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On February 3, 1945, the Eighth Air Force, led by Lieutenant General James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, attacked Berlin in the largest aerial assault of WWII. More than 1,400 bombers, 900 fighters and 15,000 crew members took to the air that day, forming an armada that according to eyewitnesses took more than 3 hours to pass overhead.
Piloting those aircraft were officers decked out in heated suits, heavy leather jackets and caps like this one. This spot-on reproduction is an authentic replica of the caps worn by United States Army Air Forces officers during that amazing mission over Berlin and countless others in the struggle against tyranny. To accommodate the wearing of headphones during flight, officers would remove the inner wire that helped the cap keep its form. The headphones would crush down the sides of the cap, which is why these caps came to be known as a "crusher" caps. The more missions flown, the bigger the "crush". If a pilot was lucky enough to survive enough missions, his cap took on a distinctive look known as the "50-mission crush", which was an instantly recognizable hallmark of a seasoned aviator.