Small grouping for the first pilot to land at Nichols Field, Luzon while service with the 11th Airborne Division.
This small grouping of material belonged to Lt. Alfred K. Escoff, Jr. an L-4 Pipper “Grasshopper” pilot attached to the artillery unit serving with the 11th Airborne Division on Luzon, Philippines. He is credited with being the first American pilot to land at Nichols Field (recently taken from Japanese forces), Luzon, PI. In another photograph his plane can be seen outside of a Japanese revetment at Nichols Field. (look for the white silhouette of the reclining nude).
The wings are theater made, possible Australian, the “L” is crudely made and applied to the shield. Pin bar is typical of English/Australian/Indian work. 3 inches
A leather “Grasshopper” patch uses a decal applied to the leather. It shows wear, chipping, etc. The red border is mostly gone from wear. It may have been worn, as the outer edge shows a trimming, which probably cut away any of the stitching holes. Approximate 3 inch diameter.
Included in the group are some AAF Recognition Aircraft cards, for the L-4 and L-5 Liaison planes used during the war (also one of the CG 4A). The reverse side of this silhouetted images have photographs of the planes. These are small cards, 2.5×3.5 inches. Came with a placard used by the former collector when displaying these.
This material came from the late Robert Burrell Collection. Unfortunately not all of his material was identified and there may have been more related to this group. This is all that came together.
The 11th Airborne attack on Manila advanced to Nichols Field as of 11 February, 1945. This was a heavily fortified by the Japanese and after a bombardment American troops were able to move into this area and eventually take over the airfield. Escott was the first to land at Nichols on 17 February.
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