WW2 Named Air Corps 1st Tuskegee Airman Black African American Pilot Grouping
Auctiva's FREE Scrolling Gallery will enhance your listings. A very rare grouping named to Lemuel Rodney Custis, one of four to graduate the first pilot class at Tuskegee. In 1939 Custis became Hartford's first black police officer. He enlisted at the outbreak of WW2 and graduated Class 42-C at Tuskegee, Alabama. Assigned to the all Black 99th Fighter Squadron, Custis flew 92 combat missions from April 1943 to to July 1944 and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. NONE of the bombers he and his squadron were assigned to were lost to enemy aircraft. He was released from service in 1946 as a Major in the AAF. Custis was a consultant for the HBO movie, "The Tuskegee Airmen" and served on the board of directors at the New England Air Museum. Most pieces in this grouping are named to him, included. WW2 Officer's Bancroft Flighter Crusher Cap - named to him, Capt. Custis underneath the sweat band. Cap fabric is in excellent condition with two very small pinholes and a few light dirt marks. Sweat band has some wrinkles (cap was in the bottom of a box and wrinkled) with very light wear. Interior crown of cap material is a bit dry. Leather visor is supple and not dried out with no cracks, but is folded on one side and needs reshaping. No badge, but a "shadow" of the officer's badge is apparent. B2 Winter Flying Cap - Crown is in very rough condition with holes, visor is folded in the middle but solid. Named on the inside tag but unreadable. Three Garrison Caps: Two khaki Commissioned Officer garrison caps - one with several holes and light wear, marked inside "LRC" and "Custis", one with five holes and light wear with Sterling Captain's bars, named on tag, R. One Winter Air Corps Garrison cap with Captain's Bar - a few large holes. Interior is very worn, marked "Custis" on the QM tag. Type A-4 Case, Navigation: Dead Reckoning by Leather Specialty Co. Very good+ condition - case is in excellent condition, one strap is missing, the other has very light wear. Also included is a flight calculator, one metal and one plastic triangle calculator, plastic one has a crack. M3 Air Corps shoulder holster - marked Boyt 43 - it is dry and well worn, missing part of strap, some corrosion on the hardware. Canteen, cup and cover - cover by Atlantic Products Corp.
1941, overall medium wear with some corrosion to the hardware. Canteen is an LF&C 1918 canteen - canteen had some heavy calcium and lime buildup - I used some CLR and most came off.
Canteen has "LRC" scratched into it. Cup is in the cover tightly with some calcium and lime spots, I have not tried to remove it, but the buildup will come off with CLR. Catholic's Pocket Prayer Book - Embossed on the back in gold Capt. Custis" - inscribed on the front page, "To Rodney, ???? Touch has made me live, Devotedly, Ione 12-25-44 (his wife).
Book has some wear, it has a metal cover which is heavily rusted, book is still solid. Lessons That Live as told by AAF Pilots - good condition, has a piece of leather stuck to it on the cover. Administration TM 12-250 - overall light wear, has some hand-written notes on back page and back cover. Link Trainer Operation and Training TM 1-445.
9-30-40 Overall light wear, has a drawing on front cover and "Custis" written at the top. Flying Cadets Handbook - Southeast Air Corps Training Center Maxwell Field, Alabama - overall light to medium wear. Written on front cover: Lemuel Rodney Custis 99th Pursuit Squadron Serial No. 11, 010, 989 written below that is Earl L.
Custis written in top left corner. A hand written letter on Southeast Air Corps Training Center Tuskegee Army Flying School stationery which reads. Curtis + wife to catch train. Will return on or before 0 900 hr.
Note: Allen Lane is Allen G. Curtis is most likely Samuel L Curtis 43-G. Very rare to find a group such as this, all pieces are guaranteed to have come from Captain Custis.
I will include a sheet with his photo and bio - he is well documented online. Please ask if you need any additional photos. Please see my other items for militaria and much more! The item "WW2 Named Air Corps 1st Tuskegee Airman Black African American Pilot Grouping" is in sale since Tuesday, February 02, 2016.
This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\WW II (1939-45)\Original Period Items\United States\Field Gear, Equipment". The seller is "comatosenonreaction" and is located in Plainville, Connecticut. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Country/Region of Manufacture: United States