Original U.S. WWI 85th Aero Squadron Named Propellor Trench Art

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind. The 85th Aero Squadron was an Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I. Initially assigned as an Army Observation Squadron to perform long-range strategic reconnaissance behind enemy lines, it was instead designated as a Corps Observation Squadron, performing short-range, tactical reconnaissance over the VI Corps, United States Second Army sector of the Western Front in France.

These are two ends of a wooden propellor from a WWI U.S. airplane. Each has been finely carved and crafted in to a clock (using an original gauge clock) and a picture frame respectively.

The picture frame is carved with a federal eagle and 85 AS along with the wings/propellor insignia and USA. The photo is period correct and once removed reads ROBSON 1909.

The clock is winnable but no longer appears to function. The clock is nicely marked:





The propellor is also finely carved and reads AEF and 85 AS. AEF stands for American Expeditionary Forces.

Lovely pieces of trench art named and made for a member of the 85th Aero Squadron during the Great War!

History of the 85th AS in WW1:

Combat on the Western Front

Orders were received to move to Gengault Aerodrome, Toul, on 4 November. There, the squadron received its aircraft, four De Haviland DH-4 with Liberty engines. On 10 November 1918, the squadron made its only patrol across enemy lines, flying to the railway yards at Conflans-en-Jarnisy for visual reconnaissance. Following the armistice, the squadron suffered its only casualty, when 2d Lieutenant Richard Prod was killed in airplane crash.

Third Army of occupation

With the end of hostilities, the squadron first moved to the 2d Air Instructional Center at Tours Aerodrome on 24 November, where the squadron was called upon to cover 45 sq. miles of the Hindenburg Line with aerial photography. The squadron photographed 8 of the 11 Metz forts & photographed everything on the surface of the ground.

After the Hindenburg line was photographed, the 85th remained at Tours until the Second Army Air Service was demobilized on 15 April 1919. It then was assigned to Sinzig Airdrome, Germany to serve as part of the occupation force of the Rhineland under the Third Army Air Service, IV Corps Observation Group. One of its duties was to fly over Cologne and other parts of the Rhineland occupied by Third Army. In addition, the squadron was able to perform test flights on surrendered German aircraft. Flights of the Fokker D.VII, Pfalz D.XII, Halberstadts and Rumpler aircraft were made and evaluations were made.

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