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US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

Article about: by Croix de Guerre Good Lord Terry! I'm speechless! I find myself in that position quite often. Actually I have not seen a good WW1 Air Service Guidon come up for sale other than the 1st Aer

  1. #1

    Default US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    This is believed to be the original colors (guidon) ordered for the US 1st Aero Squadron in 1913. The guidon is constructed of heavy orange silk with hand embroidered white silk eagle, crossed signal flags with gold silk staff and white silk number 1. It measures 24 1/2" X 42". The mfg tag located in the staff section of the guidon reads" Ward Stilson Co. MFG of Society Goods, New London, Ohio.

    On 4 May 1987 I called Mr. David Klein, Vice President, C.E. Ward Inc. New London, Ohio. He stated that the company was founded in 1895 by Mr. C.E. Ward. In 1905 Mr. Ward formed a partnership with a Mr. Stilson, manufactureing regalia for lodges, military etc. They remained in New London until 1913 at which time the company moved to Anderson, Indiana. Mr. Ward and Stilson broke up in the 1920's. Mr. Klein further stated that any item with the Ward Stilson, New London tag had to be made before or during 1913.

    The squadron was created as the 1st Provisional Aero Squadron of the U.S. Army Signal Corps on March 5, 1913, when eight Curtiss JN2 and JN3 airplanes were brought together for the first time as a unit. Under the command of Captain Charles deForest Chandler (Chief of the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps) and led in the field by 1st Lt. Thomas DeWitt Milling, the provisional unit was based in Texas City, Texas, to support the United States Army ground forces gathering as a response to a possible war with the revolutionary forces of General Victoriano Huerta in Mexico. The 1st Aero Squadron relocated to North Island, San Diego, California, as a flying training unit on November 28, 1913. Its primary training aircraft were the Wright Flyer III and Burgess Model H.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Wow, wow and wow!

    Major,

    What a fascinating post and a superb piece of history...I am dumbfounded. This is way beyond "rare", for goodness sake, this is the FIRST Aero! Your post really "hits home" with me...literally. I live about 20 minutes from this site and have visited it numerous times.

    I have actually found several items there while metal detecting in the past before it was designated a historical site. For decades, this site was overgrown and most people had no idea about the significance of what occurred on that section of soil.

    Below is the link to a posting I made a while back that directly relates to the Guidon you have posted.

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/aviation-h...ty-texas-9365/

    This is just fantastic...wow.
    [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: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    Wow, wow and wow!

    Major,

    What a fascinating post and a superb piece of history...I am dumbfounded. This is way beyond "rare", for goodness sake, this is the FIRST Aero! Your post really "hits home" with me...literally. I live about 20 minutes from this site and have visited it numerous times.

    I have actually found several items there while metal detecting in the past before it was designated a historical site. For decades, this site was overgrown and most people had no idea about the significance of what occurred on that section of soil.

    Below is the link to a posting I made a while back that directly relates to the Guidon you have posted.

    http://warrelics.eu/forum/aviation-h...ty-texas-9365/

    This is just fantastic...wow.
    Steve,
    Thanks, I think that your right in that most people could not fathom the importance of this guidon in reference to US military aviation. To the majority its just another guidon.

    This was one of those once in a lifetime purely by accident finds. I just happen to pick up a catalogue from a now defunct militaria dealer and noticed a tunic with dallas style metal wings. The dealer stated that it came from a local estate in Texas from an Officer that served there during the Mexican Border campaign. It also stated something to the effect that this flag also came out of the same estate. I didn't like the tunic, thought it was a put together piece and knowing the dealer had a reputation for having boggus dallas wings I passed on that but thought I would take a chance on the flag. When it arrived it was rolled in a tube shipping container. When I opened the end of the tube and saw the orange silk material I knew in my heart it was going to be original. And once opened and laid out there was no question. Still thinking it was around the 1917 period I didn't attach the importance to it until after talking with Mr Klein in New London. All Air Service guidons of the WW1 period that I have encountered (which amounts to 4) have been smaller and made of muslin type material. The material and construction in this guidon are far superior and would have been something the squadron would have ordered as its first flag.
    At anyrate I have never encountered another like it. After I had acquired it and shared my find with Duncan Campbell he did some checking with friends of his at the Air Force Museum and in Washington and there was no knowledge of another guidon made in this manner in their collections.

