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shelter in place attic find - Eagle Squadron

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Hi from the San Francisco bay area !

We finally got the time to open up my father-in-law’s trunk.

Colonel George St. Maur Maxwell, DFC (1917-2011), flew for 71 Squadron, Feb 24 to 13 April 1942.  He got there by going to Canada in 1940.

We have 3 uniforms from that period along with many other things and also from the rest of his service in WW2 and beyond.

The gas mask is a prototype one of kind made by his father Dr. George St. Maur Maxwell I. Dr. Maxwell held over 100 patents.  During the First World War, he worked in the Ordnance Bureau of the War Department, and it was there that he developed the war devices for which he was known: the range finder and shell-loader, and the Maxwell Chemical Warfare Mortar, which replaced the Stokes Mortar as standard Army equipment. 

It will take me a bit to get detail photos of all of it.  I  have many questions and I will start posting some asap.

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Looks like a fantastic group! Can't wait to see more!


Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Awesome group.

Please post close ups.


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Colonel George St. Maur Maxwel came through 138 combat missions and won the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 2 silver and 3 bronze Oak Leaf clusters.”  

Is his DFC an RAF or Army Air Force award ?

Also, are any of these bars  (one old set and one new?) British or represent anything different than the above mentioned awards?  How about the metal wings?

 

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Looks like he was in the USAF after the war up through the Korean War.

The wings look like post war made by Meyers.


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The DFC is an Air Force medal that was introduced during WWII and still awarded today.


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The DFC is an Air Force medal that was introduced during WWII and still awarded today.

I can’t see it very clearly but the Sunday Star article looks like it’s from 1944, if it is he was awarded the DFC and AM during his time in the Army Air Force.


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This is great- something positive coming out this!  Can’t wait to see more.

Kyle


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That's a really nice Distinguished Flying Cross in the early pearl-button latch case. I'm assuming there's no medal name on the lid? 

Also, I can see the number of the medal on the bottom left (as you look at it) edge. Can you tell us what that number is?

Thanks!


Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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Good eyes Dave !   I see #1788 and as you can see the lid  top has flaked off.

So, then all the bars are Army -Air Force or a mix  with USAF?  Thanks all!

More detail soon.

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Wow! Great group! Fantastic to see it.

JD


AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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He will have been in the USAAF and the USAF. Those ribbons represent medals he earned/awarded during time in both. The Air Force became a separate branch from the Army in 1947, so many USAAF guys served in the USAF when they served past 1947. Same thing happens with the earlier USAAC. Gets confusing sometimes! :)

 

The biggest difference is when you have the Good Conduct MEdal and/or ribbon in a rack. Before the USAF in 1947, USAAC and USAAF service members were awarded the Army GCM.

 

 

What a fun grouping! Are you planning on display the items and uniforms? Love the RCAF jackets! Would love to see bigger pictures of them!


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If you ever want a custom hand-embroidered (no machine) patch, I'm open to commissions! Pay or trade!
***********************
For an idea of my military collecting interests and wish list, see my profile page!
Looking for Old-Style US Coast Guard Commendation Medal (w/ or w/o ribbon)!

Oh, tarry and be strong; Tell God in prayer. What is thy hidden grief; Thy secret care.

Yet, if no answer come; Pray on and wait: God's time is always best; Never too late.

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Yes, his ribbons are a mix of AAF and USAF. I'm assuming his DFC and Air Medal were AAF awards; the USAF Commendation a later USAF award (obviously...LOL) his Distinguished Unit Citation a WW2 AAF award, the National Defense Service Medal awarded for service during the Korean War era, the USAF service ribbon (should have a few oak leaf clusters?), the Korean Service Medal and WW2 Victory. Interestingly, he's missing his Korea UN medal, which should be the last one on the bar. I'm guessing other awards are missing as well since he doesn't have any WW2 campaign medals on the bar either. I don't know his bio, but I'm guessing he was a Reserve officer (just a hunch) and was awarded the Legion of Merit as a retirement award. 

Neat group!


Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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It looks like his DFC was awarded under General Orders No. 62, Hqrs. Ninth U.S. Air Force, July 13, 1943

Nice low numbered DFC!

His basic Air Medal and first OLC were awarded under General Orders No. 1, Hqrs. Ninth Fighter Command, June 15, 1943

Three OLCs were awarded under GO #2, Hq. IX Fighter Command, June 25, 1943

Another OLC was awarded under GO #5, Hq. IX Fighter Command, Aug. 7, 1943

 


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I'm dying to see the RAF uniforms....

