WWII Archive Of Lt. Colonel Raymond Swenson
Large Archive of Lt. Colonel Raymond T. "The Swede" Swenson of the Army Air Corps, first American pilot shot down in WWII. This Archive documents his career through WWII as a cadet in flight school up until his discharge in 1946. Included in the archive are Lt. Colonel Swenson's personal flight records, A-2 Bomber Jacket, leather flight cap, wool garrison cap, patches, his purple heart, ribbons, dog tag, uniform pins and insignia, a book on the history of Class 38-B of Kelly Field by Bill Yancey, and The Air Navigation Text of The U.S. Army Air Corps. Also, numerous photograph including Randolph Field, mechanics rooms, parachute loft, and planes at the flight school, Class 38-B Advanced flight school photograph, group photograph of the officers of the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron of March Field, California, and a photograph of officers with a B-29 at Grand Island, Nebraska. Biography: Raymond T. Swenson was born St. Paul, Minnesota on October 28, 1912. He attended the University of Minnesota and was in the ROTC before coming to Randolph Field as a cadet in 1937. He was first assigned to the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron of March Field, California and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On December 7th,1941, Lt. Col. Swenson in route to Australia when his B-17 took fire from Japanese Zero's attacking Hickam Field in the Pearl Harbor attack. Swenson's plane was ripped in half, and he was forced to make an emergency landing. This was the first American plane shot down in WWII. (See book "Day of Infamy" by Lord for pictures of Swenson's plane). Swenson was injured in the crash landing and received a purple heart. Following Pearl Harbor, Swenson distinguished himself in raids on Rabaul and at one point was acting commander of the 5th Bomber Command of Garbutt, Field. Swenson remained in the South Pacific until October 1943. He returned to the US and was stationed at several different bases until the end of the war. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in January 1946 and discharged June 1949.
The bomber jacket and leather flight cap have some wear; otherwise all items in good condition.