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Although it is not certain how the challenge coin came to be, one story dates back to WW l.   When a wealthy officer had bronze medallions struck with the flying squadrons insignia to give his men.  Shortly after, one of his flying aces was shot down over Germany and captured.  The Germans took everything except a small leather pouch , he had around his neck that contained the medallion .  The pilot escaped and made his way to France, but the French believed he was a spy and sentenced him to death.  In an effort to prove his identity the pilot produced the medallion.  The French soldier recognized the insignia and his execution was delayed.  The French confirmed his identity and sent him ho