary weather experienced in early 1944 as well as the mood of Squadron personnel during the early operational phases. "


Very interesting patch. It like seeing the Naples bay with the vulcan. Being made from the old member of the group I would frame with some info of the 449BG 719th SQ and keep like an original. Real part of the collection.


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I translated it even more loosely as "Fustest with the Mostest." :D
Nebraska in January? That had to be Hell on Friggn Earth compared with Italy.

You're right about the nice basic look of the design. Very pre-war really. Wasn't there a BS in Hawaii that had bombs caving in Kilauea as a patch?

I hope I can draw that well in my 80s. Maybe I'll have learned to paint by then. Ha...