RARE WWII Escape & Evasion Gold Kit for Military Pilots
ATTENTION MILITARY PILOTS and COLLECTORS of WWII ITEMS. You are bidding on ONE(1) gold kit, this one #922. 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 a 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 922 on the front and it will also be found on the inside stamped into a lead strip in the center(see x-ray photo). This one for sale is guaranteed to be sealed just as the day it was made during WWII. The Atlantic kit, which this offering is for, contained 10 and 20 franc gold coins of France; a half-sovereign and sovereign, either from Great Britain or South Africa; and three gold rings, a total of .9 ounce of gold. A small hoard of these was discovered in the late ’70s 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. This one as mentioned remains in perfect condition just as the day it was auctioned off by the Defense Department on February 12th, 1980. You will receive the evasion kit just as pictured still sealed. 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. These were the only other ones we have seen besides this one recently. The photo showing gold coins and gold rings is an example of what is inside from a different kit we handled over 20 years ago. The one being sold here has been x-rayed and the x-ray plate/photo will be included when sold. On top of that we have a copy of the original Defense Department Property Disposal invoice associated with #922(see photo). How neat is that? All 5 gold coins and 3 rings show in the x-ray in addition to the 922 serial number lead identification tape inside the case. The Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC shows one of these in their archives. You can go to their website for further reference and photos.