Wayne K. Blickenstaff was born in Pomona, California on June 25, 1920, and received his wings and commission on August 27, 1942 at Luke Field, Arizona. He was assigned as one of the original pilots of the 350th Fighter Squadron, #53rd Fighter Group, and was sent to England in May, 1943. Though he flew most of the early missions with the unit, he was unable to score any aerial victories. He was promoted to captain and made operations officer of the 350th in April, 1944, and by the close of his first combat tour, he was advanced to major. Following a brief leave in the United States, Blickenstaff returned to his unit on November 1, 1944 as commander. He finally scored his first aerial victories on November 27th, when near Brunswick, Germany, the 350th encountered two massive concentrations of enemy aircraft. During the ensuing action, Blickenstaff was credited with shooting down four Focke-Wulf FW-190s. On February 22, 1945, Blickenstaff and his squadron encountered several Messerschmitt Me-262s, the most successful jet fighter of World War II. Blickenstaff dove on one of the enemy fighters (generally the only possible way to catch them) and was successful in damaging one of its engines. The pilot subsequently bailed out, thereby making Blickenstaff an ace. Following a promotion to lieutenant colonel, Blickenstaff closed his aerial scoring on March 24, 1945 when he was credited with downing three Focke-Wulf FW-190s and two Messerschmitt Bf-109s northwest of Kassel, Germany. Lieutenant Colonel Blickenstaff left the military in late 1945, and became an accomplished illustrator, art instructor, and art director (he actually painted the nose art on the P-47D Thunderbolt that he flew during the war). During the war, he was officially credited with 10 enemy aircraft confirmed destroyed, 1 probably destroyed, and 2 damaged. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Offered is a partly printed card, designed and produced especially for American air aces to sign. At the left are small views of 6 aircraft (4 World War II and 2 jets) staggered in a vertical row, printed in blue ink.. Across the bottom is printed “A proud salute to ... American fighter Aces”, presented in red ink. In the blank area to the right of the planes is written “Wayne K. Blickenstaff Lt. Col. 353rd Fighter Gp.” in two lines. The signature and accompanying information is accomplished in black ink, and is written in a bold smooth hand. The back of the card is blank.
This card is in excellent condition, with no folds or damage at all. The printed material is sharp, and the signature is dark and bold. There is no toning or discoloration to mar this interesting piece. Overall measurements are approximately 3.50 x 5.00 inches. A nice piece honoring this highly decorated double ace.