GUARANTEE: As with all my artifacts, this piece is guaranteed to be original, as described.
WWI USAS Pilot Wing by Robbins & WWII Insignia of eventual Col. O. M. Baldinger, VMI Class of 1910
ARTIFACT: This is a grouping originally belonging to Class of 1910 Virginia Military Institute (VMI) graduate Ora Mathias Baldinger. Born in 1886, Baldinger was a first-generation American on his German father's side. He graduated third in his VMI class on Independence Day 1910 with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Baldinger served in the United States Army (either Infantry or Corps of Engineers), as well as the Air Service, where he achieved the rank of Major. He also acted as commander to the All American Pathfinders Aeroplane Unit convoy of 1919. This squadron, along with the Motor Transport Corps, made a cross-country trek from New York to California with several balloons, planes and trucks in tow, along with attractions such as a band and a traveling moving picture show, and of course, a recruiting. The main purpose of the convoy, which was basically a mobile military post, was to do aerial research for air mail and military purposes, but the convoy was received just like any great attraction of the day. Baldinger later became an aide to President Harding, and passed away in 1978. The first image shown of Baldinger (above) is on a plate between pages 594-595 of the Delta yearbook (the other photos are not included in the sale. Photo credits: VMI Archives and findagrave.com). The grouping includes a beautiful silver wing from World War I, three VMI insignia, a large engraved locket engraved with Baldinger's initials and LIEUT. US ARMY, two bars, a belt buckle bearing Baldinger's initials, two dice and a sterling dice cage, a Command Pilot shirt-size wing by AMICO, six colonel eagle insignia from various makers, and The Delta (Sigma Nu) 1910 yearbook.
VINTAGE: Circa 1910 through World War I.
SIZE: WWI wing: approximately 9/16" by 2-15/16". Locket: 2-1/2" x 1-3/4" x 3/8". Other items are of typically experienced sizes.
MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION: WWI wing: sterling silver. VMI insignia: brass. Locket: sterling silver. Belt buckle: sterling silver. Bars: silver. Dice case: sterling silver. Amico wing: sterling silver. Colonel insignia: sterling silver.
ATTACHMENT: ATTACHMENTS:WWI wing: horizontal pin with drop-in locking swivel catch. Locket: hinge, large chain. Various attachments on other items.
MARKINGS: WWI wing: STERLING and Robbins three "touch marks" marking. Command pilot wing: AMICO STERLING. Locket: STERLING T114 (inside). Belt buckle: battleaxe maker mark, STERLING 5172-2HMG. Bars: SILVER on each. Dice case: STERLING SILVER. Colonel insignia: all say STERLING; one is marked GEMSCO, one is AMCRAFT (starburst pattern on reverse), three are Balfour (two marked LGB and one marked BALFOUR).
ITEM NOTES: This is from a United States Army collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. CON-RLB-VADJJX8/12 LCDEJX2/13
CONDITION: 8- (Overall Very Fine-Excellent): The items are all in various conditions but are overall in excellent condition.