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1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

Article about: Amazing chevrons! I have read about ballooning in the Civil War, but nothing on the Span Am war. A very nice set!

  1. #1

    Arrow 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Here is a small group I recently picked up. This is probably one of the rarest aviation-related groups that you will ever see. The Balloon section of the Signal Corps was very small, and from what I have been able to find to date (from the below article) indicates that there were only twenty two balloons in service during the Span Am War of 1898. I am still researching this as my knowledge of this War is limited. This is the first grouping from this war that I have added to my collection. Note that these are a matched set. Enjoy...
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ainley 1sgt.JPG 
Views:	361 
Size:	239.2 KB 
ID:	79133  
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Reverse of each chevron shows that these were cut from a uniform as the material is still present.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ainley chev rev.jpg 
Views:	225 
Size:	108.3 KB 
ID:	79134  
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Very detailed thread work.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ainley Sig Corp.jpg 
Views:	624 
Size:	112.6 KB 
ID:	79137  
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    The following are copies of newspaper articles relating to Ainley.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ainley art 1.JPG 
Views:	465 
Size:	195.2 KB 
ID:	79138   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ainley art 2.jpg 
Views:	340 
Size:	101.2 KB 
ID:	79139  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ainley art 3.jpg 
Views:	346 
Size:	117.7 KB 
ID:	79140  
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    More clippings...
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Hi Steve,

    I believe your mans commanding officer at Santiago was Lt. Col. George Mc clellan Derby. He was the chief engineering officer who surveyed the field in one of the two balloons that was used in this famous battle. Teddy Roosevelt won the MoH there leading the famous 'Rough riders'.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Quote by big ned View Post
    Hi Steve,

    I believe your mans commanding officer at Santiago was Lt. Col. George Mc clellan Derby. He was the chief engineering officer who surveyed the field in one of the two balloons that was used in this famous battle. Teddy Roosevelt won the MoH there leading the famous 'Rough riders'.

    Regards, Ned.
    Hi Ned,

    Thank you for that bit of information. I had read somewhere in the past that of the two large balloons used, one was shot down by the Spanish and the result was that the position of the balloon basically telegraphed the position of the US forces...not good. Too bad Teddy didn't realize the award of the MOH in his lifetime as it was finally bestowed in 2001.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    Here is a small group I recently picked up. This is probably one of the rarest aviation-related groups that you will ever see. The Balloon section of the Signal Corps was very small, and from what I have been able to find to date (from the below article) indicates that there were only twenty two balloons in service during the Span Am War of 1898. I am still researching this as my knowledge of this War is limited. This is the first grouping from this war that I have added to my collection. Note that these are a matched set. Enjoy...
    Steve,
    Excellent!!! As stated this is a very rare piece of US Balloon Section history.

    I love the Span Am War period, a very interesting war. I noticed that Teddy's name was mentioned in ref to his action during the battle. A little known fact, Teddy and the Rough Riders did NOT charge up San Jaun Hill as most believe. He and his men did in fact charge up Kettle Hill next to San Jaun. It was in fact the 9th US Cav a black regiment and the 24th US Infantry also black regiment that made the charge us San Jaun Hill.

    Terry

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Quote by hawk3370 View Post
    Steve,
    Excellent!!! As stated this is a very rare piece of US Balloon Section history.

    I love the Span Am War period, a very interesting war. I noticed that Teddy's name was mentioned in ref to his action during the battle. A little known fact, Teddy and the Rough Riders did NOT charge up San Jaun Hill as most believe. He and his men did in fact charge up Kettle Hill next to San Jaun. It was in fact the 9th US Cav a black regiment and the 24th US Infantry also black regiment that made the charge us San Jaun Hill.

    Terry
    Major,

    Per our earlier conversation prior to purchase, I had never even heard of balloons being used in this war. I had heard about limited use in the Civil War however. This will fit in quite nicely with my other items that I consider as rarities!

    On San Juan Hill, I had happened upon what you said about Kettle Hill in my searching for information on Ainley. What a fascinating, and mostly unknown history concerning the 9th. Cav and 24th Inf. How sad that these men didn't receive their due recognition because of the perceptions and relations of the time.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1st. Sgt. William T. Ainley, Spanish American War, Signal Corps Balloonist

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    Major,

    Per our earlier conversation prior to purchase, I had never even heard of balloons being used in this war. I had heard about limited use in the Civil War however. This will fit in quite nicely with my other items that I consider as rarities!

    On San Juan Hill, I had happened upon what you said about Kettle Hill in my searching for information on Ainley. What a fascinating, and mostly unknown history concerning the 9th. Cav and 24th Inf. How sad that these men didn't receive their due recognition because of the perceptions and relations of the time.
    Steve,
    Immediately after the battle, Teddy praised the black troops for their heroic charge up San Jaun Hill. But later when he was running for president, he called them cowards and said that white officers had to continually rally them and force them to move forward. which of course was pure bunk. But as you said different perceptions and race relations of the time prevented them from receiving their due.

    Terry

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