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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I have been uncovering more photos and information and I would like to try to post things in a chronological order. So just a quick prologue:

Max, (as he went by) apparently was famous for his hair-trigger temper from an early age. His younger sister, apologizing for his intense nature, confided that as a young child he literally would run out the front door of their Washington DC house in the morning with his fists up, ready to take on all challengers. She also recalled that he expressed the desire to become a pilot at the age of 10.

The depression was hard on Max and his family.  His mother died in ’29, of the flu, his father in ’33, leaving 4 children and his then current wife penniless after spending all his money on his inventions. The kids were split up and it really was all about survival for a while. After his high school graduation in 1935, he went to work to help support his stepmother and sister, but starting in 1938, he was able to acquire some flying experience at a local Piper club. He also considered enrolling in college with the idea of getting two years of credit so he could get into the us Army Aviation Cadet Program. In the spring of 1940 Max applied to the Army and was told he did not weigh enough.  That was all the motivation he needed. He told one relative: “The U.S. didn’t want me, so I’m going up to Canada to fly with the RCAF.” So, being a man of his word and actions, he showed up in Canada in the summer of 1940 for an interview with the RCAF. They liked what they saw and wanted to make him an instructor. Max wanted to be fighter pilot instead. That issue, as well the problem that the US was saying if one signed up with the RCFA one could possibly lose his citizenship prompted his return to DC. When the training and the citizenship issues were worked out, 23 year old Max returned to Canada in the fall of 1940. He was sent to basic training and eventually to pilot training.

His civilian flight log book starts 03/31/1938 and ends 11/11/1940. (pic)

His “Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot’s Flying Log Book” starts 05/05/1941, with the heading:

         Commenced flying No.7 E.F.T.S. , Windsor, ONT. May 5.1941 (pic)

The following photos and documents and log entries are shown as an attempt to narrow down the “when and where” of the 3 uniforms and other items that I have uncovered, while hopefully shedding some more light and details of an amazing time and an amazing group of American men who needed desperately to become fighter pilots and to get into the war as fast as possible.

civilian log book and 1938-40 max photo.jpg

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Max in center.

I have to read up on how to upload file. I am getting blocked.thumbnail.jpg.70fbe1d82b53ef8fb5ed0456e98e2dba.jpg

Max in canadian cadet group 1940ishKhaki BD?.jpg

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There is a good bio on Maxwell in the RAF EAGLE SQUADRONS by Phillip D. Caine.

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Yes - his book has been very helpful in my attempts to track other Eagles in his Canadian class group photo and stories  I'm trying to post411889359_Caininscription.jpg.0fb13fe5498bac000a62a0572da46bb3.jpg

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Im trying to get the hang of this photo drop. I will give it a go tomorrow.

This is a batch of photos that look like they were taken before he got his wings 966629164_maxcanadacadet.jpeg.4cba55a01352134582856314b9959e77.jpeg2040538435_maxfellowrcafincanada.jpeg.b4b1d4c609947a307e066624b92eca35.jpeg

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So, The previous 3 photos posts are from early pilot training days  at Windsor Ont.

In this  group picture, sent to Max by Douglas Matheson ( middle row 2nd from left ) the pilots all appear to have small wing patches above their elbows . Delany has an arm band. 

 Are the wings Indicative of pilots in training ?

Using Philip Caine's book I see 4 other future Eagles in this photo. Is that right?

One strange anomaly about Wolf :

Wolf gets his Canadian commission 6/5/41 (from Caine),  and I see in Max’s logs that  he was a passenger with Wolf on 8/29/41,  but Philip Cain’s book has him joining 133 Squadron on 8/25/41 (pic)

Does anyone have date for this photo? 

it is great to have the names as none of the other photos are notated.  In the individual pics i think we have Wolf and Sgt. Willson, instructor

max and Matheson in canada.jpeg

Max center top canada grad.jpeg

wolf? st Wilson instuctor.jpeg

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Here are some photos of some very happy and proud gentlemen with new patches.

Does anyone know what the stand for? 

They seem to be different patches than the group photo.

Could these be different uniforms?

Winter in Canada. 

Does the photo with the 4 pilots appear to be in Canada ? 

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max  fellow rcaf wings patch.jpeg

max in wintercat  canada.jpeg

canada? copy.jpg

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My apologies for any out-of focus images or duplicates  I can see now that text needs some help, so I am reposting one of the above.

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