Hello & Happy Sunday to All,
Rare & Original Flying Tiger Disney Pins. I'm sharing with you herein picture of a Tiger Zoo, assembled over time. On the top row are good mint condition artefacts of the Disney designed pin fabricated by Whitehead & Hoag and given out to the American Volunteer Group in late January 1942. You'll note the 4th Tiger Pin is quite a hard to come by pin as the Tiger has a Burma-sourced ruby in its mouth.
AVG Member John Overley. On the top row too, counting from left to right is Tiger number six, a Whitehead & Hoag miniature Tiger Pin gold filled to 10k rather than gold plated like the bigger ones. This little Flying Tiger pin inclusive of the rare, numbered twin white Peacocks pin--symbolizing the WW2 unity of China & the USA and given only to the 300 AVG members--and the 2 AVG collar devices, belonged to AVG Crew Chief John Overley. The items were bought directly from his family's estate. The crew chief after his US Navy & USAAF discharge lived a long fruitful life & involved in the business of mineral mining until 2001 at 83 or 84. He seemed humbly proud of his AVG days, given how well he preserved his military effects, including intact documents and certificates.
AVG Wing For An AVG Clerk. On the second row on the left is a small wing with AVG etchings. This wing came from the Sam Pelenaro Collection, a gentleman from the western part of New York who assembled military, civilian aviation-related badges including American Civil War stuff. Mr. Pelenaro bought this wing from another collection in Holland, NY circa 1998. The AVG Clerk Typist who wore this unofficial wing badge was Doreen Davis. Hence, not all AVG members had the Chinese Air Wings to take back home to remind them of their brave survival and success.
Circa WW2 US Navy Wings Of An AVG Pilot. The US Navy Wings on the second row is a Balfour 10k gold filled badge. These are one of the badges owned by AVG Ace Pilot William Bartling who flew on the USS Wasp before signing up with the Flying Tigers. Veteran Captain Bartling then became an executive of a freight airline service (Skyway Freight Corp.), that merged with the Flying Tigers Line. Guess he was a close buddy of latter company's main principal, AVG Ace Robert Prescott.
Capt. Robert Hawthorne Neale. At the very bottom centre of the display are the Chinese Air Force wings of AVG top Ace Pilot Capt. Robert ¨Bob¨ H. Neale. In the 50s Bob Neale turned over with letter these military effects to a famous early collector now passed away. He included his AVG uniform, the Chinese wings and his officer cap badge. Referring to Bill Bailey's autographed picture of Capt. Neale, one can see the same wings and pertinent style--unlike the longer softer early 30s to late 1941 Chinese wing version most AVGers received--worn by the fighter pilot.
A lot has been said of the gentleman. His other badges and 10-star wing medal are at the San Diego Aerospace Museum, whilst shortly after his death, the rest of his AVG related items including documents were transferred to the Seattle Air & Space Museum as final repository, by the wishes of his Washington State-based widow and children. All I can say is that Capt. Neale lived a long and quiet, stress free life after his air battle days, especially looking at his AVG anniversary photos of the 50s and 60s--ageing less than his mates at the peak of the their lives.
Various CBI, ETO, PTO Stuff. There are some items like the CNAC device, Captain Morgan's air pin from PTO Tokyo bombings, Eddie Rickenbacker's 94th Fighter Squadron ETO Dui, the numbered CATF Dui insignias, the 8th Aerodrome Duis, and the 23rd Fighter Group ¨Flying Tigers¨ of the 14th Air Force Dui collection (Massaro 23A1-A5 plus variants). Plus, some other numbered (1200-2000) Chinese Air Force Wings of the CBI.
The remainder I shall explain when I find another hobby time or when there are any questions from the experts of the USMilitaria Forum. But the foregoing description seems good enough for a Sunday afternoon.
In the meanwhile, Señores, please enjoy!!