An Amazing Album of American Aeronautics[Aviation]. Album of Correspondence, Photographs, and Signatures of Famous Pilots. 1930-1981. A binder with forty-six sides, holding letters, photos, and autographs of famous pilots, ranging from the World War I heroes of the Lafayette Escadrille to Thomas Ferebee, the bombardier who dropped the atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Included are twenty-four photos, some of which are signed and others of which are reprints, completed "War Record" mimeographed forms, letters both handwritten and typed, and other ephemera. The documents are in very good condition with light edge and fold wear, light creases, and few minor smudges. A wonderful album for anyone interested in the history of American aeronautics. From the Collection of John Carroll Collins.
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Many of the earlier letters, forms and photos were in response to Lt. Colonel James Farber's inquiries into the whereabouts of some of the greatest aviators of WWI. Over the years he wrote to pilots and got responses from the likes of Eddie Rickenbacker, who, with twenty-six aerial victories, was considered America's most successful fighter ace; and Edwin C. Parsons, combat pilot turned FBI agent turned technical director for Paramount films such as Wings and Hell's Angels.
Included is a wonderful one page letter from William A. Wellman, known as "Wild Bill" from his World War I service days and later as the director of James Cagney's 1931 classic motion picture The Public Enemy, in which he writes: "As you probably do not know, I have not made any aviation pictures for some time and sincerely hope that I do not direct anymore of them as they are very difficult and very dangerous, and frankly, the main reason is because there is very little left that has not already been done."
There are clipped signatures from historic explorers and aviators, such as Walter Hinton, who piloted the first transatlantic flight in 1919, and Richard E. Byrd, whose Antarctic Expeditions are legendary.
Other pilots represented are Charles H. Dolan, Henry Foster, Arthur Coyle, Jesse Creech, Ira Eaker, Lawrence Smart, Boris Sergievsky, Douglass Campbell, James Harold Doolittle, and many more.
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