Named WWII Pilot Medals, Wings and Photo Group
The medals, wings, and portrait photographs of Lieutenant Colonel James S. Ross, Jr., who flew combat missions as a bomber pilot in both Europe and the Pacific during World War II. In the spring of 1945, while flying as a pilot with the 498th Bombardment Group, 875th Bombardment Squadron, 20th Air Force, Ross became a prisoner of the Japanese and was held at the Ofuna Naval Interrogation Center and at the Tokyo Shinjuku POW Camp. The group is comprised of the following items:
– Numbered Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, numbered 13,153 on the bottom edge, divided into two numbers of “13” and “153”. Slot brooch suspension.
– Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, slot brooch suspension.
– Purple Heart decoration, slot brooch suspension, privately hand engraved of two lines “James S Ross Jr / Capt”.
– Army Good Conduct Medal, slot brooch suspension.
– American Defense Medal, slot brooch suspension.
– American Campaign Medal, with a campaign star, reflecting participation in anti-submarine patrols, crimp brooch suspension.
– European Campaign Medal with a large silver star for participation in five campaigns, crimp brooch suspension.
– Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, crimp brooch suspension.
– World War II Victory Medal, slot brooch suspension.
– National Defense Medal, crimp brooch suspension.
– Miniature Medals Bar: All of the above medals and decorations are mounted in miniature for formal wear, although the miniature Air Medal has two bronze oak leaf clusters and two silver oak leaf clusters and the European Campaign Medal has four bronze stars.
– Full size 3 inch pin back sterling pilot wing by Josten.
– Full size 3 inch clutch back senior pilot wing by Vanguard.
– Shirt size 2 inch sterling clutch back command pilot wing by Davorn.
– Shirt size 1 3/4 inch sterling clutch back Missileman by Meyer.
– Bullion clutch back Command Pilot wings for wear on the formal uniform with miniature medals.
There are two official Air Force portrait photos of Ross with the group, one being 8 by 10 inches in size and one being a smaller, 4 by 5 inch copy of the photograph. In the photograph it can be seen that Ross, in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, wears the ribbons of the same medals and decorations in this group, with the exception that his ribbon set in the photograph also includes and Air Force long service medal. There is also in the group a letter from Harry Truman (with printed signature) that was given to returning prisoners of war. The letter has been pasted down on to a stiff cardboard backing.
The ribbons of the medals show some toning from age and there is a bit of verdigris on the pendant of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Overall the items are in very good condition.