Posted by Tali Urulu III, Editor-in-Chief of the Seiber Islands Historical Journal on July 04, 2000 at 23:57:11:
In Reply to: NOW LET'S TACKLE JAKE'S JACKET! posted by Terry on July 01, 2000 at 11:04:47:
I must admit I was confused when I recalled that the blood chit on Jake’s jacket in TOTGM was like that shown in Robert Calhoun’s photograph, as well as those on the jackets on the website provided by Steve Hartsell. I was confused because I recalled that the “Jack Cutter Jacket” on exhibit in the Cutter Air Museum (on St Hubert in the Seiber Islands) has a very different version of the blood chit, and a number of other patches as well.
I visited the museum yesterday to confirm my recollection in this regard and to get an explanation for the apparent discrepancy from the museum’s Curator Dr Husila Specht. She advised me the jacket on display in the museum is not actually Jake Cutter’s “original” flight jacket (i.e., the one he wore when he first arrived in the Seiber Islands in 1938). Instead, it is a jacket presented to him in Egypt by Prince (and Major) Parsifal von Weselstein of the Grand Duchy of Wotanberg in September 1942 to replace his “original” jacket.
Jake had lost his original jacket to Sergeant Joe Gunn in a poker game just before Gunn (and Jake’s jacket) went out on Gunn’s final mission in the desert in mid-September. Prince Parsifal acquired a new jacket in Alexandria and had the patches from most of the units Jake had flown with since 1939 sewn on: i.e., the “Desert Air Force” patch on the jacket’s upper right sleeve, the “Flying Tigers” over the front left pocket and lower left sleeve, the “China-Burma-India” patch on the on the front right pocket, and a post-Pearl Harbor “blood chit” on the back.
Jake did not actually wear the new jacket more than two or three times after receiving it. (As an officer in the Seiber Rifles from 1942-1945, he was, of course, expected to be properly uniformed. After the war, he realized that the jacket was, as pointed out by at least one of the correspondents on this BBS, far too hot to wear in the tropics.) In 1958, to mark the dedication of the new air terminal at the St Hubert Airport (later renamed in his honor), Jake donated the jacket to the Wotanberg Overseas Airways Company (WOAC).
I might also add that after World War II, Jake Cutter could usually be seen dressed rather casually, frequently in a Hawaiian shirt and a Detroit Tigers cap (and pants, of course). (It is not clear why Jake Cutter wore a Detroit Tigers cap. Were the Duluth Dukes a farm club of the Tigers?)
(It has been speculated that in developing the character for his series Magnum, P.I., Don Bellisario may have been influenced by photographs of the more mature Jake Cutter he reviewed in developing TOTGM. It is probably just a coincidence that Jake Cutter also wore a ring with a Cross of Lorraine--the symbol of the Free French--which was given to him by his friend Louis St Louis-les-Bitche--aka “Bon Chance Louie”--in 1945.)
For additional information about Jake Cutter please feel free to visit the Seiber Islands Historical Journal at the web site below. Before closing, I would also like to add that as Editor-in-Chief of the Seiber Islands Historical Journal, I am please to announce that Dr Husila Specht has convinced me that we should host web pages from the Cutter Air Museum on our site and that we shall be doing soon.
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