Chris Liontas

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Everything posted by Chris Liontas

  1. Wow! I wish I could add more but I am still amazed at the WW1 CdG citation. I bet Militaria magazine would jump to show off this group!
  2. Welcome back!! Let's see a profile of the car! All original or restored? I. Can't wait to see it.
  3. Awesome set up Brian. The whole blog put a huge smile on my face. As a person diagnosed with ADHD, the organized non-organization aspect had me rolling. I'm like you, I have the most organized system in the world....I just wish I could remember what it. Is :-)
  4. Hi all! I posted this on the US Militaria forum for a friend. Scott Kraska turned this up at the MAX show this year. This is without a doubt, one of, if not the most RARE uniforms in existance. I'm copying my post there, as I am lazy. I wanted you all to see it though. It is an insane ensamble, to a mercenary's mercenary. The Riff War is a little known subject and the story of the Second Escadrille American is something even fewer people know of. With only 17 members this all American squadron it is possibly the rarest US Aviators grouping one could imagine. It was purchased from the family in Detroit about 1980 and has never been publically shown until now. This uniform, medal and insignia grouping belonged to Major Walter J. Sussan. He learned to fly at the Wright Brothers training school in 1915 and joined the Military in 1915 and was send to England where he became Royal Naval Air Service Pilot #1. He fought in Europe and in the Aegean being mentioned in dispatches and receiving the Croix de Guerre and the Greek Military Cross. After the War he fought against the Bolsheviks in Russia, being awarded the Order of St. George. In 1922 he left College and fought for the Greek Government against the Turks earning the Order of the Redeemer. In 1925 Sultan of Morocco was faced with the possibility of being overthrown and the French and Spanish Governments were trying to intercede. During the post War period, France had let her Air Force go fallow and there was a real shortage of Pilots. Charles Sweeney of Lafayette Flying Corps fame wanted to create a second Lafayette Escadrille, calling Pilots from the Lafayette Flying Corps and Escadrille to join. In the end, 17 Pilots volunteered, including many who were not original members of the Corps, for the Escadrille Amercain, later called the Escadrille Cherifienne. These Pilots flew Breguet Bombers against ground forces and targets, bombing and strafing the Enemy. The group consists of his Moroccan made tunic and cap, which bear the 5 pointed star of the Sultan of Morocco. His French wings adorn his right pocket and his French Legion of Honor his right side. In addition you can see the miniatures and full size medals, some with boxes, His Canadian RNAS badges and engraved breast wing, Escradrille Cherifienne photo ID card, 2 photo albums documenting his service as well as portrait photos, Squadron photo and shots of his Legion of Honor Presentation. His silk scarf, Sam Brown belt and goggles are also present as are many other interesting items.
  5. I was perusing the news the other day and I noticed Joe Biden was awarded the Medal of Freedom. While running on my lunch hour I got a chance to see the replays of the medal being awarded. Now while everyone on TV seemed to go into straight political mode--did he/didn't he deserve it..blah blah blah -- I could not stop thinking about how just darn ugly the medal is. Honestly, its huge and gaudy. When the President is placing it on Joe's neck, I thought the ribbon was tangled; but it appears to hang like a sash medal rather than a neck medal. I know the Legion of Merit has an international award on a sash, and it kind of hangs like this does. I think the neck ribbon kink and the size of the eagles just make it look like something I would buy my daughter at the Disney Store. I just keep it supposed to look like that??? So odd that this would be our highest award...
  6. And the same two tunics with the same rank, same bent right shoulder board on the mann tunic, same tress on the non NCO, NCO tunic
  7. Makes a ton more sense! Thank you for the information. I knew something wasn't right :-).
  8. Nice display!! Is that a rifle grenade launcher on the far right? I don't remember that in your collection
  9. Ooooo that is sweet! Nice Chris! Is that all one named group?
  10. I'm offended....I'm going back to "the best scotch" posting" for at least two hours!!!
  11. ^^. I echo that. What a wonderful medal, and to know it is an award piece. How many threads have you seen where the medal isn't named and you can't tell when it was given (or purchased). To see an original PLM that was actually awarded is fantastic- and with no damage.
