ACES AND AVIATORS OF WW I. Very Good with edge and fold wear, light creases, and few minor smudges, old folds. Item #302821
Included among the 10 letters is a correspondence on personal letterhead, from renowned American war ace and Medal of Honor recipient, Eddie Rickenbacker, who had 26 aerial victories and was America’s most celebrated aviator of the war. Another intriguing response comes from combat pilot, Edwin C. Parsons, one of the 38 members of the famed Lafayette Escadrille, who later became an FBI agent, screen writer, and technical director for Paramount Films. In his 1934 letter, which is type written on Fox Film Corporation Studio letterhead, Parsons writes in part, “I haven’t flown a great deal in recent years, having no particular desire to do so and finding no great pleasure in it, although I have been director of flying activities and technical director of several air pictures such as WINGS, LEGION OF THE CONDEMNED and HELL’S ANGELS.”
WINGS, a 1927, action-romance starring Clara Bow and Gary Cooper, was directed by another former World War I pilot queried by Farber, William “Wild Bill” Wellman. Wellman enlisted in the French Foreign Legion in 1917, but was later assigned as a fighter pilot and was the first American to join N.87, les Chats Noir (Black Cat Group), in the Lafayette Flying Corps. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with two palms for his service. In his 1934 letter to Farber, which is type written on Walter Wagner Productions, Inc. letterhead, Wellman writes in part, “The only times that I fly now are when it is necessary from a business standpoint. I do my flying, then, as a passenger—in other words, frankly, I have had my belly full.”
One notable correspondence comes from Russian-born, Boris Sergievsky, and includes an accompanying war record that is type-written in his own words. One of the most colorful aviators of his time, Sergievsky began his military career as an infantry officer and was awarded Imperial Russia’s highest honor for leading a charge that captured a fortified enemy hilltop. Sergievsky then took to the air and earned the title of ace while flying against Austria-Hungary during the war. After the Bolshevik revolution he joined the White Army, and in 1923, he emigrated to America, where he eventually became chief test pilot for Igor Sikorsky, setting 17 world aviation records. His 1934 letter to Farber is hand written on Sikorsky Aviation Corporation letterhead and includes the original accompanying envelope.
Other pilots who wrote letters in response to Farber’s inquiries include, Charles H. Dolan, Jr., Frederick Ordway, Jr., Cecil “Pop” Sellers (Sellers died, along with Pan American’s first pilot, Edwin Musick, in a mid air explosion while working for the airline), Eliot Springs, Arthur J. Coyle, Jesse creech, Lawrence Smart, and Raymond Collishaw. (Collishaw was Canada's second-highest scoring fighter pilot, and achieved 60 aircraft victories by the war's close, plus a further eight observation balloons, and went on to become a vice admiral in WWII.)
13 autographed photos from this collection include; Eddie Rickenbacker (inscribed to Charles P. Searles), Herman Whitman, Henry Forster, Thomas Moore (three autographed photos), Douglass Campbell (also includes an autographed “Sky Birds” trading card), Reed Landis, Ernest Crossen, John Loggie, and German pilot Kurt Liebau.
8 additional unsigned photos and reprints also accompany the 9 “mimeographed form” war records. These signed, mimeographed forms include biographical information, including parents, marriages, children, occupation, etc., war service including, units served with, enemy aircraft destroyed, dates wounded or captured, decorations, etc. The form also asks for opinions on the “greatest war flyer” from each country.
Also included in this unique collection, is an interesting promotional pictorial broadside of William Avery “Billy” Bishop, Canada’s top ace of the war, who is credited with 72 victories. The broadside reads in part, “The above genuine Autograph by Colonel Bishop is indeed a Souvenir of the Great World War to be treasured for years to come. The hand that signed the above name is the Hand that Downed a Hundred Huns.”
Other memorabilia includes a 1979, 62nd Anniversary Reunion brochure of the 20th Aero Squadron, signed by 10 surviving members, and an article from the Dayton Daily News, titled “War’s end recalled,” which is dated Nov. 11 1980, and autographed by Roland Richardson (213th Aero Squadron) and Louis Carruthers (93rd Aero Squadron).
Price: $3,500.00 Free International Delivery