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Thread: Significant Memorabilia

  1. #1
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    Significant Memorabilia

    Hi All,

    A recent post relating to die cast models spawned this thread.

    What is your most significant piece of memorabilia? Regardless of perceived commercial value, scarcity or even quality. It is an item that has sincere personal meaning to the individual.

    I fortunately have an array of items from my Dad's service in WWII and Korea, some of which only came to light after his passing. Probably one of the most poignant are the goggles that were blasted off his face during a low level strike in Korea. The frame is buckled and one lens is shattered.

    What is your most significant piece of memorabilia?

    Regards,

    Owen

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    http://www.owenzupp.com
    Author: 'Without Precedent', 'Down to Earth' and '50 Tales of Flight'

  2. #2
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    The logbook of an RCAF pilot who flew Spit XIIs with both 41 and 91 Squadron.

    I took it back to England in 1985 for the 41 Squadron reunion and it was autographed by a number of 41 Squadron Spit drivers.

    It's priceless to me.

  3. #3
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    Nice idea for a thread Nostalgair!

    For me, it's my late father's diary from his time on an MU (number eludes me at the moment, sadly) whilst serving in the Med in WW2. Sometimes mundane stuff, sometimes moving and very often, very funny! Also, some of the few snapshops he managed to take whilst out there. They're safely tucked away in an album and rarely come out!

    Unfortunately, his first diary, covering his brief stint in the Home Guard in Sheffield and his time with 222 Sqn and 96 Sqn has been lost - unless a relative has it.

    He was an LAC (Engines and Airframes), mainly on Merlin-powered types. I just wish I had managed to extract some first hand accounts from him before he passed away in 2001.

    Chris
    Last edited by cdp206; 3rd December 2007 at 13:16.

  4. #4
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    Probably the piece I hold as important to me, is a small part of B-17 42-97746 of the 398th BG(H).
    This was from the crash site at Anstey Church moat, near station 131 Nuthampstead. The Pilot, Capt Charles Khourie, was killed along with the rest of his crew on the 15th October 1944, when the B-17 crashed on take off. He was billeted for a short while, in my grandmothers house.
    The piece was recovered back in 1981 when archaeologists were excavating the moat for more ancient artifacts.


    Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group
    http://hamg.co.uk

    Hunsdon, Sawbridgeworth and Matching Green airfields..
    http://www.wartime-airfields.com

  5. #5
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    I have a fan blade off XM607....or so it says on the sticker on the base.Bought it years ago at i think Mildenhall.

  6. #6
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    A sump off a Merlin engine that came out of a Mustang. The engine must have seized since there was a dent in the sump where a connecting rod struck it.

    It's neat to see it hanging on the wall of my workshop.
    Steven Smart

    Hurricane aficionado, and Classical Guitar....

  7. #7
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    letter

    I have a letter witten by my great great uncle from ANZAC Cove on the eve of the battle of Lone Pine (and one just after), I know it is not aviation related but I can post a scan if anyone is interested.
    Paul

  8. #8
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    Paul,

    They'd bite your hand off here for that! http://www.1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/
    (assuming you aren't a member already...)

    My one is Lady Bader's programme for one of the Spitfire 60th airshows. Allegedly. No identifying marks, but given to me by someone who does her gardening. I've been offered a tidy sum for it when I mentioned it on here before but sorry, that one stays!

    Adrian
    "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

  9. #9
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    I also have some dials and a false horizon from aircraft from the famouse Failsworth dump which my Uncle gave to me,not sure what they came off but i had fun as a kid playing fighter pilot in the Firefly cockpits !

  10. #10
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    The badges my Grandmother gave me from when she worked at CAC. She was one of the first women employees at Fisherman's Bend, and is now 93.



    (The smallest says 'Wirraway' in 1.5mm writing. She wasn't an executive - that one was a gift, I think from her boss.)

    I have a copy of the famous painting of HMAS Perth, aboard which my great uncle served as a lowly stoker. The aviation connection is that Perth was equipped with Seagull V or Walrus amphibian spotters, about which I wrote a book.

    I also treasure two photos by me on the only occasion the Comet racer flew with the Comet airliner. One's just a nice portrait of G-ACSS, the other is when my camera jammed and it's a multiple exposure, which is actually quite intriguing. Both are unrepeatable...
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  11. #11
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    I have a section of Jaguar Fin with the 16(R) Sqn 'Saint' figure, taken from XZ101.

