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article imagePieces of Roosevelt's son's WW I plane for auction in France

By Robert Myles     Jun 18, 2013 in World
Saumur - Parts of the aircraft piloted by Quentin Roosevelt, a son of former US president Theodore Roosevelt, who was killed in action in the skies above France during the First World War, are being offered at auction in France at the end of this month.
Quentin Roosevelt, born 1897, was the youngest of five children of Theodore Roosevelt’s second marriage to Edith Kermit Carow. At just 20 years of age, Quentin Roosevelt was killed in action during the First World War when the plane he was piloting was shot down near Grandpré in eastern France on Bastille Day, July 14, 1918. It was less than four months before the armistice signed on November 11, 1918, which brought an end to hostilities.
The fragments of the aircraft flown by Quentin Roosevelt are just one of a number of auction lots, mainly comprising militaria, being auctioned by specialist auctioneers Aiolfi Partners, at an auction to be held in Saumur, a town on the banks of the river Loire, with strong French military connections, on June 29.
The pieces of the cabin of Roosevelt’s plane were passed down to the descendants of Quentin Roosevelt's former landlady in Issoudun, central France where the young pilot was billeted, reports The Local. Issoudun was the largest base in France during World War I for what was then the United States Army Air Service, forerunner of USAF. When the armistice was signed in 1918, the US Air Service was operating from 13 airfields around Issoudun and the town was home to over 10,000 personnel associated with the United States embryonic air force. At the time, Issoudun was the biggest air base in the world.
In the auction catalogue, they are described as “Aircraft parts, metal, wood and canvas, from plane crash of Quentin Roosevelt, son of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Grandpré near St. Juvin, after a dogfight July 14, 1918.”
According to Laurent Mirouze of the auctioneers Aiolfi Partners, speaking to Art Daily, the remnants of the aircraft were “without much visual value but very moving.”
The auctioneers have put an estimate of around €230 (about $307) on the lot and have said several US museums have shown an interest.
The Roosevelt lot is just one of hundreds of items of militaria and military history being offered for auction at Saumur on June 29. The full catalogue for the auction is available for download at the Aiolfi Partners website.
More about Quentin Roosevelt, Roosevelt family, Theodore Roosevelt, militaria, World war one
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