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Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

Article about: At this point, I think I have exhausted my ability to convey anything else that would actually add anything to what has been said in the follow-up comments. I would like to thank you all for

  1. #11

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    At this point, I think I have exhausted my ability to convey anything else that would actually add anything to what has been said in the follow-up comments.

    I would like to thank you all for taking the time to not only read, but to also pour your thoughts at length into the thread. These replies are much better than I had hoped for.

    Since you brought up the subject of mentors Dennis...

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank two of my mentors and friends who have posted here. To the Major, and Dennis, I owe both of you a lot (...yes I do in my mind). The kindness, generosity and patience shown to me by the two of you means more to me than you will ever know. It is no exaggeration to say that without your help and instruction, I would not have progressed to this point in my collection interests in such a short time without you.

    BTW...if anyone else has any thoughts on the topic, feel free to post them.
    [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. #12
    ?

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    This is a very intersting topic! As my collection focuses on a particular geographical region not service or time period, I have limited myself to finding objects from those who lived in this region. Thinking about the past almost 30 years of collecting, the amount of Air Service items, officer or enlisted, that have been available for purchase from this region is tiny compared to the other eras.

    Many valid points have been made in this thread, the cost, the availability, the lack of exposure by younger generations to the war. I think the last one may be the most significant. As has been mentioned before, there are very few examples of original aircraft left for the youth to see. But beyond that, there aren't the toys or models of these aircraft for kids to build and play with. If you look at the shelves of an average hobby store, you will see plenty of P-38s, P-51s, B-17s, B-24s, etc. But what do you see of WWI? DR-1, Sopwith Camel, Spad, Fokker DVII. Very paltry offerings to hold a child's interest. And if that interest isn't there as a child, then most likely that interest will not be there as an adult.

    I believe that all of the factors mentioned throughout this thread will keep WWI aviation relegated to a speciality only collected by a dedicated few.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    Quote by hawk3370 View Post
    After all that rambling it is my humble opinion that the interest in WW1 Aviation is due to the lack of available reference material and actual uniforms and equipment from that period. Just as the Span Am war there is just nothing for the collector to obtain on the market so why study it, unless you are just a historian interested in the events that made that particular period of history. And this forum and the others like it are oriented towards the collector not the historian. Fortunately for us there are people like you that are historians and preservers of history in addition to being a collector.

    Terry

    Some wonderul insights! For the first question, I dont believe the collecting of WWI Aviation will ever die out--but I strongly believe that it will never rise above what it is now. Neither a zeinith or a accention you might say, just a steady state with new collectors replaceing old collectors.

    The reasons for this have been stated several times already. Cost is a big factor, interest (or lack there of) in WWI in GENERAL is a huge factor due, a lot, to what Terry said.

    I also collect WWI and pre war Bavarian items. There are many primary sources out there to deal with (if you speak German) It seems that memoirs were a big thing in Europe post WWI. The Europeans were very attunded to what happened in their respective countries, and actually wanted to read about their heros.

    In America, it seems this was not as much the case. I dont see near the available WWI first person accounts as I do with European countries. There just didnt seem to be that much interest in the WWI Doughboy experience as there was in other parts of the world. Additionally, other experiences came to the light, the roaring 20's, the depression, the WWI Vets strike in Washington--all these events in America I believe overshadowed the experience in WWI. Lastly, I think many Americans were very disoulusioned after the war. The Los Angeles times stated, "it in unclear what we saved the world for?" in 1919. We went out to save democracy, to see the victors gobble up over 1/3 of the worlds territory. Most Americans, I believe, wanted to get on and forget

    WWII on the other hand, is a completely different experience. We were attacked, declared war on (by Germany and Italy), and as Terry said, we funded and supplied most of the major arms used by the allies. After the war, vets got the GI bill, houseing, and a solid place in the mind of the American public. If you ask people about Normandy, they can tell you about Omaha beach, if you ask about the Argonne, they wont know what you are talking about. America knows WWII, we like talking about WWII, there is no need for us to talk about WWI.

