I was metal detecting in one of my favorite Michigan lakes yesterday and came up with a pilots ring. I would love to find the owner or owners heirs and return it to them.
It is a mans ring with a large oval ruby on the top. Around the ruby it says United States Air Force. Below it is says * Pilot *. On one side it has an eagle and then a shield below it Below the shield is the roman numerals MCMXLVII, which is 1947. On the other side is a shield with wings, a scroll with 55.N The dot is in the middle. Under that is a star with wings. Any help?
I hav just bought a very similr ring to the one you mentioned. It has the same date and script etc except that it has a 55.T instead of 55.N. It also has a green stone not a red stone. I bought it at an auction in South Africa two days ago
What have you done with the one you found? Have you got a pic of it?
Richard is correct about the 1947. I think it refers to the year of inception of the independent U.S. Air Force. Class numbers consist of a numeric indicate for the year and individual classes are indicated alphabetically. So class 55-N refers to 1955.
I don't know how many bases were used for undergraduate pilot training then but I've found a class roster for class 55-N at Reese Air Force Base: http://www.w9fz.com/reeseafb/class55n.html
The roster has my pilot on it. William R. Hurt. His name is inscribed on the inside.
How I located the family. That is a loooooooong story.
I went to the Spense Air Base web site and posted a notice on their guestbook. I got a reply from a person that was Bill's best friend. He knew Bill's service number. I wrote to the USAF archives and waited and waited and waited. I even let them know what I was trying to do and asked them to contact the pilot for me. I recieved a NASTY letter back accusing me of trying to invade his privacy!!
I then had a reffrence number and gave them a call. The only thing they were able to do is give me a number to the VA office. The person on the phone was able to give me the information that he died and a benificary. I was able to track her down because she still lives in his last known address.
I have tracked down the owners of 12 class rings at the moment abd I still have 19 in my posession. I find them underwater with a metal detector.
Unfortunately, I will never know how Bill lost his ring in a lake near Pontiac Michigan. He never mentioned the ring to his second wife or his children.
I wish you lived in Arizona. Back in 1960 I lost my (now) husband's class ring at Saguaro Lake. I'd always thought I'd lost it in the sand, but the water makes more sense. Maybe someday I will be able to get it back for him. Back then, we wrapped angora yarn around it to make it fit a girl's finger.
Well I like to return rings. I have returned 12 so far and I have 19 more in my possession that I am trying to locate owners to.
BUT, there are two sides to every coin. If I find a ring it really is mine. I love to return the ones I can just to hear the stories on how they were lost but a lot of other detectorists keep everything unless they are looking for one for somebody. It took almost a year of time trying to track the family down. I have returned a few rings after doing a lot of research and mailing them at MY expense without ANY kind of compensation. So not only did I spend time and money finding it, I called schools, people with the same last name in the area, looked through sabasearch on the net and tried and tried to find somebody. I find them, mail the ring back at my coist and I get NOTHING in return. That has happened with a few of them.
I am saying I don't think the word honnest is appropriate here. I do what I feel is right and I have friends that keep everything and they feel they are right. I will not judge.
I have been in our local paper twice, Channel 2 news in Detroit once and a paper in York Pensylvania because of my chosing to return them. But I have found thousands of dollars worth of ones I couldn't return.