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Aviation Art Collection Features Larchmont Vets

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Bill Fraser loves talking about his collection of 40 pieces of aviation art, many of which feature local veterans, like Jim Ranson.

Ranson was a pilot in World War II and flew the All American Girl over Normandy twice. He performed 35 successful missions on that plane. Soon after he returned home to Larchmont, however, it went missing and was never seen again.

When Ranson returned, he opened a Harley Davidson shop on Boston Post Road in 1946. He eventually moved the shop to Riverside, Conn. Jim Ranson had passed by the time Fraser bought the piece by Jack Fellows, who lived on Weaver Street. However, Fraser was able to get his son to send a letter with his father's signature. Whenever possible, Fraser tries to get the signatures of everyone associated with a picture.

"I started it because I had a couple of friends in the Air Force during World War II and I was always interested in what they did," Fraser said.

The Mamaroneck resident served from 1958 to 1960 in Okinawa, Japan, then spent another six years in the Army reserve. He grew up in New Rochelle, then moved to Mamaroneck in 1962.

Fraser is a member of the VFW Post 3047 in Harrison, but eight of his pieces of art currently hang in the VFW Post 347 in Larchmont. Among them is one featuring Ranson and his plane.

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