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Curtiss-Wright P-40E Warhawk Print | Signed by 1st American A.V.G. Squadron

 

 

Brief Account of the Curtiss-Wright P-40E Warhawk and the 1st American Volunteer Group Aviation Squadron

Popularized by Major General Claire Lee Chennault (an American military aviator and commander of the famed Flying Tigers in addition to the U.S. Army Air Forces contingent based in China) the Curtiss-Wright P-40E Warhawk, one of 14,000 P-40 designed fighters produced and manufactured during the course of the Second World War, became a mainstay of the American Volunteer Group (A.V.G.) squadrons. The A.V.G. units were volunteer air corps organized by the U.S. government as a means of fostering aid to the Kuomintang of China¹ in the Second Sino-Japanese War, with the only regiment having participated in active combat operations being the 1st A.V.G. division².

¹ Conversely recognized under the KMT acronymic derivative, its English translation synonymous with the ‘Chinese National Party.’ Identified as the ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), based exclusively on portions of the Chinese mainland as well as the island nation of Taiwan. The use of the white sun juxtapositioned atop a blue backdrop giving rise to the following:

Three Principles of the People:

Blue utilized as a symbol of nationalism and the pursuit of liberty
White representative of democracy and equality
Red indicative of livelihood and fraternity

² Recruited on April 15th of 1941, in compliance with an unpublished executive order signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 1st American Volunteer Group was instrumental in their defense of Burma and China following Japan’s tactical offensive on Pearl Harbor on December 7 of 1941.

History and Etymological Significance of the Blood Chit

Identified as a notice oftentimes carried by military personnel with emphasis being placed on civilian encounters with injured or combat displaced armed-services members. The Chinese characters incorporated in the message read as follows: This foreign person has come to China to help in the war effort. Soldiers and civilians, one and all, should rescue and protect him.” Chit, also ‘chitty,’ is a British-English term for a small document, note, or pass; the origin of the word being Anglo-Indian and dating back to the latter vestiges of the 18th Century where it was initially derived from the Hindi citthi. The earliest known record of the blood chit can be traced back to 1793, with then President George Washington having issued a formal letter of instruction urging U.S. citizens to assist French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard, who was both unfamiliar with North American topography and English dialect, during the first ever U.S.-conducted experiment demonstration involving a hot air balloon as a primitive form of flight technology. Washington emphasized an obligation of assistance to be rendered by those having encountered Blanchard in the event of his descent.

Valuation

The print in question, sans the presence of written signatures and frame, is being advertised for $150 on aviationartmuseum.com. The inclusion of what would amount to signed autographs, with the addition of the item’s frame, greatly increases the market value of the piece with conservative estimates ranging from $950-$1500.

– Written synopsis by Michael c/o Dunn’s Attic

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