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WWI Cadet Minstrel, 3rd Aviation Instruction Center

Note: This item is currently in storage


The 3rd Aviation Instruction Center at Issoudun, France was a training school for American pilots new to the Front.  There, student pilots received advanced flight training by French and American instructors and were introduced to the speedy pursuit aircraft they would fly in combat. 


On April 4, 1918, a special musical performance was conducted by the flying staff and cadets to raise morale and break the monotony of the daily flying regimen.  A short program for this event was distributed to attendees and identified all the participating musicians.  Enclosed within the program is a leaf for a follow-on performance by many of the same musicians held at Chateauroux, France a few weeks later on April 27, 1918.


This program was returned to the United States and inscribed by its owner Lt Charles A Shilling, a pilot with the 96th Aero Squadron, during his training days at Issoudun.  The inscription reads, “Life isn’t all work in France as you can see by this—Charles”. 


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