    I really believe this is why I can get amazing ID's items to the US 32nd division (my actual first collecting love) for peanuts comapred to their WWII counterparts. People dont collect WWI or know it, and I doubt that will change in the future.

    But on a personal note, I guess I am fine with that. We have a great group that collects WWI in this country, with far less BS than I see in the "nazi" collector groups. I am personally fine with the people I now get to associate with

  4. #14

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    You'll be hard-pressed to find many other threads where each and every reply is of this caliber. Thank you again for the honest and forthright replies.
    [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. #15
    ?

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    Back in 58 we flew a double wing 2 seat plane, we lift the tail and aim it into the wind, fuel , contact switch on and spark advance, he would crank the prop and jump in... work the throttle and spark till it purrs and begins to move, soon we are at a high speed and it lifts off the ground.. push the stic k between the knees , as i pushed to the right we slipped side ways .. what a scare that was,,, something you never forget

  6. #16

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    You'll be hard-pressed to find many other threads where each and every reply is of this caliber. Thank you again for the honest and forthright replies.
    I guess I should make a retraction at this point...
    Last edited by Steven M; 03-04-2010 at 03:51 AM.
    [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]

  7. #17

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    Quote by Chris L View Post
    Some wonderul insights! For the first question, I dont believe the collecting of WWI Aviation will ever die out--but I strongly believe that it will never rise above what it is now. Neither a zeinith or a accention you might say, just a steady state with new collectors replaceing old collectors.

    The reasons for this have been stated several times already. Cost is a big factor, interest (or lack there of) in WWI in GENERAL is a huge factor due, a lot, to what Terry said.

    I also collect WWI and pre war Bavarian items. There are many primary sources out there to deal with (if you speak German) It seems that memoirs were a big thing in Europe post WWI. The Europeans were very attunded to what happened in their respective countries, and actually wanted to read about their heros.

    In America, it seems this was not as much the case. I dont see near the available WWI first person accounts as I do with European countries. There just didnt seem to be that much interest in the WWI Doughboy experience as there was in other parts of the world. Additionally, other experiences came to the light, the roaring 20's, the depression, the WWI Vets strike in Washington--all these events in America I believe overshadowed the experience in WWI. Lastly, I think many Americans were very disoulusioned after the war. The Los Angeles times stated, "it in unclear what we saved the world for?" in 1919. We went out to save democracy, to see the victors gobble up over 1/3 of the worlds territory. Most Americans, I believe, wanted to get on and forget

    WWII on the other hand, is a completely different experience. We were attacked, declared war on (by Germany and Italy), and as Terry said, we funded and supplied most of the major arms used by the allies. After the war, vets got the GI bill, houseing, and a solid place in the mind of the American public. If you ask people about Normandy, they can tell you about Omaha beach, if you ask about the Argonne, they wont know what you are talking about. America knows WWII, we like talking about WWII, there is no need for us to talk about WWI.

    I really believe this is why I can get amazing ID's items to the US 32nd division (my actual first collecting love) for peanuts comapred to their WWII counterparts. People dont collect WWI or know it, and I doubt that will change in the future.

    But on a personal note, I guess I am fine with that. We have a great group that collects WWI in this country, with far less BS than I see in the "nazi" collector groups. I am personally fine with the people I now get to associate with
    One more observation. I would estimate that 95 percent of all WW1 attributed aviation uniforms and insignia are currently in private collections of a handful of very dedicated collectors/historians. The remainder of material located in various museums. This being said the only time good aviation material shows up is when one of these collectors passes on and his relatives release it to the market or items change hands between this handful of collectors. There are some absolutely wonderful collections out there but you can count on your fingers the number of people that are caretakers of these collections. I was a late comer to the WW1 aviaton arena and most of the stuff was already obtained from the vets during the 40's through 60's by such people as Dr. Parks, Ford, Campbell etc. I personally sent out over 9000 letters to various people in my research and of all that I managed to contact only around a hundred families of the vets or in a couple occasions the vet themselves. One day I will have to post the pictures of Dr. Parks WW1 Aviation collection. I believe all this material was passed on to the US Air Force Academy upon his passing. But for you young collectors that are interested in this area, hang in there, keep researching and eventually things will come your way.

