I am Col. Charles Wesley Sawyer's son, Charles Robert Sawyer, and want to let everyone know that I and the rest of Chuck's family are fighting to stop the auction of my father's personal effects with legal action, or failing that, win them all at the auction on June 2.
Corbett Auctions made a gross misstatement when it promulgated the following "...we have been asked by the trustee of the estate of Col. C.W. Sawyer...' Corbett Auctions has been asked to auction my father's possessions by the State of Idaho. The State is striving to recoup some of the costs it incurred caring for my father's second wife, Edith, who died recently, an indigent ward of the state. Per my father's will, Edith received all his financial assets, real estate and personal belongings when he died on May 8, 1978. She dissipated all this, except what is now up for auction on June 2.
If our legal action fails, Chuck's youngest brother, my uncle, Larry Sawyer, will be at the auction site in Kuna, Idaho, himself--with his checkbook. I will participate via the Internet. Please be assured that the Sawyer family has gone to battle stations, a term I use because I am a Navy Veteran, who served in the Tonkin Gulf.
When I was growing up, my father told me that his flight jacket, and other items that memorialize his extraordinary courage and career in aviation would be mine after his death. He instructed Edith to make sure I received these invaluable items when she died. She did not fulfill my father's wishes.
I have three children who treasure their grandfather's memory. They have three young children of their own (Chuck's great-grandchildren), and they and I want them and their own decedents to share Chuck's exceptional legacy.
Tiger5, thank you for your concern. We did get everything back. My uncle, Larry, and his son were at the auction in person representing me. They said none of the people who were also there in person made bids. They were bidding only against bidders who were on the phone. A nice aspect of all of this was that none of the people present at the auction tried to take my father's things from his family.
Getting the personal effects into a museum is on my to do list. I was going to donate his Flying Tiger banner but it looks too good on my living room wall. The most important piece is his flight jacket but it needs restoration before going on display.
I remember the auction where I think you were able to save all of your father's belongings. You mention needing to restore the jacket. I do not believe a restoration is necessary, nor advisable if I remember correctly, just perhaps some light cleaning. But, if you ever want to get my professional opinion, post or send me images of the jacket and I will be happy to help.