Wartime Collectables Military Antiques

Andrew H. & Gale V. Lipps
P.O. Box 165
Camden, SC 29021-0165

Email wartime@wartimecollectables.com
ph. 803-463-6935
(It is much easier to reach us via email!)

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Militaria for Sale!  New items added 9/1/16
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WWI Aviator's footlocker group

Lt. John C. Duncan served with the 638th Aero Squadron in France flying a Spad VII.  A history of the 638th is found at the end of this photo essay.

The footlocker of Lt. John C. Duncan, 638th Aero Squadron, 5th Pursuit Group, 2nd Army Air Service AEF France.
Note painted on the lid; name and unit, Air Service roundel, 638th Aero emblem, and fading but can still make out a Spad shooting down a Fokker!
Lt. Duncan's history as an aviator was contained within this footlocker!

Documentation inside includes these items

Lt. Dumcan's SPAD VII in France & the men of the 5th Pursuit group

Duncan's French made uniform with unique bullion pilot's wings, French made Air Service emblems, pants, overseas cap, and Sam Brown belt.

Rare 638th Aero Squadron pin and more!
Designed by Lt. Duncan and includes his original artwork sketch of the emblem done on the back of a wartime French map.

Assorted material...
Victory medal, engraved bracelet, insignia,

Pilot's log book! You have to love entries like
"Tree top jazz along Toul road"

638th Aero Squadron trench art shell with squadron number & insisgnia!

Dozens of photographs with superb detail of the planes and aviators.

638th Aero Squadron Reunion invitation and ribbon.

Second Army Air Service unit history

Misc. from his footlocker...
German belt buckle, Masonic apron and presentation trowel, Air Service marked airplane instrument...

     The 638th Aero Squadron was organized in August 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas.  In October, the squadron received orders for overseas duty and proceeded to the Aviation Concentration Center, Mineola Field, Long Island, NY and from there to the Port of Entry, Hoboken, NJ in December where they boarded the Cunard Liner SS Orduna bound for England.  They eventually arrived at the Morn Hill Rest Camp, Winchester on 1 January 1918 and were detached to the Royal Flying Corps for advanced training.  Following training, the squadron crossed the English Channel to become a Pursuit Squadron equipped with sixteen British Sopwith Camel F1's.  On November 14th, together with the 41st and 138th Aero Squadrons, the 638th traveled to its new aerodrome at Lay-Saint-Remy and constituted the 5th Pursuit Group, Air Service, Second Army.
     Despite the Armistice, the squadron continued to be engaged in flying proficiency flights, training in formation flying, patrols, in air combat drills and demonstration flying for various events to demonstrate the capabilities of the Air Service. The pilots were skilled in aerobatic flying and no accidents ever resulted from an exhibition.
     On 15 April 1919, orders were received that the Second Army Air Service was being demobilized and the 5th Pursuit Group was ordered to Coblenz, Germany, to become part of the Third Army Air Service. The enlisted personnel moved by rail and truck while the pilots ferried their aircraft to their new airfield in the Rhineland.  The squadron made itself comfortable in Fort Kaiser Alexander.  The Fort commanded a high ridge between the Rhine and Moselle rivers overlooking Coblenz.  The groups flew their assigned aircraft and also they were able to perform test flights on surrendered German aircraft.
    The Air Service of the Third Army was relieved from further duty with the Third Army on 12 May 1919 and ordered demobilized.  The squadron's Sopwith aircraft were delivered to the Air Service Acceptance Park to be returned to the British.  After transport to New York Harbor, the 638th Aero Squadron was sent to Mitchell Field, Long Island, where it was demobilized in July 1919.