LAFAYETTE FLYING CORPS.
[ELLIOTT, CHESTER ARTHUR. 1897-?] "La Fayette [sic] Flying Corps" engraved certificate, 15 x 12 inches (plate size), by Frank M. Armington, signed by him in pencil below plate, awarded to Corporal Chester Arthur Elliott, dated in manuscript January 23, 1918, and numbered 193, signed by William K. Vanderbilt as Honorary President, Jarousse de Sillac as President, and Edmund Gros as Vice-President of the Lafayette Flying Corps Committee, red "Lafayette Aviation Corps" seal affixed, the certificate laid down to paper board support, some faint wrinkling, tiny blemish to Escadrille emblem. Matted and framed with: Carte d'Identite de Pilote d'Avion (photo ID), 5½ x 4¼ inches, No 6680, issued to Elliott, scuffed with name and date partially obscured; Carte d'Immatriculation, University of Paris, 4½ x 3 inches, tape ghosts; 2 photographs, 9 x 6¼ inches, black and white, group portraits of Lafayette Flying Corps squadrons, tipped to paper board, inscribed, a few wrinkles. Together with a box of material related to Elliott's aviation career (as described below).
A remarkable collection of items related to the Lafayette Flying Corps and the U.S. Air Corps, from airman Chester Arthur Elliott. The engraved certificate honors Elliott for his service in the famed Lafayette Corps, the volunteer American air squadron which flew with the French Air Corps during the First World War. Issued "in recognition of the services rendered to France and her Allies for the cause of humanity ... [t]hereby in a measure repaying the great debt which America owes to France and contributing to the victory of Liberty and Civilization over military Autocracy and Barbarism," the certificate is framed with Elliott's French pilot identification card, two photographs of Lafayette Corps squadrons, and press clippings relating to his war service.
In addition to the framed material above, the lot includes a full box of material related to Elliott's military and later commercial aviation careers. These items include Elliott's Officer's Record Book, special orders papers, and photo identification cards from the U.S. Air Corps and American Expeditionary Forces; approximately 75 original aviation related photographs, including aerial and ground shots of planes, portraits and group shots of airmen, and an album of photos from the 1929 National Air Races and Aeronautical Exposition; papers related to Standard Oil aviation operations, including an aviation sales handbook; a member's photo book, metal ID plate, and papers related to the Order of Quiet Birdmen.