np [various]: [ca. 1917-1935]. Oblong folio album. String-bound alligator pattern embossed leather covers. 42 leaves with 119 black and white photographs and dozens of documents and other scrap elements mounted both recto and verso. Additional supporting materials laid-in. Leather rubbed with some minor starting at hinges. Contents well preserved. Generally very good or better. Very good +. Item #14515
A handsome album compiled by Colonel Robert Theodore Cronau (1896-1996) during his career in the Army Air Corps. Cronau was commissioned with a Class A designation in May of 1917 and quickly earned a reputation as one of the most skilled pilots in the newly established Army Air Service. Internal clippings capture thrilling aerial exploits from his earliest service days. The headline of a 1917 article from Americus, GA about a flying demonstration involving Cronau reads: "Daring Aviators Thrill Throng." A Tampa Morning Tribune piece called his work in the National Air Tournament of 1921, "...one of the most remarkable pieces of work in army air service records." As a First Lieutenant he completed Air Service Photographic School in 1922, joining the 22nd Photo Section, capturing early aerial photographs and developing an aptitude with a camera clearly on display here. Cronau would serve as a Director of Air Corps Flying Training trough the 1930's, stationed at Kelly Field, TX and Langley Field, VA, and as Commanding Officer of the XXVI Fighter Command in the Canal Zone into the 1940s and the war. A stunning, rich document covering the dawn of U.S. military air service into the WWII era, replete with compelling aviation photographs and early Air Service and Air Corps ephemera.