COLONEL FRANCIS S. "GABBY" GABRESKI - FIRST DAY COVER SIGNED - HFSID 182887
Sale Price $180.00
The All-time ranking Air Force Ace signs a First Day Cover honoring Anne and Charles Lindbergh who are shown photographed together in front of an aircraft.
First Day Cover signed: "Francis S. Gabreski"/Col USAF", 1p, 8½x11 overall, image 5x8 (one surface). Sheet for the stamp commemorating the "50th Anniversary Solo Transatlantic Flight" of Charles A. Lindbergh, who is pictured with his wife, Anne Morrow Lindberg, above the 13-cent stamp affixed, postmarked Roosevelt Field Station, N.Y. 1977 May 20, FIRST DAY OF ISSUE. Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski (1919-2002) ranks as the all-time top U.S. Army Air Force ace. He was one of only seven USAF pilots who was an ace in both WWII and the Korean War. Beginning his career flying sorties against the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, the Polish-speaking pilot started to fly Spitfires in January 1943 with the 315 (Polish) Squadron of the RAF. After a few weeks, Gabreski was assigned to Zemke's 56th Fighter Group, flying P-47 Thunderbolts without seeing any action until August 24, 1943, when he scored his first victory. From then on, he downed 28 enemy aircraft, leading all pilots in the European theatre. After 193 missions, the Air Force was ready to send him home but, shortly before boarding the plane, he discovered that a mission was set for that morning. On July 20, 1944, Gabreski crash-landed during a strafing sortie and hid out for five days. Although he persuaded a Polish-speaking forced laborer to bring food and water, Gabreski was captured and imprisoned in Stalag Luft I, a German POW camp for the remaining eight months of the war. He returned to military service in the Korean War and shot down six MIG 15s. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, the Air Medal and awards from the French and Polish governments. The upper loop of the "k" in Gabreski touches stamp. Lightly creased at upper and lower right corners. Fine condition.
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