363RD FIGHTER SQUADRON PATCH AND DOCUMENT GROUPING
An important grouping of material obtained from Sgt. Sheldon Harris, 363rd Fighter Squadron Engineering Staff Member during World War II and based with the unit in England during its service. Included in the lot is: a 4.75 in. dia. cloth patch depicting the unit's emblem of a skull with a blood-dripping bayonet bisecting it, Harris' own patch which he designed for the squadron; three issues of the squadron's newspaper 'The Skull and Dagger', Oct. 21, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, 1943
largely offering base and squadron news and gossip, 8pp. total; a 4pp. 8vo. anniversary program (undated) showing events for the squadron's one-year anniversary overseas; an 8th Air Force program for an all-soldier stage production, March, 1945 edition of 'Escort' magazine issued by the 357th Fighter Group and showing 'ace' CHUCK YEAGER within; a 'United States-British Glossary of Aeronautical and Related Nomenclature', 102pp. 8vo., issued by the A.A.F., 1943; 'Army Air Talks for the Eighth Air Force', 20pp. 8vo., a recap of events and expectations; 'Front Line', 160pp. 8vo., London, 1942, pictorial history of British civil defense; 'If You Should Be Captured These Are Your Rights', issued by the War Department, 20pp. 12mo., 1944; a V-E Day anniversary menu signed by seven officers; a 4pp. 8vo. printed message from Lt. Gen. JIMMY DOOLITTLE to the members of the 8th Air Force, Jan. 10, 1945, praising them for their achievements and wishing future success; four 4.5 x 3.75 in. original snapshots of Sgt. Harris admiring nose art he had painted and other images, and his two 1989 letters to the buyer of this lot which mention that the patch was of wartime construction and of his own design. The patch is a bit moth-eaten in places, otherwise, this lot is in fine condition. Equipped with P-51s, the 363rd Fighter Squadron entered combat from England in February 1944, flying bomber escort and ground-strafing missions. They took part in the invasion of Normandy, protecting gliders and troop carriers on 6 and 7 June. In September 1944, now based at Le Mans, France, the group was redesignated as the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance. Flying F-5 and F-6 aircraft, the group undertook reconnaissance missions. hey were particularly involved in supporting the U.S. forces during the Battle of the Bulge and in Allied efforts to break through the Siegfried Line in the early part of 1945.