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RARE WWII Escape & Evasion Gold Kit for Military Pilots – ComNav

$5,895.00

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Description

ATTENTION MILITARY PILOTS and COLLECTORS of WWII ITEMS. You are bidding on ONE(1) gold kit, this one #2641. Extremely difficult to find and purchase as most have been broken apart and the gold melted. These military gold kits were made by the US Government to sign out to pilots going into mission to be used in the case they were shot down behind enemy lines. The gold coins and gold rings were to be used to barter for food, lodging or assistance from friendly forces. Each time the pilots would return, they were required to turn their kits back in. There were two different kits. Atlantic and Southeast Asia. Each type of kit contained the same items sealed in a rubberized box approximately 4″ x 4 1/2″ x 3/4″. On the front and back of the case states “If found return to ComNavAirLant (CNAL 34) Norfolk, Virginia. This one is serial numbered 2641 on the front and it will also be found on the inside stamped into a lead strip in the center. The Atlantic kit, which this offering is for, contained 10 franc gold coins of France; a half sovereign and sovereign, either from Great Britain or South Africa; and three gold rings. A small hoard of these were discovered in the late 70’s in a US Government warehouse. The Gov’t basically forgot they were there for almost 40 years! In February of 1980 The Department of Defense decided to make these kits available to the general public through an auction. The auction grew great interest from coin and military collectors alike from all over the world. Collectors were reported to have come from as far away as London, England and even Okinawa. The auction was held in Columbus, Ohio. To-date only a handful of these kits remain in tack since most have been broken apart and sold for gold value. Most that have survived are always found broken open. You will receive the evasion kit just as pictured. We saw one of these about 7-8 years ago at the Baltimore Numismatic Convention. The dealer that had it wanted over $12,000 for it and was cracked open and missing a gold ring. Most recently a dealer had one of these at the Michigan State Coin Show and had a price of over $10,000 on it.  Also, a recent online military collectables auction sold a sealed one for $15,000. The Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC shows one of these in their archives. You can go to their website for further reference and photos. The TV series Pawn Stars showed one of these that came into the store years ago, S17 E4. At that time their expert stated less than 20 of these existed and gave a $5,000 appraisal back when gold was around $1,200/oz. This episode just aired again recently.