I have a question on symbols or charms

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Dec 11, 2006
Belleville, IL
My grandfather flew with a squadron called "The Flying Skulls." He flew over North Africa and Anzio. He was in the 79th fighter group, 85th squadron. He died in 1989. This year, I finally received a box of his possessions, including his flight jacket and a leather flight helmet. As a kid, I used to ask him all of the time to see these things. But... he was always too busy, and I've never seen them until now. Unfortunately, he isn't here to answer questions I have about the charms on the back of his helmet. I was hoping I could get some answers here. Hanging from the back of his helmet are: a little skull (which seems self-evident); something that looks like a monical with a moth or other insect encased within the glass; and last, a little bell. On this bell the words "bell of the goats" is written in Italian on one side. On the other, "Meliopibus utere fatis", which we haven't been able to translate. He also had another bell hanging on his flight jacket which reads "San Michele Bell". I understand these may have just meant something special to him, but I was wondering if anybody else may have an idea as to what they mean.

Thank you,

As to the phrase, --melioribus utere fatis-- I found it here: Re: Translation / Melioribus Utere Fatis
to be latin. The link mentions a similar finding.

The quote is from the Aeneid by Virgil, book 6, line 546:

"...I decus, i, nostrum; melioribus utere fatis!"
which, within the work, translates to:
"...born to better fates than I have found."

The Aeneid follows the legend of Aeneas from the last day of Troy up to Aeneas' victory and the fusion of Trojans and Latins into one people.

As to San Michele bell, look here:
Re: Translation / Melioribus Utere Fatis

: : The image is of the San Michele chapel.
: Thank you! Maybe I can get some sleep now. The bell that started all this was given to me by my father. He was a crew chief for a W.W.II fighter Squadron named "Hell's Belles". This is a picture of the bell he gave me, and the story card that accompanied it. It is identicle to the bell in question, but bears the words:"The Lucky Little Bell of San Michele." The story card tells of how St. Michael appeared to a small boy and gave him the bell to protect him from evil and bring him luck

Users who are viewing this thread