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Show us your Aircraft Insignia - Tail swastikas, Kill markings, Fabric Souvenirs
Old 04-24-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
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Default Show us your Aircraft Insignia - Tail swastikas, Kill markings, Fabric Souvenirs

Tearing fabric pieces, and cutting colorful panels off of downed aircraft, was very popular on all sides during WW1 and WW2. It was a trophy to the victor and a proof of claim to the person who shoot it down.

During WW1 the airplane was a new concept and most soldiers had never seen one before. Not only was the common solider very fascinated when he came across the wreckage of a plane, but it was easy for him to cut off a piece, fold it up and send it home as a souvenir.

Manfred von Richthofen had a room full of fabric pieces that he had sent home. These included tail numbers, cut from the planes of which he’d shot down.

Lets see what is out there in your collections.

I’ll start off with an aluminum panel cut from a Me-109 in North Africa. Note that the aircraft was originally painted green and that the tan color was painted over the green, probably in theater. This two piece sample is screwed down to a modern piece of wood.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
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Restored Me-109 in desert tan paint.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:49 PM   #3
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A section of cloth fabric most likely taken (cut) from a desert tan Fieseler Fi-156 Storch.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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Restored Fi 156 in desert tan.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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A section of cloth fabric most likely taken from the tail of a NSFK Glider.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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Aluminum section of a Me-109. One the back is written:
“For young Tommy J??den. From ME-109
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:02 AM   #8
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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Nice collection you have! I like the last one showing the tail end of the Wr. Nr.
I have always been afraid of these due to the high amount of fakes out there but yours look very good IMO!
Thanks for showing them and I look forward to seeing others, a serch of the forum will bring up several threads on this subject.

Kevin
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:49 AM   #10
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Nice items and interesting thread!

Nice cross section you gave from variety of a/c and timeframes.



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Old 04-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #11
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Here is a nice large piece of “Lozenge” pattern linen fabric from the side of the fuselage of a WW1 (1918) Fokker D-VII.

Several things to note are the Balkan Cross and Printed Lozenge pattern.

From 28 September 1914 until 15 April 1918, the Germans used a Maltese cross on their aircraft. On 15 April 1918, and order was given to change all aircraft to a straight edge “Balkan” cross. This fabric piece is off a Fokker DVII built after April 15th 1918. Manfred Richthofen’s famous red triplane was actually repainted in the field, it was delivered with a Maltese cross and was repainted over to a Balkan cross later. That is why you will see images of his plane both ways.
In 1955 the West Germans went back to the Maltese cross.

The Lozenge pattern on this fabric was printed on the linen before it was applied to the aircraft. Early on in the war, the camouflage was hand painted on. Hand painting was time consuming, costly and added weight. The Germans were the only ones to figure out that you could print it on the linen first (like printing a pattern on a bed sheet) and then add it to the plane. Because of the fading of the protective dope added to the topside, the Lozenge actually shows up better on the bottom of this sample, than the top.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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Close-up of the bottom side and the top side.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:42 AM   #13
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:49 AM   #14
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Image from Richthofen’s mothers home just outside Berlin.
Richthofen was an avid souvenir hunter and saved pieces and tail numbers from many of his victims.
Note the France La Rhone engine used for a light fixture.

His souvenirs were in his mothers home up until 1945 when she fled the Russian’s. Nobody has ever seen any of them since.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #15
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I find this to be a fascinating collecting focus! These are very cool pieces of aviation history, and I like how you've got a variety of types there. I had no idea of Richthofen’s fetish, and that photo is very interesting!

It's also helpful to see the aircraft paint up close and personal.

Thanks for sharing.

J-
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