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#1 Paul S

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 05:30 PM

Here is a wing that sold recently that I think was a good vintage piece as I've seen them in original groupings. I've had a Service Pilot in the same form and it was a substantial fine quality wing that I believed to be sterling, even though it wasn't marked. Any ideas about their source?

PS

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#2 CliffP

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:37 PM

Here is a wing that sold recently that I think was a good vintage piece as I've seen them in original groupings. I've had a Service Pilot in the same form and it was a substantial fine quality wing that I believed to be sterling, even though it wasn't marked. Any ideas about their source?

PS


Paul,

I believe the primary source for those badges was, OFFICER'S EQUIPMENT COMPANY, Madison, NJ. They sold both wholesale and retail. I'm also fairly certain that they got out of the insignia business in 1947.

Cliff






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Edited by CliffP, 21 February 2011 - 10:53 PM.


#3 Paul S

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:05 AM

Paul,

I believe the primary source for those badges was, OFFICER'S EQUIPMENT COMPANY, Madison, NJ. They sold both wholesale and retail. I'm also fairly certain that they got out of the insignia business in 1947.

Cliff

.

Thanks for that reference, Cliff. My father's wings were made from the same or similar obverse dies, but lacked the "skeleton" reverse. One of dad's wings is posted below. He got them during late 1943 into early 1944.

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#4 John Cooper

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for the topic Paul and thanks Cliff for the info as Paul was kind enough to allow me to be the new home for the service pilot.

service_pilot.jpg
service_pilot1.jpg

Cheers
John

Edited by John Cooper, 22 February 2011 - 05:31 PM.


#5 CliffP

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:59 PM

Cliff - that was great info since I had this filed under unknown maker. Do you base this info on catalog type reference material or maybe a first person source or combination of the two?

John

John,

Good question: First Person Source

OFFICERS EQUIPMENT COMPANY was owned by Mr. Vincent E. Puma and his wife. He started the company just before the outbreak of World War II when he foresaw the coming war and thought it would be a good business furnishing dress equipment to officers and enlisted men of the three branches of service.

The Puma's had a large 10,000 square foot home at 49 Park Avenue, Madison, NJ (see picture below), and that is where they operated the business. Mr. Puma was the only "salesman" and traveled extensively during the war visiting various military base PX's across the country selling his goods.

Mrs. Puma died in 1983 and Mr. Puma a few years later. They had one son, REV. MSGR. Vincent E. Puma, Jr., who is an ordained Roman Catholic priest.

I am sure the following information will set a few collectors on their ear but the badges were originally made by VHB for OFFICERS EQUIPMENT COMPANY. I saw some of the wings which Duncan Campbell had purchased directly from Mr. Puma many years ago while on a personal visit to their house, but MSGR Puma is the one I got most of the information from.

Cliff


...................... OFFICERS EQUIPMENT COMPANY
................................. 49 Park Avenue
.................................... Madison, NJ

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Edited by CliffP, 22 February 2011 - 08:27 PM.


#6 Paul S

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 10:36 PM

Another well versed collector ID'd my father's wings as likely unmarked Blackinton productions, but did not mention the OECo. connection. I think there are a lot of these badges that were GI contract wings in various ratings, and as you mention, obtained from base PX stocks.

PS

#7 CliffP

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:32 AM

:)

Here is a picture of Mr. & Mrs. Puma on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Cliff

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#8 John Cooper

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 02:57 PM

Cliff - fantastic information and THANKS for sharing. When I got the wing from Paul he did mention that it was a VHB die which I noted but left in the "unknown" catagory since I did not know the company that sold the wing. Now with you information it all ties together!

To this point there is a visable quality difference in the wing I posted and the one Paul posted. I currently consider my wing to have been produced by VHB and Paul's by Officer's Equiptment Company or maybe someone else?

Thanks
John

#9 militarymodels

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:38 AM

Here is one in my collection. There was a debate about the type of skeleton wings like these on this forum awhile ago, but I have no doubt these are good ones as I'd normally call them semi-hollow wings. There's a thickness on these wings, not like those thin hollow cheap-looking faked ones.
Regards, Lonny

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#10 Paul S

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:53 AM

Here is one in my collection. There was a debate about the type of skeleton wings like these on this forum awhile ago, but I have no doubt these are good ones as I'd normally call them semi-hollow wings. There's a thickness on these wings, not like those thin hollow cheap-looking faked ones.
Regards, Lonny

Lonny, that Service Pilot wing of John's looked and felt substantial enough that I thought it to be sterling. Is your Navigator the same? I agree, once in your hands, there is nothing cheap about these wings. PS

#11 militarymodels

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:21 AM

Lonny, that Service Pilot wing of John's looked and felt substantial enough that I thought it to be sterling. Is your Navigator the same? I agree, once in your hands, there is nothing cheap about these wings. PS


Paul,
Although I have not tested them and they still have most of the frosting finish left but I'm almost certainly sure these are sterling base on my experience of handling sterling wings... They kindda have a "heavy" feeling, if you know what I meant :lol: .
I've handled a few hollow faked ones at the shows. You just know right away they're fake if you have them in your hands...
Lonny

#12 MikeK

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:09 AM

I've got one of these semi-hollow Navigator's wings and I'd certainly say that they have a very substantial feel to them and are deceptively thick and weighty. They are also definitely die struck. The obverse design seems to be fairly widespread though as, including the semi-hollow variation, I have 4 matching obverse designs, all with different reverses. Paul's dad's solid (with central dished scoop) wings are one variation, a pinback 1/20 10K EXCEPT FITTINGS example is another. I also have a semi-solid clutchback (short post) variation.

Regards
Mike

#13 John Cooper

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:14 PM

As an FYI the wing I posted is 301 grains.

John

#14 DMD

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:05 PM

Pilot wing with similar construction:

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#15 DMD

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:07 PM

The back:

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#16 DMD

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:16 PM

There's Vietnam era stuff that's marked OEC with a number like 81. Is this the Officer's Equipment Company you mentioned in Post 2?

#17 CliffP

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:32 PM

There's Vietnam era stuff that's marked OEC with a number like 81. Is this the Officer's Equipment Company you mentioned in Post 2?

That is a great quesion but it is not the same firm.

The original OFFICERS EQUIPMENT COMPANY was formed in 1940; however, another (unrelated) Officer's Equipment Company was formed several years later in Stafford, VA, after the Vietnam War. They are still in business and specialize in selling USMC and USN insignia and swords. You will find some of their insignia marked OEC, as well as OEC 14 through OEC 81.

Cliff


:rolleyes:





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Edited by CliffP, 24 February 2011 - 06:35 PM.



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