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    FDR's "Eyes for the Navy" program- a spyglass with quite a history!

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed "F. D. Roosevelt" as Assistant Secretary of the Navy with Vignetted Certificate.
    -June 17, 1918. Washington, D.C. One page. 8" x 10.5". Navy Department, Assistant Secretary's Office letterhead. Also included, an 8" x 12" certificate with naval vignettes top and bottom and facsimile signature, along with envelope of transmittal.
    -To: Mrs. F. M. Carter of Cincinnati, Ohio.
    -Letter has mailing folds, else about fine. Certificate about fine.

    FDR writes, "Your prompt and patriotic response to the Navy's call for binoculars, telescopes, and spy-glasses, is most appreciated. The glasses will be very useful in the prosecution of Naval Operations until victory is won./ At the termination of war, if possible, every effort will be made to return them to you, when it is hoped that you will feel compensated for any evidence of wear, by the knowledge that you have supplied 'Eyes for the Navy' during a very trying period./ On behalf of the Navy, I wish to thank you most heartily./ Very respectfully..." Beneath Roosevelt's signature are the following words in an unknown hand: "The spy-glass was used in the Crimean war by Lt. Col. William P. Aimslic, and was loaned to the U.S. Navy during the World War, in 1918 and returned to Mary A. Carter in 1919."

    The Certificate included with this lot was sent to Mrs. Carter in 1919 at the end of the "Eyes" program. It reads, "The United States of America/ Department of the Navy/ The thousands of binoculars, telescopes, spyglasses and navigation instruments furnished the Navy by individuals, in response to its appeal for 'Eyes for the Navy' have been a vital contribution in the protection of our warships, transports, and supply vessels against the submarine activities of the enemy during the Great War. The Navy acknowledges, with thanks and appreciation, your cooperation, and this certificate is issued to/ Mrs. F. M. Carter/ in recognition of the sacrifice made for the safety of our ships and the assurance of final victory."

    The transmittal envelope from the above certificate is possibly the most interesting piece in this lot. Handwritten in pencil by an unknown person on the front is the following: "Acknowledgement of telescope./ Used in Crimean War/ [Used in] World War II/ Given to Kenneth Heuck and went down with Destroyer 'LUCE,' sunk off Okinawa by Jap Suicide plane in May 1945." Research shows that the USS Luce went down at Okinawa after an attack by two Japanese kamikazes on May 4, 1945, carrying 126 of her 312 officers and men with her. After service in three different wars, this spyglass would never see action in another.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 675

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