  12. #12
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    Hi all , for me it would have to be the Westland Wapiti remains that i have , with my original P40E instrument panel a close second.

    cheers dave
    Founding member Not more bl@@dy burmese spitfires club

  13. #13
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    I've a Shack con-rod out of one of their Griffons, but more relevant is probably the 3 spitfires and one handley page hampden I have which were made during WWII for a wedding present. They are rumoured to be made out of either Whitley or Spitfire scrap, and were made at RAF Dyce, near Aberdeen. There was at one time also a Shorts Sunderland, but unfortunately I did not receive that.

    The Spitfires and Hampden were given to me by an old family friend who unfortunately died some years back, and who lived around RAF Dyce all her life. Her husband had been in the RAF, but I am not sure if he was based there. I received them, as she did not want them to go the same way as the Sunderland, who she gave to her son in law, and was never seen again....

    The models all appear to be crudely electroplated, and I have no way of telling what the metal is underneath. The Spits are without stands, and the Hampden has a crude shaped threaded bar stand which goes into a circular piece of wood.

    Sizewise, the spits have a wingspan of about 20cm, and are about 15cm in length, the Hampden has a wingspan of about 35cm, and is about 30cm long. These are all guesses, as they are in storage at the moment until I can fabricate a new stand for them.

    I will post photos later if anybody is interested, but I will be offshore for sometime starting tomorrow, so it will be mid to late Jan before this can happen.

    Regards,
    Scotty

  14. #14
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    I think for me it must be a photograph album. That my uncle took in 1938/39 of Fairey Battles and Hawker Hinds, plus a few other aircraft that where at RAF Harwell. My uncle was killed in 1942. So they mean a great deal to me, i never knew him.

  15. #15
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    One item with family history:
    My late father's A-2 complete with hand typed (as opposed to printed) B-17 checklist.

    My other favorite bits:
    Piece of fabric from the 1903 Wright Flyer. Presentation paper signed by I. Wright-Miller, their grand-niece and widow of the executor of Orville's estate.
    Kelly's Wright biography autographed by Orville (and a note written inside the cover from the original owner...a USAAF flight surgeon...on how and when it was autographed).
    Autographed copy of One Man Air Force...a 1944 autobiography of Don Gentile.
    Autographed copy of Jimmy Doolittle's biography, I could Never Be So Lucky Again..
    Autographed "presentation edition" of The Spirit of St. Louis, by Charles Lindberg.
    Neil Armstrong signed copy of the National Geographic magazine from late 1969 that featured photos from Apollo 11...and a record of radio traffic.
    Autographed copy of Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K. Gann.
    Other signed books by Eddie Rickenbaker, "Wrong Way" Corrigan, Igor Sikorsky, Charles Kaman, Frank Piasecki, Tex Hill, Chuck Yeager, Bud Anderson, Col. Zemke, Jim Lovell, John Glenn, Paul Tibbets and crew of the Enola Gay, and the great Roger Freeman.

    A signed desk model of the F-117 by Skunk Works head Ben Rich.
    Signed X-15 model by pilot Bill Dana.

    Back in the 70's the Smithsonian produced posters of some it its aircraft with a 3" x3" piece of fabric taken off during restorations. A few years ago I picked up four: The Vin Fizz, the first plane to cross the U.S.; the NC-4, the first plane to fly the Atlantic(albeit in stages); The Douglas World Cruiser, first plane to go around the world; and a piece of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega.
    These are't too valuable because there are so many around...mine cost much more to frame than purchase.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 5th December 2007 at 00:56.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  16. #16
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    Mine would be my Grandads medals and logbooks, but they are items with more relevance to my family.....so I will put forward the best spade grip I have ever seen in my almost 30 years of collecting....a cracker off a Hurricane that I acquired a month or so ago!
    Last edited by Rocketeer; 18th May 2008 at 08:42.

  17. #17
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    I have a groundcrew manual for the prototype Lightning XA847, the first British aircraft to exceed mach 2 in level flight.


    Second to that comes my Lightning stick tops.



    Regards,



    John.
    ON SUN TIPPED WINGS THEY LOVED TO FLY INTO THE WIDE UNMEASURED SKY

    http://www.lightnings.org.uk/

    "Good luck Mr Gorsky!".

