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    Flew With the Eagle Squadron and 4th Fighter Group

    Fantastic Archive Belonging to 71 Eagle Squadron Pilot, William T. O'Regan. William T. O'Regan was posted to 71 Eagle Squadron in December, 1941. His log book indicates that he flew a number of types of aircraft during training but eventually flew Spitfire VBs exclusively with number 71 Squadron. O'Regan's early missions were mainly relegated to flying convoy patrols, formation flying and addition training to hone his skills. Included in this fabulous archive are two of O'Regan's pilot's log books. These logs provide a valuable look at the squadron's daily life, and O'Regan added detailed notes regarding pilot deaths, and other details about the scrambles the squadron flew. Of particular interest, however, are the entries which involve O'Regan himself. A few entries from his log give a sense of his time with 71 Squadron: April 26, 1942 - "Engine developed internal glycol leak just off Dunkerque on way back glided across channel to Manston, making safe landing. 20 F.W. 190s followed us across channel. Squadron provided perfect protection all the way to landing." January 9, 1942 - "Personally bawled out by the Under Secretary of State for Air (Capt. Balfour) for beating him up while he was flying a Proctor. (The worst bawling out I've had so far.)" August 12, 1943 - "Got one M.E. 109 G Destroyed & one damaged. O'Regan's first kill & about time too." September 23, 1943 - "My last trip over enemy occupied territory." His other log book has been jointly used as a photograph album and the eager O'Regan has pasted photographs of mainly British aircraft types, a few of them rather obscure, on the pages obscuring a few of his early training entries. Happily, there are a few pictures of his squadron mates, including a wonderful photograph of O'Regan and Mike Kelley standing beside a Spitfire with Eagle Squadron nose art and Eleanor Roosevelt climbing on the wing of a Spitfire. In 1943, he transferred from the RAF to the United States Army Air Corps and was assigned to the 334th Fighter Squadron of the famed 4th Fighter Group. This log also has many excellent photographs of pilots and aircraft from the U.S. Army Air Force 334th Fighter Squadron. Somehow O'Regan ended up with a fellow 71 Squadron mate's RCAF log book. The log book belonged to Jack E. Evans who was posted to 71 Squadron at Debden on May 30, 1942 and shot down over St. Omer on August 27, 1942. The last entry in his log is dated September 21, 1942. In addition to the log books there are many, many items of ephemera related to O'Regan's RAF service time and contemporary newspaper clippings with O'Regan's accounts of flying in support of the Dieppe Raid, a contemporary newspaper clipping with a photograph of O'Regan pictured next to his P-47 discussing it's unique elephant nose art and his award of the Flying Cross - "Well, at long last I have received the Distinguished Flying Cross, in spite of the red tape, it makes me feel like I have really done something. I also shot down two Jerries recently..."; a contemporary newspaper clipping entitled "William O'Regan Now With R.A.F. and in which he describes an engine problem which forced him to glide all the way back over the English Channel from France; and several other interesting contemporary newspaper clippings associated with O'Regan. There are a few bits and pieces of O'Regan's RAF and AAF insignia including a cardboard box filled with his U.S. military ribbon bars, small bullion RAF pilot's brevet, silver bullion U.S. pilot's wings, and a small Eagle Squadron crest, presumably for wear on a blazer or hat, single RAF dog tag and a sterling RAF/Eagle Squadron 1942 badge. Additional items include his RAF identity card, a black armband, and a nice color portrait of him in RAF uniform. Post war Eagle Squadron items include a 1986 invitation to the unveiling of the Eagle Squadrons' Memorial Statue in Grosvenor Square, London and a modern Eagle Squadron plaque on a wood backing. After WWII O'Regan was a participant in Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll. He was attached to the 509th Composite Group, 58th Bomb Wing. Captain O'Regan was in command of the photo aircraft during the operation. Included are two covers, actually flown on the bombing plane over the drop. O'Regan writes his wife a long letter giving a first-hand account of what he witnessed when the bomb was detonated. Included are many Operation Crossroads pamphlets and a great 8" x 10" photograph of the crew of his B-29 photo aircraft as well as a "Kwajalein Test Site" cigarette lighter. This is an excellent archive of material to a documented member of the famed Eagle Squadron and 4th Fighter Group. Included are many contemporary and older books related to the Eagle Squadron, many referencing O'Regan's name and giving accounts of his action with both squadrons. A rare chance to own a group from such a distinguished military aviator.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,574

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