John N. Smith, a longtime friend of Hemingway’s Books passed away last month and we acquired his personal book collection.
Mr. Smith was shot down twice as a navigator in the RAF and survived a crash landing as well. For his first ditching he received the coveted Gold Fish medal for an airman who was rescued from the English Channel during the war. He was rescued by the French Underground during his second downing.
We will have copies of his military records included in each of his books (many of which he signed). We are hoping to be able to include in this a copy of his Gold Fish medal certificate.
Among the collection are many WWI and WWII titles including a 1939 hardcover (in dustjacket) of the English version of Mein Kampf (My Struggle), an autobiography by Adolf Hitler of his early years and ideas during his rise to power. Mr. Smith read this book before deciding to enlist.
Mr. Smith joined the RCAF in 1939, but a training prank saw him expelled from flight school. Determined to fly, he then made the perilous journey to Britain and joined the RAF as a bomber navigator. His numerous books about the Battle of Britain and the RAF were among his most cherished possessions.
This collection goes on sale Tuesday, November 11 as part of our Remembrance Day celebration. We will feature the Smith collection in our New Arrival section upstairs until the end of the month.