Original WWII German DFS-230 Invasion Glider Tail Fin USGI Signed Bring Back

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is the Swas cut away from the vertical stabilizer fin of a DFS 230 German WWII Assault Glider. The glider had a fabric covered body to reduce weight. The DFS 230 was the first German combat glider, with a wingspan of 72 feet and fuselage 38 feet long. The first use of this aircraft took place on May 10, 1940. In the half-light of dawn, shortly after 5 a.m., ten 230s carrying a total of 78 assault troops swooped down and landed on top of a huge Belgian fort, Eben Emael, a barrier to AH's invasion of Belgium and Holland.

Belonging to the Luftlandegesch wader 1, the Luftwaffe's first "'Airlanding" Geschwader and the first unit of its kind in the world, each DFS 230A carried paratroops whose tasks were the storming of the Eben-Emael fortifications and the capture of the Kanne, Veldwezelt and Vroenhoven bridges which were to be held until the arrival of ground forces.

So successful was this operational initiation of the assault glider that virtually every aircraft manufacturing nation immediately followed Germany's lead and began the design and development of troop and freight-carrying gliders, while the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, which had previously expressed doubts concerning the operational value of Lastensegler (Cargo Gliders), promptly demanded that the highest priority be awarded the development and manufacture of larger aircraft in this category.

This section of the tail fin was cut away by US soldiers, signed and brought back to the USA as a war trophy. The swas has been ingeniously framed under glass so that when hung on a wall it can spin 360 degrees so they view may read all the signatures right side up. The signatures read as follows:


Charles L. Proctor

Miltonvale Kansas

John M Wilson

Dothan, Alabama

Max R Tadbeck???

Toledo, Ohio

William A. Macklyn

Phila, Penna.

Wayne T. Shull

Wyandotte, Michigan

Charles E. Whitehead

Falmouth, Ky.

Harold N. Collins

Stockton, California

Robert W. Kean

Livingston, N.J.

Jimmy Cox

Bradenton, Florida

Mel Sterling

Chicago, Illinois

James G. Ramsey

Marshall, Texas

Howard E. Cunningham

St. Petersburg, Fla

Burke Jackson

Hazen, Arkansas

"Bils" Little

Bellerose, N.Y.

Rall Fair

Dallas, Texas

Bruce Sears

Newton, Mass.

The frame was professionally custom made and is of very high quality. The dimensions of the frame are 31" x 31" and the fabric of the swas is approximately 22 x 22.

This is one of the very best USGI bring back pieces we have ever encountered, from an exceptionally rare and famous aircraft and signed during the war by US Soldiers providing us with wonderful provenance. We have verified most of the names listed but have not figured out where they were assigned, making this a dream research project for the right collector!

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