  18. #18
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    Memorabilia

    Loose bound set of letters /documents found in a scrap yard, dated, headed letter communication from several notable test pilots / designers etc. sensibly arguing for the resurrection of TSR2 flight test programme, with the goverment of the time.
    Francis Pym's office replies, dismissing the very sound and comprehensively costed technical arguements for a re-starting of a test programme with the remaining airframes etc...priceless....

  19. #19
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    I have a few pieces that are significent,My Air Ops Iraq G.S.M.(awarded for four months in the desert without alcohol).My passing out parade video at Swinderby because it has footage of my father before he died & a a model Spitfire made by my Great Uncle Charlie when he was as an apprentice at Rose Bros factory in Gainsborough.

  20. #20
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    For me it is my Firefly fuselage & associated items.
    Also R.N.A.S St Merryn research material.
    Last edited by H.M.S Vulture; 20th January 2008 at 23:51.

  21. #21
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    family it would be the shrapnel they pulled out of my Great Grandfathers leg from the shell that crippled him and ended his service as a pre-war professional.

    Non-family it would be the 1942 diary kept by F/Sgt 'Babe' Haddon. The last entry, 1st January 1943, reads:

    "Jan 1st. And so ends an eventful year and I am on the threshold of another which has promise of lots more fun and excitement and maybe even a little glory if God wishes it to be so."

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapper View Post
    Non-family it would be the 1942 diary kept by F/Sgt 'Babe' Haddon. The last entry, 1st January 1943, reads:

    "Jan 1st. And so ends an eventful year and I am on the threshold of another which has promise of lots more fun and excitement and maybe even a little glory if God wishes it to be so."
    Very moving...
    Could you please share details of his service and death?
    Last edited by J Boyle; 5th December 2007 at 23:17.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  23. #23
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    memorabilia

    Family it would be my grand dads medals from his service with the Merchant navy.
    collectibles etc would have to be my large section of Wellington bomber flap with flak damage.
    Cheers,Peter
    "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Boyle View Post
    Very moving...
    Could you please share details of his service and death?
    I think I can do that.

    1192577 Flight Sergeant Alan 'Babe' Haddon

    Alan Haddon was born on 20th August 1920 at 8 Edward Terrace, Pelton Lane Ends, Pelton Road, Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, in the north of England, where he grew up. His younger brother Ronald was 14 months old when their mother, Catherine Ann Haddon, died, and he went to live with one of his paternal aunts until he was five, before returning to his fathers household until the age of seven when he left to live with his paternal grandparents until the age of 15. Alan stayed with his father, Joseph Hutchinson Haddon, a veteran of the Highland Light Infantry in the First World War who had been seriously affected by the death of his wife.

    Well liked by his peer group, Alan enjoyed reading, and riding his bicycle - he also had an eye for girls, and was a keen sportsman, playing cricket, and excelling at bowls (much to the chagrin of some of the old men he beat). He had a studious turn of mind and did well at school. Although Alan and Ron didn't see much of each other when they were growing up, Ron recalls that in the 1920's and 30's food wasn't as available as now and you ate what you were given. The only time the two boys fell out was one dinnertime at their grandparents when they argued over who was going to get the top of an apple charlotte. As an elder brother, Alan would sometimes partake in a spot of the usual brotherly bullying if he could do so undetected.

    At the age of 15, Alan moved to Leicester to find work, living with his father, and enrolled on an evening course for technical drawing and associated subjects. At this time he was working for the company of Ashwell and Nesbits (engineers and iron founders) and training to be a draughtsman. His father also worked for this company and became a highly regarded foreman.



    With the coming of war, Alan decided that he would like to join the Royal Air Force as aircrew. However, he was rejected due to insufficient expansion of the chest. Still determined to join, he purchased a Charles Atlas body-building course and altered his physique. He was subsequently successful, and soon left for pilot training. Ron was working in Bedfordshire from the age of fifteen, waiting until he himself was old enough to join up, and was allowed home by his firm for his birthday in October 1942. Alan arrived home on leave a couple of days later. While together, they visited their maternal grandfather who was very ill. With Ron returning to Bedfordshire and Alan returning to his squadron at Biggin Hill, the brothers were destined not to see each other again.



