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427   WWII: Caterpillar Club  $200 $242 $267 3 You must login to place a bid.
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#427 - WWII: Caterpillar Club Estimate: $600+

The exclusive Caterpillar Club—airmen saved by a ‘silken thread’

Collection of six items related to the Caterpillar Club, an association formed by parachute pioneer Leslie Irvin for airmen who successfully bailed out of a disabled aircraft and saved their lives through the use of a parachute. First, a TLS signed "Leslie L. Irvin," one page, 4.5 x 7.75, Caterpillar Club letterhead, August 13, 1945, in part: "I am indeed glad that you were able to save your life with an Irvin chute, and have much pleasure in welcoming you as a member of the Club. I am enclosing herewith your Caterpillar Pin and membership card with our compliments." Second, the associated laminated Caterpillar Club card, 3.25 x 2.25, signed in blue ballpoint by Irvin. Next, two enameled 1.25 x .75 membership pins, and a similar secretarially signed typed letter welcoming Sgt. S. Powell to the club. And finally, a metal plaque engraved "In Memoriam, the Royal Air Force Escaping Society." The first letter and membership card are mounted and matted to an overall size of 15 x 12.5; the second is mounted and matted with one of the pins to an overall size of 9.75 x 12.75. In overall fine condition. Especially famous members of the Caterpillar Club include James Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and John Glenn. The name of the club was derived from the silk threads that made the original parachutes, the club's motto being 'Life depends on a silken thread.'

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