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Lucky Bastard Club Certificates


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#1 Paul S

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 08:23 PM

I've embarked on a another quest to satisfy a curiosity. We have heard of the Lucky Bastard Club and we generally know the criteria for membership. However, after contacting historians of about half of the bomb groups that were stationed in England to request a HQ scan of a typical LB certificate from their group, I've been surprised to discover how many of the historians either had nothing, or in some instances had not heard of it!

It seems to be one of those things a lot of folks have heard of, but not many have had intimate contact with the real deal. You folks have supported my MA project magnificently, so I wonder if any of you have been accumulating some of these LB certificates and would be willing to share HQ .jpg files either by posting here or by PM? Ideally, I'm looking for 300 KB or larger files but would be pleased to see anything I haven't already found.

It appears that each bomb group created their own versions of the certificates, it was a practice peculiar to the 8th AAF, and not all bomb groups participated in the practice. I suspect that these certificates were more personal to the airmen than their wings--since there was but one of them per man and only for those men who survived a full tour, they must be relatively scarce when compared to the wings.

Anyway, what have you got?

I have good files for the 447th, 100th, and 458th--that leaves over 35 others to locate. Here are some of the low res files I've found by scouring the net:

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  • Post_Medium.JPG

Edited by Paul S, 11 February 2009 - 08:27 PM.


#2 bschwartz

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 05:55 AM

I've always found these fascinating as well although I haven't seen a ton of them in real life. I have one on my site from the 447th that matches the example you already have. It's listed on Jack Keller's page on the site. If I find any more I will definitely let you know. I'm giving a presentation to the 8th Air Force Historical Society in June so I'll bring it up there and see if any of the vets might just have one of these lying around the house.

#3 Bluehawk

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 06:20 AM

Wonderful ephemera... I posted a link to it here:
http://www.usmilitar...d...0&start=180

#4 JDK

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 08:05 AM

I have one that it looks like you already have. Part of a large grouping to a B-17 pilot with the 390th BG.
I'll dig around to see if I have anything else. Best of luck with the hunt.
J.D.

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j186/JKlein76/020.jpg

#5 Paul S

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:10 PM

Hi JD,

The 390th I have is a very small 25 KB file...looks like yours is under glass...too much trouble to remove for a good scanned file?

My father never framed his and kept them in a file folder all his life. As I mentioned, I think the airmen tended to really guard these certificates, knowing better than most what it took to receive one.

Bob,

I think these certificates are usually 8" X 10" but I have heard from one respondent that his is 11" X 17". Seeing if some of the AFHS members have scanned theirs would be a great idea.

Paul S

#6 JDK

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:51 PM

Paul,
Can do! I'll do my best to get you a good scan, although my scanner isn't the greatest.

Not sure if there is any interest, but I have this for the 458th I found in another group.

J.D.

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j186/JKlein76/077.jpg

#7 pfrost

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:57 PM

Those are some neat items!

One wonders if the men weren't a bit superstitious about something like this? Like tempting the fates. Even if they were done with their missions...why take the chance?

Still, neat stuff. I can imagine what a stellar collection a group of these documents from different squadrons would make. Hmmm......


Patrick

#8 bschwartz

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:42 PM

Paul,

Jack's is definitely 8x10. He made photocopies for me of most of his stuff from WW2 and I have a copy of the Lucky Bastard certificate in the stack of info he sent. I'll let you know if any of the guys at the meeting have anything to share. Unfortunately you'll have to wait until June....

#9 Paul S

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 03:19 PM

JD,
The 458th "200" certificate you have is most likely a celebration announcement for the Group's 200th mission which was common among the groups. Most others I've seen were in the form of an announcement/invitation to an on base soiree.

I don't think there was much of a celebration, other than of the individuals themselves, of the "Lucky Bastard" status--no award ceremony that I'm aware of. Something like that would have been too hard on the guys still facing more missions. In fact, those reaching the end of their duty were as often as not, reaching that point at different times rather than as a crew, since during the course of months they flew, guys tended to fly with different crews at different times, for various reasons....injury fill-in, illness, etc.

Here is the only picture I've found that shows some period recognition of achievement of "LB" status.

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  • LuckyBastardClub__Large_.JPG


#10 Zero T

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 09:37 AM

My father was navigator on the fortress, E-Z Goin', of the 100th BG, 349th BS. He always displayed his diploma from Rice, his Professional Engineer certificate, and his Luckye Bastardes Club certificate together in his office. Sadly, all has been lost. I am hoping to get a hi-resolution scan of the 100th BG one, and do a Photoshop replica of his certificate. I tried to PM this to you, but am not allowed to for some reason. Any assistance than can be provided will be greatly appreciated.

Tom Scotty
Houston TX

Edited by Zero T, 14 February 2009 - 09:38 AM.


