Collection Item Summary:
This a non-regulation Australian style bush hat worn by members of the United States Air Force serving in Thailand during the Vietnam War.
This hat was worn by the donor, who flew four combat missions in Vietnam either piloting or in formation with the Museum's F-105 at the end of 1967 with the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
According to the donor, the “Go to Hell Hat” was a Thai-made Australian Bush hats worn by F-105 pilots and their Electronic Weapon's Officer (EWO) who were stationed in Thailand at Takhli and Korat.
'When a new pilot arrived at Takhli or Korat, he immediately purchased a 'go to hell hat' (an) Australian bush hat at the Post Exchange. For each mission flown against North Vietnam, he etched a black hash mark on the front of the hat; for missions into the Hanoi area (Route Package 6), he penned a red mark on the hat. Status in an F-105 Squadron often boiled down to how many red and black hash marks a pilot wore, with the ultimate status symbol being the 100-missions patch he received at the end of a tour.'