Sgt. Jesse O Hartsell's Jackets
On display is an A-2 flight jacket and a dress uniform jacket which belonged to Sgt. Jesse O Hartsell and was donated to the museum by his daughter Ms. Jackie Briggs. Her father’s military service began with the 449th Bomb Squadron of the 322nd Bomb Group, which was a B-26 Marauder unit.
Jesse O. Hartsell was born in Sulphur, Oklahoma, in 1921. In 1940 he joined the Oklahoma National Guard, but when his 45th Division was mobilized to Fort Sill for artillery training, he decided to join the Army Air Forces (AAF) and enlisted in December 1942. Assigned to a gunnery school, he was stationed at Great Sailing, England, with the 322ND Bomb Group in August 1943. As a replacement gunner, he would serve with numerous crews and aircraft for his 66 recorded combat missions. Two of these missions were onboard the famous B-26 Marauder, known as `Flak Bait’ currently being reassembled at Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum in Virginia.
In September 1944 Sgt. Hartsell returned to the U.S. after being relieved of duty after his required sixty-five missions. He separated from the AAF in July 1945. Facing a post-war return to a life of farming, Hartsell chose to re-enlist in 1947, beginning as an enlisted maintenance and supply sergeant at Tinker Air Force Base in his home state of Oklahoma. He would continue re-enlisting until his retirement in 1968. His service would eventually take him to counter-measure electronics training maintenance in the late-1950s where he would serve with Strategic Air Command at various state-side bases and several years in Turkey. His official retirement as an E-7 Master Sargent was July 31,1968 at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. His post-military career took him to the LTV Corporation serving as an industrial engineer, logistician and technical writer while living in Irving, Texas.
Sgt. Hartsell passed away in November 1998.