#11 F 106 Pilot

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 11:48 AM

I have one from a gunner with the 388th Bomb wing. It is under glass and packed fairly deep in my things. I purchased it with his beautiful A 2 jacket. That has a full back painted B 17 and all of the bombs with dates for his missions. He was on the La Dee Doo B 17 as that is painted below the B 17. I will try to dig it out some time in the future for you. But it will take me some time as I know where the jacket is but the Lucky Bastards Certificate is buried some where in all of my mess. Ben

#12 rrobertscv

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 02:13 PM

Cool, something new to add to my search list!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif

#13 Paul S

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 05:38 AM

Tom,

Post an email address using at and dot where appropriate (I'm told that foils the robots) so I can contact you.

Paul S

#14 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:10 PM

Here are the " US Navy versions " of the Lucky Bastard Club certificates . These are from Fleet Air Wing 7 which flew B-24's out of England .

LB1.JPG
LB2.JPG

 

tittle.JPG


Edited by KASTAUFFER, 20 October 2017 - 08:55 PM.


#15 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 03:12 PM

LB3.JPG
LB4.JPG

#16 wildcat123

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 04:31 PM

This one seems more formal (no lucky bastard)...but along the same lines. Perhaps it isn't what you're looking for. Belonged to a Navigator from the 93rd BG.

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  • sc0007bbce.jpg


#17 Tseuh

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:51 AM

Hi Gents,

These documents are so great ! Congrats to the owners.

Jeff (JDK), I guess these documents are part of groupings with beautiful A-2 jackets...

Tim.

#18 JDK

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:24 PM

Hey Tim,
Yes they are part of A-2 jacket groupings along with alot more on these 2 guys.
Drop me a PM if you want to see more of it. Good to see you here!

#19 bschwartz

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 02:19 PM

I had never seen a Navy version of this before. Thanks for posting them!!

#20 Paul S

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:35 PM

Sometimes these calls for information amaze me. Two folks sent me the images shown below...the first one is the signature section from a 94th BG Lucky Bastard certificate. Although the recipient made it, 3 of the five officers signing his certificate did not. The fourth marked in blue was subsequently shot down, ditched, and recovered to become the last CO of the 447th.

Another gentleman sent me a lot of pictures and asked if my father's plane could be identified in any of them...I've looked at a lot of these pictures over the years and have yet to find my father's aircraft in any of them. However, in this batch--there he is! Mission #18 leaving 12 more before he would earn his Lucky Bastard certificate. Dad never saw this picture.

This particular plane was shot down about 6-months later over Merseburg. I believe one or two were KIA, the rest POW. Of the 9 planes Dad flew during his tour, 6 were shot down with other crews aboard. He was the definition of a Lucky Bastard.

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  • Casualties.jpg

Edited by Paul S, 18 February 2009 - 06:41 PM.


#21 Zero T

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 05:24 AM

Tom,

Post an email address using at and dot where appropriate (I'm told that foils the robots) so I can contact you.

Paul S


You can contact me at tom (at) scottyonline (dot) com. Thanks in advance.

#22 Paul S

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 07:03 PM

Inflow of these certificates has slowed in the past few weeks. I got to thinking that since about 41,000 DFC's were awarded in the Eighth during WWII, that could serve as an estimate of the maximum number of LB certificates that were possibly awarded.

It's my understanding that most of the WWII DFC's were awarded for completion of full tours. It appears that fewer than 50% of the ~40 Groups issued these certificates, so that would indicate a maximum of perhaps 20,000 that were, in fact, issued.

Given that they were somewhat fragile and that family members may not recognize their significance, I would suspect that a lot of them have been discarded. I think these certificates are fairly scarce.

#23 Paul S

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 08:55 PM

Iíve been working on this Lucky Bastard Club project for a few months Ö below is a marked chart showing current status. Perhaps some of you guys can help me continue to fill-in the unknowns.

Iím seeking HQ scans of as many different certificates as I can locate. Those marked ďOKĒ I have; others although I have the image, it isnít very good.

Gray squares are those Groups I havenít been able to verify used the LB certificates.

Green squares are those Groups that I know used them, but I havenít seen an image of one.

Red squares are those I am fairly certain did not use the LB certificates.

Any help would be appreciated.

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  • Editing_w_smalls_ORIGINAL_40__Large_.JPG


#24 Ricardo

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:16 AM

A friend have this ...

Posted Image

#25 Paul S

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:20 AM

Ricardo,
Thanks for posting the picture. The 457th certificate is unusual in a couple of ways...one, it is a First Division Group which appear to be scarce compared to Third Division use of the LB certificates and second, all the information is neatly typed-in where most others are either done in calligraphy or roughly printed. Most others I've seen are signed by the Group officers then appointed to those posts.

Paul S


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