405th Bomb Squadron jacket patch belonging to Colonel Jesse Russ Foley, Jr.

A native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Jesse “Jess” R. Foley, Jr. (1916-1998) enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces in July 1941. During the Second World War, Foley served in the 405th Bombardment Squadron, 38th Bombardment Group, Fifth Air Force. In early August 1942, Foley departed from California in his new B-25 Mitchell bomber, named “Mississippi Rebel,” bound for the Pacific Theater.

Foley spent two years stationed in Papua New Guinea with the 405th Bombardment Squadron, known as the “Green Dragons.” While on leave in Australia from his post in New Guinea, Foley, along with other members of his squadron, had this patch made for his flight jacket. The Australian-made patch depicts the head of a ferocious dragon, the emblem of the 405th Bombardment Squadron.

While in the Pacific with the 405th Bombardment Squadron, Foley served as a pilot, squadron operations officer, and squadron commander, rising from the rank of second lieutenant to major. Foley participated in a number of aerial combat missions and received an Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross for two separate bombing attacks. He returned to the United States in September 1944 through Camp Shelby. Following the war, Foley continued his career in the Air Force, serving over 30 years and reaching the promotion of colonel.

Source:Gift of Dr. Russ T. Graves, in memory of Colonel Jesse Russ Foley, Jr.
Time Period:1941-1960
Related Conflict:World War II
Display Status:This artifact is on view in the World War II Gallery.


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