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1st Lt Cecil O. Dean WWII Ace/POW


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#1 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:34 PM

I lucked out this weekend and picked up a small grouping of items that belonged to a Cecil O. Dean. He began his aviation service as an Enlisted Pilot,fought in WWII with the 317th Fighter Sq of the 325th Fighter Group,The Checkertail Clan.He has 6 confirmed kills and was shot down over Hungary in July of 1944 and became a POW for 10 months. He flew P-40s (one kill),P-47s (3 kills) and P-51 Mustangs (2 kills).

Lots of pictures to show (40+) so please bear with me! What I did not get were his WWII uniforms or medals. Those were not part of the estate sale and may have gone to other family members. If anyone has anything related to this man, I would like to hear from you and try and reunite the grouping.

First up are the uniforms. A nice light color service jacket tailored in Japan. Solid Vangard Major leaves,NS Meyer PB pilot wings and ribbons.

Blue jacket also tailored in Japan.

Two sets of formal dress uniforms

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#2 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:36 PM

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#3 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:37 PM

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#4 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

Pictures of F/O Dean and two group pictures taken at Langley AFB. Names of all the pilots are listed on the back of one photo. Dean is sixth from the left in the back row.

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#5 trenchbuff

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:50 PM

Great group! Particularly with the photos. Congrats on a terrific find.

#6 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:54 PM

1st pic is of Dean as an Enlisted pilot. He is wearing Sgt stripes and pilot wings.

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A few pictures of him and friends,most taken in North Africa. Last photo is him and his future wife Lt Leona Porta, who was an Army Nurse in North Africa. Seems they spent alot of time together there.

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Four shots from North Africa. P-40 on the ground, Frances Langford presenting Dean with the Purple Heart along with Bob Hope on a Aug 1943 show in North Africa (Dean standing between Langford and Hope),Dean receiving a medal (no info written on this one) and a group of fellow pilots in front of Deans "home".

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#7 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:55 PM

Great group! Particularly with the photos. Congrats on a terrific find.


Thanks! Still alot more to post. May take me a while to get it all finished!
Steve

#8 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 01:59 PM

Sterling PB Pilot wings (very heavy) and items that look to have been picked up in N Africa. Neat wood & leather cig cases (May be olive wood).

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#9 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:04 PM

Five year diary started in Jan of 1943. Have not read the whole thing but have found ref to his 5th kill and the presentation of his Purple Heart By Frances Langford. The diary ends a few days before he was shot down in July of 1944.

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#10 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:07 PM

Telegrams to his parents informing them first that he is MIA,Then a POW and 10 months later back under US control and he will be in touch

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#11 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:12 PM

Hand written letter from Dean to his mother (16 pages) a few weeks after becoming a POW. A nice eye witness account of him bailing out. Have not read the whole letter as of yet.

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#12 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:20 PM

A wole stack of letters from Dean to his Parents written on German issued POW stationary. From what I have glanced at,Life was pretty good there.

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A stack of letters from family and friends TO Dean on US issued POW stationary

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A large stack of POW Bulletins for familys of American POWS

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#13 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:27 PM

Letters to Deans future wife Leona Porta who by this time had been discharged medicly from the Nurses Corp. Letters are from her brother at the tail end of the war and his occupation stations. Seems that there was something going on with him and a fellow soldier as one letter mentions Boards of Inquiry and courtmartial. Funny thing is every page ends with him asking her to send candy,cigs and choclate. Black market maybe?

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Tons of love letters from Leona Porta to Dean and Dean to Leona

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#14 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:31 PM

Picture of the post war couple and thier son Frank. They married at the end of 1945.

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Nice plaque of the 317th FS with campaigns listed on bronze medallions

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#15 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:33 PM

1951 diary while Dean was a signal supply officer during the Korean War. Day to day account of 1951 in Korea for Dean.

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#16 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:38 PM

Some books that Dean contributed photos and details to the author. There are a bunch of personal correspondece letters in the grouping between the author and Dean. One book titled "Checkertail Clan" is signed by the author and many pilots of the 325th FG of WWII.

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#17 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:39 PM

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#18 skio

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 02:47 PM

Thats it for now. Tons of reading for me in the next few weeks. I am also trying to track down stuff that was sold at the estate sale. A charity org wound up with what was left and they were nice enough to allow me to get some pictures that they had. Will post an update on the letters if anyone is interested in it.

Steve

#19 Captainofthe7th

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:11 PM

Awesome group!! I love those ribbons...really nice uniform.

Rob

#20 dhcoleterracina

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 02:55 PM

Steve, if I had my choice of a pile of unnamed medals and what you have, I'd rather have your group. You did very well. Good job for working to get it all back together. Dexter

#21 JDK

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:35 PM

Very cool group of items! The diary has to have some great stuff in it!
JD

#22 skio

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:22 AM

Rob,Dexter and JD

Thanks for the compliments! Have not had time to dig into the letters and diary due to work but hope to get to it soon.

I found another item that belonged to Lt Leona Porta. A leather stationary book that has a bunch of papers and letters from when she was in North Africa and her trip home on the USS Thistle.

Edited by skio, 15 March 2010 - 06:35 AM.


#23 skio

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:24 AM

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#24 skio

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:28 AM

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Christmas menu from aboard the USS Thistle which was a Hospital Ship that brought the 3rd General Hospital back from North Africa to the US. Signed by a number of the outfits members.

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Edited by skio, 15 March 2010 - 06:36 AM.


#25 skio

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:33 AM

Lt Porta must have loved poetry. There are about a dozen poems, some in her handwritting, in the case. Un sure if some were written by her. Some are by others but she seems to have credited them.

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A letter requesting a transfer to Lt Portas unit by a reletive, Pvt Robert Porta. Also inside were a few letters from family and friends.

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