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    Identified WWI Naval Aviator

    WWI Naval Aviator Green Working Jacket and Sam Brown Belt Identified to Ensign Thomas Hall Wagner, Jr. Comprising: 1.) U.S. Naval Aviator green twill wool service jacket with 2 ¼-inch standup collar, two large lower button-flap patch pockets and two upper button-flap pleated patch pockets. The jacket is lined with a fine gold polished cotton cloth with two button flap interior pockets. The jacket is likely French made as all buttons have "Maurice Bourdon Paris" backmarks. The right inside sleeve lining is marked in ink "Wagner". The ensign shoulder boards appear to be matched and are of American manufacture with Scovill-marked buttons. Pinned above the left breast pocket are Wagner's Naval Aviator wings measuring 2 ¾-inches, marked "B.B.&B." (Bailey Banks & Biddle) and "BRONZE" on the reverse, pinback with safety catch and WWI Victory Medal bar with one star. Over the right breast pocket is a two-piece bullion Italian aviator wing. The separate crown and eagle are hand-sewn to the jacket. 2.) Brown bridle-leather Sam Brown belt marked size 40 with cross strap.

    Thomas Hall Wagner, Jr. (1898-1989) joined the American (Ambulance) Field service in May, 1917 and was assigned to S.S.U. 65 in June, 1917. It wasn't long before Wagner left the Ambulance Service to become a Naval Aviation cadet. The lot is accompanied by several pages of photocopied original documents including passport application for serving overseas in France and four pages of his Navy service record. On September 23, 1917, Wagner departed for France aboard the USS Corona, arriving at the Naval Air Station at Moutchic, France. He remained in Moutchic until he was transferred with a Naval Aviation Detachment to Lake Bosena, Italy where he received training from mainly Italian pilots in groundwork and flying. Wagner was one of 73 men to complete the course, hence his Italian wings. An exceptional item and rather rare considering how few U.S. Naval Aviator were trained in Italy.

    Condition: 1.) Very good. Scattered moth tracking; snags and small tears in the lining; neck lining frayed (as is usual), small moth hole on the black wool backing of the left shoulder board. 2.) Very good. The leather remains supple and the belt only exhibits signs of honest use.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2017
    11th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,687

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