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“The 5th Ace” WWII USMC Quadruple Ace grouping


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This is the grouping of quadruple ace and top 5 Marine Corps Ace of all time fighter pilot Captain Donald N. Aldrich if Vmf-215. Captain Aldrich recorded 20 total kills during his time in the South Pacific against Japanese pilots. Captain Aldrich has originally attempted to enlist in the Army but was rejected due to his marital status. Aldrich then volunteered in the RCAF and earned his wings in 1941.

 

In a book called “Threadbare Buzzard: A Marine Fighter Pilot in WWII”, the author Thomas Tomlinson points out that Donald Aldrich was the ONLY Marine pilot to reach 20 kills and not receive the Medal of Honor. Despite some of his unbelievable actions and his hasty journey to 20 kills, he would not receive one. He believes that Admiral Samuel Morison only gave him the standard recognition that had to be given when he likely witnessed much more than than what was lead on. Supposedly the admiral did not want to give anyone credit who had been associated with the RCAF.

 

There are hundreds of articles out there describing his time in his home town of Chicago. He was, “signing everything put in front of him but the navy’s payroll.” Captain Aldrich was quite the celebrity but through written interviews as well as interviews on vinyl that came with the grouping, he was the most humble man one could imagine. The Captain was also featured in a 1944 issue of LIFE MAGAZINE before his Navy Cross medal and eclipsing 20 kills. Aldrich always gave all credit to his wingmen and squadron despite his incredible personal valor which earned him The Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and a Purple Heart with a gold star award in lieu of a second award.

 

The grouping came with incredible original photos, a ton of original documentation including his RCAF documents, his personal bible, Orginal interviews of Captain Aldrich on 5 different vinyl records. Donald Aldrich died in 1947 so these may have been among the last and only known live recordings of him out there. They were sent to his family as compliments from the Marine Corps in 1945.

 

 

 

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I’ll try and post close up as I couldn’t fit any of the pictures properly for the initial post

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All I can say is WOW! What a great grouping to a great American hero. 

Appreciate it! Later today I’ll try and see if I can post more of the original photos and documents. For some reason they’re too big
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Great group. I was in on this one as well. Good to see a forum member got it and will appreciate 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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Great group. I was in on this one as well. Good to see a forum member got it and will appreciate it.
 
JD 

Thank you! It was a once in a lifetime type for me so I went in haha


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  • 4 weeks later...

Wowza, just amazing1

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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  • 3 months later...

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