Original U.S. WWI 110th Aero Squadron Leather Flying Helmet with Wilson Goggles and Photos

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This set was purchased directly from the famly of a Lieutenant Harris who served as a pilot assigned to the 110th Aero Squadron during World War One. The set consits of the following items:

- A 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 a maker label is absent. To see the Spalding marked helmet check out this link (its about 2/3 of the way down the page and has a black cat painted on it). It is construction is brown leather chamois and wool lined flying helmet with buckle chinstrap (buckle side absent). Typical allied construction of the period with all snaps present; snaps are all period correct. The leather is soft and supple. The lining is in good condition with one area of separation. Helmet is approximate size 58cm US 7 1/4, a nice large size for a Great War flying helmet. Aero Squadron flyer's were initially required to purchase their own flight equipment and Spalding was the foremost supplier of such gear. The largest makers of the "Protective flight helmet" was AG Spalding Company.

- Also included WILSON GOGGLES in maker marked tin case. The "goggles" are really tinted eye glasses or sunglasses and were widely used by pilots during WW1. Condition of glasses is excellent and condition of painted case is very good.

- 6" x 8" framed original period photo of Lt. Harris in flight gear (with the same or very similar helmet) next to a biplane.

- 7" x 9" framed original period photo of Lt. Harris uniform.

Offered in overall in very good condition. Genuine Great War Aviator flying sets are very difficult to find.

101st Aero Squadron was established at Kelly Field, Texas in August 1917 as the 110th Aero Squadron. Constructed facilities and engaged in supply and related base support activities. Later re-designated as 804th Aero Squadron (1 February 1918), then "Squadron K, Kelly Field" in July 1918. Demobilized 1918 shortly after the Armistice with Germany.

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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