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Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

Article about: For Steve M's. dedication and hard work in helping bring this site to the War Relics Forum. ......Here ya' go Steve..... I believe that this is one of the most extensive and significant avia

  1. #1

    Default Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    For Steve M's. dedication and hard work in helping bring this site to the War Relics Forum. ......Here ya' go Steve.....


    I believe that this is one of the most extensive and significant aviation groups of any era. It is one of the cornerstones of my museum.

    I acquired this group from a friend who was kind enough to let me be the next caretaker. To him, I cannot be more grateful. He had owned this group for 40 years after it was given to him by a Rheno family member when he was a young teen. They were neighbors.

    This size and scope of this rare group is too large and too cumbersome to post at one time. If there is interest, I will add to this thread as time permits.

    Walter Rheno's story is incredible. From a non-blueblood family of Martha's Vineyard, MA - to being rejected by our U.S. Air Service in 1915 - to pilot with the Lafayette Flying Corps of the Spa 80 Escadrille with three victories, (2 confirmed) - more rejected attempts for a commission in our U.S. Air Service while on leave in the States in 1917 - and his return to France in the fall of 1918 to once again fly for France only to become sick with the influenza and die on October 10, 1918. Ironically, he received his commission as an officer in the U.S. Air Service while returning to France in September 1918. He became an honored hero by the people of the Vineyard.

    We'll start here:
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    A few personal effects and photos of Rheno - There is a story behind EVERY item shown. All items are supported by original letters and newspaper clippings of which there are volumes. .... I'll keep going........
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    Thank you Dennis, much appreciated! Oh my....I could stare at this for countless hours. To have a grouping like this, is the stuff that dreams are made of.

    I am VERY happy that you have it Dennis. This has to be THE definitive aviation group. I honestly don't see how one could improve or upgrade...you have achieved the absolute pinnacle of aviation conservation...unbelievable.
    [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: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    Rheno tried his best to enlist in the U.S Air Services, only to be declined.... He joined the French Foreign Legion; transferred to Aviation...... and was promptly advanced to the Front with N-80 (later Spa-80) and brought down 3 German Aircraft in aerial combat. His first kill was the quickest of any of the LFE/LFC pilot's ever achieved after arriving at the front to that point in 1917. - Shown are a few of the official documents, including the original transmittles for two of his victories.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    Dennis, All I can say is WOW. I can only dream about having a set of items like this, just amazing. Enjoyed looking at and studying them. Thanks much. John

  6. #6

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    Rheno's Harmon Trophy Medal.....Rare in itself..........The Certificate is NEVER found and the only one I know of.... Notice the original signatures at the bottom if the certificate - Bill Thaw....Rickenbacker....
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    One of his flight logs
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    Very educational and most impressive.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    As Dennis told me a bit earlier today when we talked...what you see here is not even a mere scratch on the surface of the completeness of this group. The content and condition of the items is phenomenal. I have a feeling this is going to be a very long (and most enjoyable) thread.

    Like I said Dennis...the Aviation History section is your canvas...paint us a very large pretty picture.
    [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: Walter Rheno / Lafayette Flying Corps

    More of Rheno's Aviation Items:

    Apparently Rheno's enjoyed the Paris night life, judging by these tickets the were discovered in the cuff of his uniform. ... Tickets for two!....For those that have the eye for detail, the post of Rheno's uniform is that of a Corporal. His studio photos are that of him in his Sgt's. uniform. He was buried in that one.
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