Cincy WWII vet's bomber jacket found in VA Goodwill

Robert Arand
Robert Arand

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A vintage World War II bomber jacket has been returned to its owner nearly six decades after it was given away.

The leather jacket belongs to former WWII bomber pilot Robert Arand who flew more than two dozen missions in the South Pacific.

FOX19 caught up with Retired Maj. Robert Arand at his home in Colerain Township.

The jacket, like its owner, is still in good shape after all these years.

When Robert Arand's wife gave his bomber jacket away to charity 60 years ago he figured he'd never see it again, but thanks to a military historian Arand and his jacket have been reunited.

It all started with a phone call from Arlington, Virginia.

John Dodds, a military history buff, asked Maj. Arand, who is now 90-years-old, if he flew with the Red Raiders. After Maj. Arand answered yes, Dodds told him he had his bomber jacket.

Dodds tracked Arand down from the name on the jacket and recognized the former pilot's heroism.

Dodds sent Arand the jacket, which still fits, although Arand says he never wore it much to begin with, "I only wore it once all the time I had it. It was more of a memorabilia of the 22nd bomb group than anything else."

Maj. Arand says the sweltering South Pacific climate made wearing the jacket impractical.

The jacket wasn't issued to Arand, but he bought it while stationed overseas, "Somehow I picked it up in the Philippines from somebody.   I gave a carton of cigarettes or some cigarettes so I could have some memorabilia."

Arand's son is going to have a special case made for the jacket.

Arand retired as a Major in 1982.

Arand also lost his service medals over the years and is now working with House Speaker John Boehner to get replacements.

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