Autograph of Lieut. Fiorella LaGuardia

This is an envelope from Captain F.H. LaGuardia of the 8th Aviation Center, American Expeditionary Forces, marked by hand as "officer's mail" and signed F.H.LaGuardia Capt ASSC" or Air Service Signal Corps and stamped "AEF passed as censored A.303"  At the time, officer's would censor their men's letters but could censor their own letters, themselves.  The paper envelope is imprinted GIUS.LATERZA&FIGLI SERIE AD BARI.

Fiorello LaGuardia, a native New Yorker, was one of the great Italian-Americans in political history.  LaGuardia’s father was a U.S. Army bandmaster and he moved his family to Europe.  Fiorello worked in US Consulates at age 17 in such cities as Budapest and Trieste.  From 1904-1906, LaGuardia was the acting consular agent at Fiume, later called Rijeka, Croatia.   In 1914, LaGuardia became New York State's deputy attorney general and by 1916 he was elected to the US House of Representatives.  He learned to fly in 1918, left congress on war duty leave and joined the air service, eventually rising to major. LaGuardia returned to Congress in 1923 where he served for ten years and then became Mayor of New York City.

LaGuardia sailed off to the war in Europe on the Carmania.  The diary of a contemporary of the time records that he was "taught Italian everyday by little Laguardia" (Cross & Cockade (USA), Volume 1, number 1).  LaGuardia was a supply officer in No. 84 squadron, Royal Air Force / 17 Aero and he took command at Foggia of the 11th aero squadron First Day Bombardment Group.