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U-2 Pilot's Party Suit

DAYTON, Ohio -- U-2 Pilot's Party Suit on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- U-2 Pilot's Party Suit on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This "party suit" was not worn on missions, but instead was a strictly recreational outfit. It belonged to U-2 pilot Capt. Frank "Fuzzy" Furr, who wore it during the Southeast Asia War while deployed at U-Tapao, Thailand, in the early 1970s. Many pilots had customized party suits, and wore them for fun at unofficial gatherings. 

Party suits were usually humorous or ironic. The black rank insignia, name and U-2 silhouette on a black background emphasize the U-2's mysterious reputation. In U-Tapao's small U-2 community, both pilots and mission planners had party suits, which were made locally in Thailand. The phrase "toward the unknown," on the left shoulder patch, has been a U-2 slogan for many years.

349th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron Patch
This large patch matches the unit patch on Capt. Furr's party suit. The 349th was one of two U-2 squadrons in the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing deployed as needed to overseas locations. U-2s flew from U-Tapao, Thailand, primarily gathering electronic intelligence, from July 1970 to January 1973.

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