Last week web site visitor Eric R. Caubarreaux asked about a medal was awarded to Charles Lindbergh in September 1931 by Chiang Kai-shek. -Editor
Harry Waterson writes:
Here is a piece I wrote that was sparked by the Lindbergh/Chinese Aviation medal. I have previously written about this medal as an aside in an article about
the John Gregory-Lindbergh Plaquette for The Clarion, the journal of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists.
This is a bit of an op-ed piece.
Colonel Charles Lindbergh and Admiral Richard Byrd were contemporaries and vied for the success in the air. Both achieved many awards for their efforts in
flight and exploration. Both men were flawed. Both were very concerned about their legacy.
Charles Lindbergh immediately received many awards, medals and trophies following his solo transatlantic flight, May 20-21, 1927.
Jefferson Memorial, St. Louis circa 1930
June 18, 1927 there was an exhibition of all Lindbergh's awards to date. This exhibition was briefly mounted the afternoon of June 18th in Jaccard's
Jewelry Store in St. Louis. 1 The collection was then briefly stored in a bank vault until appropriate arrangements were made for its disposition. On June 25,
1927 Lindbergh agreed to a ten day exhibition of his medals at the Jefferson Memorial, Forest Park, St. Louis, MO. In June 1932, the collection was still on
Lindbergh Medal exhibit photo from December 17, 1927
Col. Lindbergh gave to the collection the Chinese Aviation Medal, authorized by the National Government Council of China, on June 21, 1932. It had
been presented to Lindbergh by General Chiang Kai-shek, President of China on September 26, 1931 in Nanking, China in appreciation of his volunteer services in
the cause of flood relief in China. Lindbergh was the first recipient of this Chinese Aviation Medal. It was the 126th medal placed among his other trophies in
the exhibition. 
Admiral Byrd achieved his transatlantic flight June 29-30, 1927 although the flight ended in the shallow water just off shore at Ver-sur-Mer, France.
President Coolidge awarded Byrd the Distinguished Flying Cross for this achievement.
Admiral Byrd kept all his awards in his possession and they were part of his estate when he died. His heirs consigned all his medals and memorabilia to
Sotheby's in London in 1988 for sale at auction. London was chosen because the sale included the Byrd Congressional Medal of Honor. It was then illegal to
sell a Congressional Medal of Honor in the United States. It still is.
Today the Missouri History Museum, St. Louis is the public repository of all the artifacts Lindbergh garnered in his extraordinary career.
Jefferson Memorial, St. Louis today
 Mrs. Lindbergh Sees Medals For First Time; The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, MO Jun.19, 1927 p5
 Another Lindbergh Medal; The Chillicothe Constitution, Chillicothe, MO Jun.29, 1932 p1
Thanks, Harry. It's good to learn the medal is safely housed with Lindbergh's other medals and artifacts. Harry attached several newspaper clippings
and images for context; I've only been able to include a few in the space we have. The Lindbergh collection contains far more than just medals - there are
photographs, paintings, models of his "Spirit of St. Louis" airplane, and gifts from around the world, including a leaf from a Gutenberg bible,
another famous first. Nearly 5 million visitors came to the exhibit by July 1931; it was valued at that time at $500,000.
While compiling images for this week's article on the 2019 IAPN book prize, I came across the new book by Michael Joos on the medals of aviation.
Lindbergh falls in the pre-1945 time period covered by the 644-page book. If anyone has a copy, could you tell us what it says about this medal or
Lindbergh's other medals in the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis? -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: LINDBERGH CHINESE AVIATION MEDAL
Wayne Homren, Editor
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