Wednesday, September 30, 2015
A battle between family members over the ownership of a fighter pilot jacket that was used in World War II appears to be over after an appellate court ruling. The jacket belonged Phillip Eppley who was a member of the legendary Flying Tigers, an American volunteer force fighting for China before Pearl Harbor, and ended up in the estate of his wife who died after Eppley. One of the widow's sons took the jacket before his mother's death and refused to return the jacket until he was hit with an estate tax bill. Since then he has been seeking to show that he never owned jacket, in order to avoid the tax, and was merely holding it on behalf Eppley's son who owned all other memorabilia. The appellate court ruled that the son owned the jacket and failed to show that he was merely holding the jacket due to his exclusive possession of the jacket for over a year after his mothers death.
See Matt Miller, Rare WWII 'Flying Tigers' flight jacket focus of Pa. court battle, Penn Live, September 29, 2015.