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ONJR22FNAW036

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Original U.S. WWI Aero Squadron Leather Flying Helmet With Goggles Named Grouping With Documents - Lt. Alexander Clarke, 8 Items

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Item Description

Original Items: Only One Lot of 8 Available. This fantastic rare example of a genuine WWI Aviator flying helmet is made of a soft leather and is nearly identical to a known SPALDING pattern helmet, in fact it may very well have been made by Spalding but the maker label fell off.

Construction is brown leather chamois-lined flying helmet with buckle chinstrap, same style as a belt. Typical allied construction of the period with all snaps and buckles present; snaps are all period correct. The leather is soft and supple, truly amazing condition for over 100 years of age. The chamois lining is in equally excellent condition and totally complete. Helmet still retains the size 7 tag.

Aero Squadron fliers were initially required to purchase their own flight equipment and Spalding was the foremost supplier of such gear. The largest maker of the "Protective flight helmet" was AG Spalding Company. Included still attached to the helmet is a lovely pair of fur lined flight goggles.

The documents included indicate that the original owner was Lieutenant Alexander Harris Clarke who was born on September 20, 1887 and died on June 19, 1960. We have not been able to locate a service record for Clarke, making this a wonderful research opportunity!

The documents included are certificates from the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, promotion warrants and is certificate of completion from the United States School of Military Aeronautics! Clarke graduated from the school of aeronautics on March 30, 1918. After WWI, Clarke remained in the military and one of the promotion warrants states him as being promoted within the Infantry in 1922.

This is an incredible grouping, perfect for the early aviator collector. Comes more than ready for further research and display.

The Aviation Section, Signal Corps, was the aerial warfare service of the United States from 1914 to 1918, and a direct statutory ancestor of the United States Air Force. It absorbed and replaced the Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps, and conducted the activities of Army aviation until World War I, when its statutory responsibilities were suspended for the duration of the war. The Aviation Section organized the first squadrons of the aviation arm and conducted the first military operations by United States aviation on foreign soil.

The Aviation Section, Signal Corps was created by the 63rd Congress (Public Law 143) on 18 July 1914 after earlier legislation to make the aviation service independent from the Signal Corps died in committee. From July 1914 until May 1918 the aviation section of the Signal Corps was familiarly known by the title of its administrative headquarters component at the time, seen variously as the Aeronautical Division, Air Division, Division of Military Aeronautics, and others. For historic convenience, however, the air arm is most commonly referred to by its official designation, the Aviation Section, Signal Corps (ASSC), and is the designation recognized by the United States Air Force as its predecessor for this period.

The Aviation Section began in turbulence, first as an alternative to making aviation in the Army a corps independent of the Signal Corps, then with friction between its pilots, who were all young and on temporary detail from other branches, and its leadership, who were more established Signal Corps officers and non-pilots. Despite the assignment of Lieutenant Colonel George O. Squier as chief to bring stability to Army aviation, the Signal Corps found itself wholly inadequate to the task of supporting the Army in combat after the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917. It attempted to expand and organize a competent arm but its efforts were largely chaotic and in the spring of 1918 aviation was removed, first from the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief of Signal where it had resided since its inception, and then from the Signal Corps altogether. The duties of the section were not resumed following World War I and it was formally disestablished by the creation of the Air Service in 1920.

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