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Lt. Walter B. Wanamaker

Lt. Walter B. Wanamaker and German pilot Ernst Udet with the fabric from the rudder of Wanamaker's Nieuport 28. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Walter B. Wanamaker and German pilot Ernst Udet with the fabric from the rudder of Wanamaker's Nieuport 28. (U.S. Air Force photo)

On July 2, 1918, Lt. Walter B. Wanamaker of the 27th Aero Squadron was shot down behind German lines by the famous Ernst Udet, the leading German ace to survive World War I. Udet cut the fabric from the rudder of Wanamaker's Nieuport 28 as a trophy and though seriously injured, Wanamaker autographed the fabric.

In 1931 when Udet came to the U.S. to fly in the Cleveland Air Races, he brought the piece of fabric with him and returned it to Wanamaker. This act led to a close friendship that developed between these two former enemies.

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