|AN 6512 Parachute Nomenclature Tag, above photo.
The nomenclature label is marked:
AN 6512 PARACHUTE Gov't. No. 652243 (652243 marked out)
Mfg. Serial No.
Contract No. W-535-AC-30380
HAYES MANUFACTURING CORP.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
|B-7 or AN-6512 Parachute Pack Assembly, above photo.
This parachute pack assembly was designated the B-7 or AN-6517. The earlier version was designated the
B-7 and later changed to AN-6517 for supply to both the Army and the Navy contracts. The B-7 and AN-6517
was the standard backpack parachute assembly used by all types of aircrew during World War Two.
The parachute assembly has had the harness and parachute canopy removed.
|Parachute Model B-7, Aircrew
|AN-6512 Parachute Pack Assembly, above left photo.
This parachute pack assembly was issued to LT. R. F. Kaymen. The waist strap and inside rear of the pack tray is marked to
LT Kaymen. 1st Lt Richard F. Kaymen was from Madison Wisconsin. He served as the Navigator of the Flying Fortress
B-17G 42-97276 "Sweet 17 The Spirit of St. Louis", 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.
AN-6512 Parachute Serial Number, above right photo.
This parachute was originally serial numbered AAF42 652243. This serial number was replaced with 42-51025
|Crew of B-17G 42-97276 "Sweet 17 The Spirit of St. Louis", 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, above
Sweet 17 was derived from the aircraft radio call sign OR-S, or Sugar. This translated to Sugar being Sweet and 17 from the
bomber designation B-17. The name "The Spirit of St. Louis" was suggested by the crew members to recognize 1st Lt
Alexander Thomas' (Pilot) hometown - St. Louis, Missouri.
1st Lt Kaymen is kneeling in the front row, second from the left.
The crew flew their first combat mission on March 27, 1944 to bomb a German airfield at St. Jean d'Angely, France.
By the summer of 1944 all of the crew members had completed 30 missions and returned to the United States in the fall of
Photo from the National Archives