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    93rd Aero Squadron Insignia Museum Quality

    WWI 93rd Aero Squadron Indian Head Insignia Saved From a Spad Fighter. A truly impressive and exceedingly rare section of fabric salvaged from a French-made Spad biplane replete with the imposing insignia of the United States 93rd Aero Squadron. The large section, rescued from the Spad's fuselage, measures 39" x 23.5" and is in extraordinarily good condition. The imposing squadron insignia features the head of a sinister screaming Indian adorned with red, white, blue, and yellow war paint. Two white feathers trail from a red, white and blue roundel attached to a red and yellow headband. Enough of the surrounding fabric remains to see some of the aircraft's original green camouflage scheme. The painted surface bears only the slightest and negligible rubbing in a few spots. The fabric has been mounted between two sheets of stiff plastic for protection awaiting a more long-term display solution.

    During this period the use of Native American images and references was quite common. In fact similar images were used by other squadrons of the period including the 28th, 103rd, and 213th Aero Squadrons. Memories of the Indian Wars were still vivid and the transformation of Indians into folklore had begun in earnest with popular venues like Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows a few years earlier. Perhaps these early aviators were in some way paying respect to their former foe's fighting abilities by using their images to intimidate their new enemies.

    The consignor states that this piece was purchased from the estate of a man who had been a mechanic in the squadron. It was common during the First World War for aviators and their ground crews to collect "trophies" from the aircraft of their fallen foes. Photographs from the period depict pilots lounging in rooms whose walls are adorned with the various spoils of war. Souvenir hunting was not limited to enemy aircraft however as frequently airmen would purloin items from their own damaged aircraft for sentimental reasons. Presumably our mechanic retained this piece as his own souvenir from the "Great War". All in all, a spectacular, museum quality piece rarely seen in private collections in this country.

    The 93rd was a pursuit squadron assigned to the Third Pursuit Group, First Pursuit Wing, First Army and reached the front about July 28, 1918. It took part in 157 war missions, fought 64 combats and received official confirmation for 32 enemy planes shot down. The squadron was disbanded on December 11, 1918.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2008
    25th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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