Embedded into this handmade pen is an authentic fragment from USAAF P-51B Mustang European Theater combat loss piloted by Lt. William Lacey. (s/n 312391)
In October of 1943 this P-51B was apparently among the first Mustangs sent to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), where it was assigned to the soon-to-be-famous 354th Fighter Group. The 354th was the first unit in Europe to be equipped with this new and revolutionary fighter, and on December 2nd it flew its first combat sortie, a fighter sweep, over Occupied France - without incident. On December 7th it escorted its first bomber stream of 8th Air Force B-17s, also without incident. At the time this aircraft would have been painted in the standard color scheme: olive drab with white identification bands. For whatever reason and against directives of the USAAF, it evidently flew these missions with the red rimmed US insignia. Perhaps the unit was too busy with other priorities to paint it out - but that's all speculation.
Sometime in April or May 1944, during the run-up for the D-Day invasion, the 354th received newer P-51s and this particular aircraft was converted to a photo reconnaissance model - known as the F-6B in this case - and assigned to the 10th Photo Group, 12th Photo Squadron. As part of the 9th Tactical Air Force, this unit was tasked with the mission of low level reconnaissance in support of ground attack missions during and after the D-Day invasion of June 6th.
With the 12th Photo Squadron, this aircraft was assigned to Lieutenant William D. Lacey Jr.
On July 30, 1944, Bill Lacey and his wing man, Lieutenant Robert G. Walker, departed their base near Le Moley to photograph a railroad junction behind German lines. Lacey was flying the 'number 2' position late in the afternoon when his aircraft was hit by ground fire. According to Walker's report, he saw Lacey's Mustang catch fire and he attempted to contact the pilot on his radio without any response. Within seconds the aircraft was engulfed in flames and quickly snapped over onto its back. At low altitude, even if Lacey were conscious and responsive, there was probably very little he could have done to save himself. In any case, he hit the ground at high velocity about 5 miles S.E. of Tessy-sir-Vire.
In May 2009, an excavation team arrived at the spot of Lt. Lacey's crash all those years before. The remains of his aircraft were recovered, including Lacey's survival kit and other personal items. The team was very sensitive to the fact that this was not just another crash site - but a man of valor had lost his life there. A memorial service was held in honor of Bill Lacey's sacrifice at the conclusion of the excavation.
Embedded into the body of this pen is an authentic fragment from his plane (lower cowling panel), replete with well preserved gray camouflage paint.
The ballpoint pen operates with a simple twist. It uses an easy to find Parker refill. Refill instructions included. The metal components are plated gun metal and chrome.
I have a great selection of WWII warbird aircraft pens with authentic historically significant material embedded into each pen. Selection includes; Douglas C-47, B-17 Memphis Belle, B-17 Naughty But Nice, B-17 Desert Rat, Spitfire Battle of Britian, P-40, P-47, P-38 Lightning, P-51 "lil Doc", F6F Hellcat, A6M5 Japanese Zero, Corsair, B-25, Wellington Bomber and Mosquito. Other warbird aircraft pens will be available as I am amble to locate verifyable authentic materials. Each pen is rare and limited editions. Once my small sections of the aircraft are depleted, there will be no more of that aircraft offered.
I have been making custom quality pens since 2005. Experience counts. Thanks for looking.