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    Description

    World War I: Collection of Military Decorations, Medals, and Insignia of Lieutenant Colonel Norman Sweetser, 1917-1970. Including: the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana); the Order of Vittorio Veneto (Ordine di Vittorio Veneto); the War Merit Cross (Croce al Merito di Guerra), the War Medal (Medaglia della Guerra) 1915 -1918, the Gold Medal Commemorative of World War I (Medaglia-ricordo in oro della I Guerra Mondiale); the World War One United States Victory Medal, with "Vittorio - Veneto" and "Defensive Sector" bars; American Service Medal; World War Two United States Victory Medal; a bronze table medal marking the 50th anniversary of the Italian Air Force, 1923-1973; a bronze medal honoring Gianni Caproni, designer of the Caproni 33 bomber, 1918-1968; a gilt medal marking the 55th anniversary of the first Caproni passenger flight; and a gilt medal from the Italian Ministry of Defense (Il Ministro della Difesa). Also included are Sweetser's World War One United States identity card; rolled gold identity bracelet; and his identity discs from World War One and Two. There are a number of patches, badges, pins, miniatures, and wings (including a gilt Italian wing) as well as two photographs of WWI Caproni bombers.

    Norman Sweetser (1894-1980), the son of a noted clergyman, attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he appeared in several theatrical productions. After graduation, Sweetser worked in numerous fields, including architecture, banking, advertising, teaching, singing, and acting. He was commissioned as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Service when America entered World War I and sent to Italy, where he earned the Italian War Cross for his service as a Caproni bomber pilot in the bombing 6a Squadriglia, (XIth Gruppo). His commanding officer was Captain Fiorello LaGuardia, later mayor of New York. After the war, Sweetser pursued his interests in music and theater performing with the Savoy Opera Company and in several Broadway shows. In 1927 he began a radio career as an announcer for one of the first New York City radio stations. In 1928 he accompanied presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith on his campaign tour of the West where he served as the official announcer for all of Governor Smith's radio speeches. In the 1930s Sweetser traveled with Babe Ruth on his personal appearance tours. During World War II Sweetser returned to military service with the rank of lieutenant colonel.


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    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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