John F. Kennedy And Franklin D. Roosevelt Autograph For Sale
This sale is for two autographs, one of John F. Kennedy and one of Franklin D. Roosevelt. These are both on letters expressing gratitude and thanks for service in the Military by the Reynolds H Middleton. These are in very good condition, in photo album pages. These are flat, no creases, small amount of browning. As a bonus, each letter has a picture of Reynolds H. Middleton on the opposite album page - one with him in his dress uniform and one in his flight uniform complete with goggles! Please look at the pictures as they are a huge part of the description. I don't know if these are auto-pen or not, I'm not an expert in handwriting analysis. The newspaper story of the tragic event that led to the death of this Serviceman is attached below also.
The paper and pictures are not yellow, it's just the lighting. I'll post better pictures if you need them. I can also put the text of either letter up if you can't read it from the photo's.
I can ship this internationally, but not for free, I will only charge what it cost to ship, no handling or markup. Shipping in the USA is free!
blown to bits
The December 3, 1942, issue of the “Georgia Post,” reports the following account of a plane crash: “Of many tragedies occurring in our midst in past years, none surpass the horrible one of last week, in which two fliers lost their lives in a wooded area seven miles south of Roberta. When noticed by observers, the plane was enveloped in flames and immediately crashed to earth. Upon impact, the plane and the bodies of its occupants were blown to bits. The pieces of human flesh were too small to be recognized as being parts of a man’s body. ” Talk of the Town
This plane crash was” the talk of the town” in Crawford County and adjoining counties for many years. My wife, Beverly, grew up listening to her grandfather Lewis Taylor Cummings, a farm overseer, regale her with tales of a military aircraft that crashed on a rainy, overcast day in November 1942. The plane crashed a short distance from his farm house near the Magnolia Swamp. Note: The swampy area of the Flint River basin lying north of old Georgia Highway 96 is known as the Magnolia Swamp and the swamp south of the highway is called the Beechwood Swamp. Sidney Goodrich remembers his grandmother, Mrs. Jennie Reed, the postmaster and operator of a country store and train depot at Gaillard, describe a plane that kept circling above her store, its engine sputtering, and then hearing a loud explosion in the distance. Mrs. Jennie said, within a short time, Carl Brown, who worked at nearby Sand Pit, came to her home and asked to use the phone. Evidently, he called Cochran Army Air Field to report the accident as military personnel soon arrived on the scene. Note: Cochran Field (now Middle Georgia Regional Airport south of Macon) was originally an Army Air Force base where British Royal Air Force pilots were trained. It was activated on May 15, 1941. Over 100 BT-13 and BT-15 trainer aircraft were assigned there. Cochran Field was deactivated on December 15, 1945. The War Department did not approve construction of a depot at Wellston, Georgia, until June 1941; consequently, construction of Robins Air Force Base had not been completed at the time of the November 1942 plane crash.
On the afternoon of the crash, Estelle Peed Pyles came with her father, Felix Peed, her mother Thelma Farr Peed, and little sister Elizabeth Peed Sanders to view the crash site. The carnage that Estelle and Elizabeth witnessed is described later.
Calvin Weaver, who cut timber for 46 years in the Magnolia Swamp with Felton Cummings and James Gray Cummings, remembers seeing metal components of the plane scattered across the landscape. Weaver said the plane crashed inside a wooded area, which bordered an open field.
Statement of Eyewitness: Hoke Ross
A signed, type-written affidavit by Hoke Ross of Crawford County, dated 23 November 1942, the day of crash, states: “The aircraft came over the house I was at, just above the trees. It was already on fire. It made an awful noise when it crashed about 600 yards west of house.”
The house where Hoke Ross spotted the plane is thought to be the home of Lewis Taylor Cummings (Beverly’s grandfather) who farmed there during the 1930s-40s. Cummings and his family lived in a big, two-story house, called the “Howard Place,” owned by Troupe Howard, owner of the Howard Theater in Atlanta during the 1920s. During the 1920s, Howard would throw big parties there on weekends. His friends would travel by train to Gaillard and then go by house and buggy to Howard’s house, located 2 miles southwest of Sidney Goodrich’s home at Gaillard. At that time, a river road to the Magnolia Swamp (now closed) started between Sidney’s house and Dan Scarborough’s house. It proceeded three miles through the woods in the direction of Flint River. Howard’s house was two miles down that road. Crawford Countians jokingly called the Howard Place the “Good Time House” because of the parties held there by the rich Atlantians.
Official Army Air Force Report The Army Air Force Investigative Board reported the following findings on 30 November 1942: Aircraft tail number 42-6771, an A-24A dive bomber, single engine aircraft, took off from Hunter Field at Savannah Army Air Force Base at 1439 Zulu time (8:39 A.M.) on 23 November 1942 to fly to New Orleans. Fight time was estimated at 3.5 hours.
Pilot was 1st Lieutenant Reynolds H. Middleton with Master Sergeant David L. Dean as passenger.
Plane crashed seven miles south of Roberta at 1715 Zulu time (11:15 A.M.) Aircraft was completely destroyed upon impact and both occupants killed. Plane struck the ground in vertical position and fuel tanks exploded into flames, causing complete disintegration of the aircraft and dissolution of the bodies of Middleton and Dean—meaning they were blown to smithereens.
The weather report shows it was raining and foggy. The cloud ceiling was 500 feet; visibility limited to 4 miles.
Pilot was 60 miles north of flight plan and 75 minutes behind schedule. Due to overcast conditions and limited visibility, pilot was flying by instruments.
The accident report, signed by a lieutenant colonel, major, and captain, concluded it was impossible to determine the exact cause of the crash. Although loss of orientation, being behind schedule and off course due to weather conditions, was a factor, the board possessed no information regarding equipment failures. Witnesses Implicate Engine Failure
Based on the testimony of witnesses, engine failure may have contributed to the crash. Mrs. Jennie Reed heard the plane’s engine cutting out and sputtering moments before the crash. Hoke Ross saw flames coming from the plane, which indicated the engine was on fire as the plane plunged to earth.Awful Stench of Burning Flesh
On the afternoon of the crash, Felix Peed, who operated a saw mill and lived in the Magnolia area near the Flint River, carried his wife, Thelma, and daughters Estelle (age 17) and Elizabeth (age 10), to the crash site to view the damage. Estelle recalls seeing a deep smoking crater in ground where the plane hit. Parts of the plane were strewn across the ground. Smoldering patches of human flesh were scattered throughout the crash area. Estelle inadvertently stepped on a piece of human flesh and heard a bone snap. She immediately jumped, thinking she had crushed the spine of one of the fliers. Horrified by the carnage before her eyes and fearful of stepping on human body parts, Estelle implored her father to leave. Her younger sister Elizabeth to this day still remembers the awful stench of burning human flesh. Body Parts Commingled and Scattered
The body parts of Lt. Middleton and Sergeant Dean were commingled and scattered across the ground-- into so many small pieces that they could not be identified as to whom they belonged or assembled into a casket for burial. For this reason, a memorial service was held…
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