    Terry

  8. #18

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    Hi Terry!

    Dr Park's collection actually is NOT at USAFA. It is not there, depending on who you talk to.

    I was at the Academy and graduated in 95--there was one small room on the top of the Academy with several uniforms in it--about 5 I think. Now the two sides:

    The Parks children say the USAF Academy didnt want the stuff and actually stole some of the items when returning them.

    The USAF Academy denies this story, and says they were not offered anything but the four or five recieved, then they were promptly and rudely asked to return them (we know seveal ex USAFA superintendants)

    The collecton right now exists in a small warehouse in plywood display cases exposed to UV light (not sunlight), The fabric panels lye scattered in the damp upstairs.

    I will gladly post some photos. But if you want my real opinion on the "museum" PM me

  9. #19

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    Quote by Belleauwood View Post
    I've gone over this thread a couple of times now, and I'm afraid the I do not feel the passion that has been expressed by other noted collectors of WW1 Aviation regarding the interest (or Non interest) of the posts on this and other forums. Everyone who collects would like to see interest by others in what may be the passion of the collector. Those that know me, know how hard I work in the preservation and research of the groups that I have the good fortune to own or have owned. My satisfaction comes from learning about the man. To that end, I don't care if others are interested or not. Mine is more of a personal satisfaction of my efforts in preservation and in the hunt of "unfound" artifacts. I think that when the old Aviation collections come out, interest will rise due to the exposure. I like Terry, have had the good fortune of a mentor who is probably one of the last few great aviation collectors. Due to the cost of these items, he has allowed me to purchase a number of his wonderful groups, on "credit". After 8 years, my balance is currently at zero. That will, however change next month!! - How 'bout another American Volunteer? Maybe with the Royal Naval Air Service? - Geez, this is what and where the juice is; ain't it?

    DJ
    Yeah, them American volunteers are a killer. I haven't been in debt to you in a while,,we need to work on that.

    I too sometimes get discouraged at the apparent lack of interest and have wondered about it. I have come to the conclusion that these forums may be somewhat of a false barometer. They tend to be frequented by a younger crowd,, (and something I have had to get my head wrapped around is that to the younger collectors out there,,,,,Viet Nam is their grandfather's war not WW2 and WWI may as well be in the Stone Age). We are getting older despite our best efforts.

    I've asked some of the younger guys and they said that the really enjoy seeing the WWI stuff, but that it is not readily available to collect and that they can't afford it when they do find it.

    But, like Dennis so eloquently pointed out,,Ultimately I'm in this for my own enjoyment and satisfaction. It is nice to have some one to share your excitement with,,but even with out it I would and am still going to collect.

    I'm after the story and the history. I hope that my efforts may at least preserve their artifacts and their memory for future generations. Maybe my son or daughter will get the bug when they grow up and take up the mantle to keep these things safe,,,,,if not,,well they'll have a helluva yard sale some day once I'm gone.

  10. #20

    Default Re: Discussion: WW I Aviation - Is the sun setting, or is the dawn yet to come?

    To All-
    Steve & Tom well know where I stand on the subject. I too would love to see much more interest in the subject matter but I also understand the availability/cost for the younger crowd & the utter fascination with later eras (WWII & beyond).
    After much thought, I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Dennis' sentiments (and others if you've so expressed it...) that, in the end, I do it for personal satisfaction more than any other reason. I feel compelled to do my small part in documenting that fascinating part of American military history. I could swear I've been directed down this road since I was a wee lad in Elementary school.

    I would also like to take this moment to give a shout out to the next generation of military buffs, collectors, historians or whatever classification suits you best. If you've seen some of the great WWI Aviation history posted here on this forum (or any other forum for that matter) & have questions, any questions whatsoever, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask. You will find those involved in this field of study are actually very willing to share their knowledge with those that ask. There is only so much that can be done or covered in the initial post. The rest is up to you. Ask those questions & you will see what I am referring to in my above statement.


    -Chuck

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