Original U.S. WWII USAAF Enameled Portable Mess Set in Transit Chest - By CRESCO 1944
Original Item: Only one set available. This set consist of a wooden transit chest measuring 18" x 14" x 13" containing enameled plates and cups with stainless steel flatware. The chest, with paint no doubt refreshed, is Olive Drab and bears in white lettering:
The United States Army Air Force was stationed at Fairford Air Base, which was constructed in 1944 in the village of Fairford in the Cotswolds, one of England's true "garden spots" in the County of Gloucestershire. Fairford Air Base was constructed in 1944 to serve as an airfield for British and American troop carriers and gliders for the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II. It housed both U.S. and British Paratroops. It catered to bombers as well as fighter Aircraft and after the Second World War became an ongoing operational center throughout the Cold War. It still exists today as RAF Fairford, although the last U.S. Personnel departed in 2009.
This picnic catering set is designed for 10 people, as it happens the same number as a bomber crew like on the B-17 FLYING FORTRESS.
The set is nearly complete and contains:
10 x enameled dinner plates
4 x enameled soup plates
1 x large enameled serving platter
8 x enameled coffee cups
1 x large enameled coffee pot with lid
1x enameled sugar container with lid
The majority of the enamelware bears the marking: CRESCO 1944
In addition the chest contains:
1 x Matching set of aluminum Salt and Pepper Shakers
24 x stainless steel flatware pieces bearing various U.S. Military Contractor markings such as U.S. -OL, OWF- U.S., ROYAL - U.S. seven Knives, seven forks, seven tea spoons together with three large serving spoons.
Perhaps this was a set used to cater to a ten-man Bomber Crew while on a mission to pound the NSDAP controlled continent. Extremely interesting and an essential part of Military War History we never really think about and just ideal for when your friends come over for a barbeque!
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the Air Corps' expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing's design that they ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances.
The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force, based at many airfields in southern England, and the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in the Combined Bomber Offensive to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for the invasion of France in 1944. The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific, early in World War II, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.
From its pre-war inception, the USAAC (later USAAF) touted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a potent, high-flying, long-range bomber that was able to defend itself, and to return home despite extensive battle damage. Its reputation quickly took on mythic proportions, and widely circulated stories and photos of notable numbers and examples of B-17s surviving battle damage increased its iconic status. With a service ceiling greater than any of its Allied contemporaries, the B-17 established itself as an effective weapons system, dropping more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II. Of the 1.5 million metric tons of bombs dropped on Germany and its occupied territories by U.S. aircraft, 640,000 tonnes were dropped from B-17s.
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