    Terry

  4. #4

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Quote by hawk3370 View Post
    ... The material and construction in this guidon are far superior and would have been something the squadron would have ordered as its first flag...

    Terry
    I completely concur with the above; makes perfect sense.

    Another incredibly amazing story of acquisition Major. It is very tough for me to have a favorite item amongst all of the incredible items that you have shared from your collection...but I think this might be it for me.

    It isn't an aviation DSC or 5+ kill grouping, but it IS the embodiment of all things aviation, the very symbol of all of those fantastic groupings of bullion, cloth and metal. I can't get over this!
    [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: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    An important historical item indeed! I am really impressed.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    Cheers, Ade.

  6. #6

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Now you're talkin! That is a true stunner and I am very happy it was saved.


    Gary

  7. #7
    Vinnie
    ?

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Hi:
    I'm a brand new member of the forum and I'm hoping I'm not out of line asking the following....Several years ago I acquired a guidon that is very similar in all respects to the guidon for the 1st Aero Squadron except mine is for the 94th Aero Squadron, the Hat in the Ring Sqd. I believe the 94th was activated in August, 1917. I understand that the Signal Corps Air Division became the U.S. Army Air Service in May, 1918 so the guidon dates back to that period. I am trying to come up with a realistic dollar value of the guidon to use for insurance purposes. There aren't too many of these around so I'm finding it difficult to find an appraiser who might be able to provide a credable estimate. I tried the US Air Force Museum who has an example in their collection but they said they could not help. Has an insurance value been placed on the 1st A.S. Guidon ? Any ideas as to an appraiser who can do this ? Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thanks...Vince

  8. #8

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Quote by Vinnie View Post
    Hi:
    I'm a brand new member of the forum and I'm hoping I'm not out of line asking the following....Several years ago I acquired a guidon that is very similar in all respects to the guidon for the 1st Aero Squadron except mine is for the 94th Aero Squadron, the Hat in the Ring Sqd. I believe the 94th was activated in August, 1917. I understand that the Signal Corps Air Division became the U.S. Army Air Service in May, 1918 so the guidon dates back to that period. I am trying to come up with a realistic dollar value of the guidon to use for insurance purposes. There aren't too many of these around so I'm finding it difficult to find an appraiser who might be able to provide a credable estimate. I tried the US Air Force Museum who has an example in their collection but they said they could not help. Has an insurance value been placed on the 1st A.S. Guidon ? Any ideas as to an appraiser who can do this ? Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thanks...Vince

    Hi Vince,

    Welcome! We would love to see some photos if you will provide them. Please start a new thread in this section so we can devote discussion specific to your item there.

    As far as value...my opinion is that a legitimate piece of this nature will fetch whatever some one wants to pay. These are as I said before beyond exceedingly rare. I look forward to seeing your posting.
    [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]

  9. #9

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Quote by Vinnie View Post
    Hi:
    I'm a brand new member of the forum and I'm hoping I'm not out of line asking the following....Several years ago I acquired a guidon that is very similar in all respects to the guidon for the 1st Aero Squadron except mine is for the 94th Aero Squadron, the Hat in the Ring Sqd. I believe the 94th was activated in August, 1917. I understand that the Signal Corps Air Division became the U.S. Army Air Service in May, 1918 so the guidon dates back to that period. I am trying to come up with a realistic dollar value of the guidon to use for insurance purposes. There aren't too many of these around so I'm finding it difficult to find an appraiser who might be able to provide a credable estimate. I tried the US Air Force Museum who has an example in their collection but they said they could not help. Has an insurance value been placed on the 1st A.S. Guidon ? Any ideas as to an appraiser who can do this ? Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thanks...Vince
    Vince,
    As stated by Steve, some pictures would be appreciated to include pictures of any stamps or mfg tags on the guidon. As for value, these original guidons are extremely rare, and due to the very limited number of collectors in this area it would totally depend on the value that that particular collector would be willing to pay for it. Personally I would think a legit WW1 Airservice guidon to a combat squadron would be worth in the $500 plus area, but thats just a guess. I have been offered several thousand for the 1st Aero Guidon and you notice it still hangs on my wall. They have been reproduced, especially the 94th Aero so it needs to be checked very closely.

    Terry

  10. #10

    Default Re: US 1st Aero Squadron Colors (Guidon) 1913

    Good Lord Terry! I'm speechless!

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