    Alan was posted to 609 (West Riding) Squadron at RAF Digby under S/Ldr Gilroy, arriving on 9th December 1941, in the company of Sgt's McConnel and Dickson from New Zealand, and Sgt’s Young and Patterson. According to F/Sgt Bob Walling's diary: ‘Babe’ looks about 15 years old". On 19th July 1942 Alan damaged the squadron Miles Magister while low-flying with Johnny Payne as passenger - he hit a tree with the pitot head and was punished by Group Captain John Grandy. On 12th October, Alan, who was on leave at the time, was promoted to Flight Sergeant.



    On 23rd October, at around 15:50 hrs, P/O Dopere flew into a hill in very poor weather at Ashburnham Pottery near Hastings, Sussex, in Hawker Typhoon R8812 PR-K and was killed. Alan was flying with him at the time and climbed, while Dopere chose to descend. On 15th December 1942, Alan was flying with P/O Amor as his No. 2 (it was not unusual for an inexperienced officer to be wingman to a more experienced SNCO) when they became involved in a dogfight with an unknown number of Fw.190's which had crossed the south coast. F/O Raw, S/Ldr Beamont and F/Lt Baldwin joined in the fight just as P/O Amor called over the R/T "I've hit him". Both Haddon and Raw saw Amor attacking a Fw.190 with his aircraft ablaze. Alan called to Amor to bale out, which he did, but at 900 feet it was too low and too late. He had already been attacked and the aircraft was all but destroyed by Unteroffizer Zirngibl of 1./JG 26. The aircraft, Typhoon MK1A R7689 PR-B crashed into the sea and Amor's body was later washed ashore and buried at Margate Cemetery. Alan got the only confirmed kill that day, a Messerschmitt Bf.109 which was shot down over the French coastline at 16:00hrs, the pilot bailing out - the first 609 Squadron Typhoon pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft Although Amor's claim was officially one damaged, it is likely that the aircraft he hit was Destroyed. Baldwin claimed a Probable. 4 days later, on the 19th, Alan was flying with F/O Lallemand when they got involved in a combat with two Fw.190's. Each made a claim, with Lallemand's being confirmed by Alan, who saw it burst into flames, and also claimed a damaged, as all four of his guns jammed. He continued to take photographs of the Fw.190, and while he could not cause further damage it was felt that its chances of making it back to France were slim.





    On 14th February 1943, under S/Ldr Beamont at Manston, Alan was flying Typhoon DN294 PR-O, in company with Sergeant Pilot Wiseman in PR-S. Approaching a disabled Motor Torpedo Boat with the intention of flying protective orbits the two Typhoons were bounced by Fw.190’s of 111./JG2 and both Typhoons were shot down at 11.00 hrs in the Straights of Dover. “Babe” had served some 15 months as a fighter pilot, in 609 Squadron. Having been shot down over the Channel, Alan's loss is commemorated on Panel 136 of the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.


    Johnny and Babe

    By a curious coincidence, Ronald was later also posted to 609 (West Riding) Squadron at RAF Manston from Skegness in 1943. Having joined the RAF as an airframe fitter, he was sent there on general duties. Alan kept a diary in 1942, but his logbook was lost over the years.

    http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Norfol...-Memorial.html

  25. #25
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    I have an exhaust valve from one of PA474s Merlins which was given to me by WO Barry Sears as a thank you after I spent a week with the BBMF whilst on Air Cadet summer camp at Coningsby in June 1985

    Martin
    Once you've tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return

  26. #26
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    I have a Cessna 150 left hand door (G-BFLM) which is the door through which I had my first flight in 1983.

    And lots of Harvard bits and pieces - mostly ex-Italian Air Force Mk.IIB parts (from the ones that came over in the early 1980s). Dad has some canopies which he uses as cloches in his garden!

    Martin

  27. #27
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    I have some cockpit instruments from a Shack that were left over from a renovation and some rejected replica parts made for an Ohka (Cherry Blossom) restoration

  28. #28
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    Mine are the items i've collected to do with Ormond Haydon-Baillie, including a helmet & patches from one of his flight suits & the ensign he "took" from RCAF Cold Lake when he left the RCAF.

  29. #29
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    Mine are some original Halifax manuals including a repair manual as well as some original Halifax documents and the original control column that's the focal point in my cockpit project.

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  30. #30
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    I also have a wooden propeller blade in my dining room but i do not know what that came off,all i know was it was going to be used by a farmer for fence posts along with many others My Dad saved that for me but i do not know what/where/who he got it from
    Looks cool in the house though and it is a talking point !

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