The world of WWI photo collecting is becoming increasingly expensive; good identified photos are beginning to bring big bucks in the eBay world. I was lucky enough to “steal” this gem of a portrait from the realm of auction obscurity. Identified to a Sgt. Alex Arch of C Co. 6th Field Artillery, 1st Division. I was blown away when I learned that Mr. Arch was the first US soldier to fire against the Germans on October 23rd, 1917. He technically pulled the firing cord of a French 75mm while in Xanrey in the Luneville Section. A great addition to the collection!
Sometimes an obscure patch shot slips through the cracks of the myriad listings on ebay. In this case, I picked up a VERY rare shot of two members of the 255th Aero Squadron, 3rd Air Park of the 2nd Pursuit Group posing in a Vichy, France studio. I’ve only seen two or three photographic examples of the 3rd Air Park shoulder patch insignia (SSI, remember?) in wear before. This is a spectacular example, save for a minor fold and a small tear to the corner. For future reference, the 3rd Air Park patch resembles #3 billiards ball on an underlain circular patch.
3rd Air Park Patch