  12. Very nice Rabbi photo! Very nice shot of the star.
  13. Enjoy it-very much so! Anything like this that still survives is amazing. The medal is rare but how much rarer is the award document? So a LT getting the iron cross was that much rarer than a field grade one?
  14. Hi all! This tunic came to me just today and I don't know what to think about it. The tunic is standard field grey Ulanka with yellow piping and flight boards. The tunic history, came from the family, been in same collection since 1970 (no doubts to this). However several things confuse me. 1. This individual was a pilot, but started in Ulanen-Regt. Kaiser Alexander II von Rußland and then became a pilot in 1917. The piping colors for von Russland is red, yet this tunic has yellow piping. I know pipings came in different colors for "regiments": for aviation troops during the war, and some individuals kept their piping from their original units (von Richtofen being a prime example). This individual was wounded in 1917 and was relegated to desk duty for the remainder of the war. Could he have switched his piping yet retained his uhlan uniform? 2. This tunic looks like an EM tunic rather than officer. I know some guys wore EM tunics as a work tunic or combat tunic rather than their nice officer one. Was that standard? The depot marks are on the back of the tunic yet very faded. Was this a common practice for officers and field grey tunics from WW1 (my experience comes with German WW2 where anything was possible) 3. One board popped off so you can see the stitching, The boards look good to me, the piping is more vibrant than the lower parts of the tunic which could indicate wear or replacement later on. I'm at a loss for this one. I don't know if the individual would have changed his piping after getting wounded, and kept his uhlan tunic rather than switching to the standard tunic in 1917. The story from the family is the tunic came from the deceased pilots wife in the late 60's/70's. The guy who had it was a huge enthusiast for WW1 aviation. There are photos with him and the pilot in the hospital, but no records of the tunic from the wife. I know the old adage, don't buy the story; but this story is pretty good. There would also be very little reason for the individual to fake the tunic and the story, especially in the 70's/80's. I'm just at a loss to why it is not officer quality, why the piping is yellow rather than red.
  15. Wow! Very nice Chris! I've never seen one before. yhatvus about as rare as it gets, even more so than aviators. Any idea where it was awarded (I don't have my glasses. :-) )
  16. I wonder why people do this. Do you think they just don't know, or don't want to learn. With all the information printed, and on line about the Iron Cross, you would think people would be better informed
  17. Great score Chris!
  18. It signifies branch of service. Red is sani, green is jäger etc...
  19. Oooo that is nice!!!! Wow how rare is that Chris? Any idea what happened to him? Was he a Tsarist soldier or part of the monarchy?
  20. I am preempting Chris from doing another one of his, "holy cow I got something awesome and you guys have to wait for me to post it"....posts. I'm not going to steal his thunder, but omg.....I dont collect this stuff and was about to buy this thing. It is that awesome if you like French stuff. ....sorry Chris...I owe you a beer...or Scotch...or whatever :-)
  21. I absolutly love the German Pickelhaube, however there are so many States to collect, I decided to stick with Bavaria. I love the early pre 1910 wrappen with the leaves upon the lion's legs. First Two Artillery helmets. One Raupenhelm for parade; while the second is marked to an artillery rgt on the inside. The helmet pre dates the "ball" attachment and retains the spike.
  22. ROFL!!! Touche!! I should never doubt the military "mindset" lol. An amazing grouping any way you cut it! Did they send ARTY liaison officers to company level? Artillery spotting from either plane, balloon, or battery was becoming quite the science by 1918 - so I would not doubt it was possible. Especially if he made it the front before the big 1918 push.
  23. It seems odd after observation training he was not utilized in balloons or spotter aircraft. Why after so much specialized artillery spotting training would he be sent to the infantry
  24. Wow that is nice Chris! Trained in balloon observation?! I've hardly ever seen any American named balloon uniforms. What a find!!! And with his paperwork. How often do you see that anymore
  25. Balades mentions something about this with Bavarian pilot badges after the war I think. He states something about how the crown was broken after the war due to the republic/1919. I'll try to find the reference and take a photo of it.