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WWI to WWII USN bullion wings


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#1 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:32 PM

Can I get your opinion on what era this bullion Naval Aviator wing was produced? I've always considered it a late 1920's to 1930's piece until I saw a recently posted image in the pinned thread section under "WWI Bullion Wing Variations." Belleauwood (Dennis) shared a beautiful "named" bullion Aeronaut wing in Post #123 which has very similar feathering characteristics to my Aviator example. Could this USN Aviator wing be WWI vintage as well? Russ

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Edited by John Cooper, 11 April 2011 - 08:54 PM.


#2 tarheelyankee

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:38 PM

Do not know if these are WWI period or not but they most definitely are a beautiful pair of bullion wings. Wish I had as nice a set in my collection. Thank you for sharing. :thumbsup: Tom (Tarheelyankee)

#3 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 01:44 PM

Here's the back. Any ideas or opinions?

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#4 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:48 PM

I have several other bullion USN Aviator wings which I assumed for years were inter-war period, but now I'm wondering if they're older?

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#5 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:49 PM

The back...

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#6 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:52 PM

One more...

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#7 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 06:54 PM

The back. Heavily padded.

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#8 rustywings

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 07:03 PM

Hey Tom, thank you for your kind comment.
Here's a comparison shot of the last two wings.
Russ

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#9 CliffP

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:36 AM

Russ,

These two "drop dead gorgeous" beauties are screaming middle to late 1920s to me.
So if you ever wish to part with either one you now know who to contact. :love:

Cliff

Pictured left to right is LCDRs Bruce G. Leighton, and Richard S. Byrd.

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Edited by CliffP, 14 March 2011 - 04:53 AM.


#10 CliffP

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:45 AM

.
This is a picture of LCdr Charles E. Rosendahl, circa 1925.

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Edited by CliffP, 14 March 2011 - 04:48 AM.


#11 Belleauwood

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:58 AM

Stunning Wings - You can call me if Cliff is in dispose! - DJ

#12 1st Sgt CES

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:39 PM

GREAT WINGS !!!!! Blue Skies 1st Sgt CES

#13 rustywings

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:34 AM

Gents, I appreciate your response and input. Cliff, thank you for the terrific period photos for badge comparison. If I can dip into your well-of-knowledge again, I have a few more bullion USN Aviator wings I'd like help in dating. These next two wings have considerable depth, demension and gold foil detail, like an early 1930's era badge, but the cross-hatched stars in the upper shield suggests WWII era? Are these considered pre-war wings?

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#14 rustywings

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:35 AM

1930's? Or WWII era?

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#15 rustywings

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:38 AM

Both of these wings have an additional layer of material and padding on the reverse.

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#16 CliffP

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:41 PM

Gents, I appreciate your response and input. Cliff, thank you for the terrific period photos for badge comparison. If I can dip into your well-of-knowledge again, I have a few more bullion USN Aviator wings I'd like help in dating. These next two wings have considerable depth, demension and gold foil detail, like an early 1930's era badge, but the cross-hatched stars in the upper shield suggests WWII era? Are these considered pre-war wings?

Russ, :think:

This one badge may have been made in the mid to late 1930 era... or the early 1940's. Who can say for sure (?) but up until then the very thin gold wire thread used in its construction came only from Lyons, France... and the method for making it was a trade secret. In consequence, when Germany invaded France in May of 1940 all sources for the world market were severed and since no company in the USA made the wire, by late 1940/early 1941 the situation had become critical for our Navy whose officers wore gold insignia. Well, as history can prove, the ingenuity of American manufacturers can be very resourceful during a major crisis such as war and by the summer of 1941 a couple of companies in the Northeast were able to figured out how to make the gold thread, wire and lace needed for Navy insignia. It may not have been as fine a material as that produced in France before the war but it was deemed very acceptable.

Cliff

#17 CliffP

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:26 PM

Beautiful USN gold wire wing badge owned by Russ Wilson which was referred to above in post #16:

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Edited by CliffP, 15 March 2011 - 04:40 PM.


#18 pfrost

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:09 PM

Beautiful USN gold wire wing badge owned by Russ Wilson which was referred to above in post #16:


Stunning wings Russ. Simply stunning.

The nice thing about the USN bullion wings is that (IMHO) new collectors can get a very nice start on the collecting of these frequently under-appreciated little works of art. I find that bullion USN aviator wings tend to be about 30-50% less than their USAAF counterparts. With luck and patience, a person could likely start an excellent collection of WWII variations in bullion for less than 50$ a wing (and sometimes much less than that).

These are a nice pair of wings that I always felt were a bit early in the war-- maybe into the 1930's. But, like the USAAF, prewar stuff is rare for a reason. Not that many pilots were in the USN during that time.

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#19 armillary_journey

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 08:36 PM

Those are absolutely beautiful Russ.

Cliff, Patrick, yours are too.

Edited by armillary_journey, 16 March 2011 - 08:38 PM.


#20 rustywings

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:37 AM

Russ, :think:

This one badge may have been made in the mid to late 1930 era... or the early 1940's. Who can say for sure (?) but up until then the very thin gold wire thread used in its construction came only from Lyons, France... and the method for making it was a trade secret. In consequence, when Germany invaded France in May of 1940 all sources for the world market were severed and since no company in the USA made the wire, by late 1940/early 1941 the situation had become critical for our Navy whose officers wore gold insignia. Well, as history can prove, the ingenuity of American manufacturers can be very resourceful during a major crisis such as war and by the summer of 1941 a couple of companies in the Northeast were able to figured out how to make the gold thread, wire and lace needed for Navy insignia. It may not have been as fine a material as that produced in France before the war but it was deemed very acceptable.

Cliff



Cliff,
Interesting stuff! I'll copy down the information you've been kind enough to provide and add it to my growing reference notebook of wing-related tid-bits. Thank you for being so generous with your stockpile of topic information. I appreciate all of your efforts.

Patrick,
Your illustrated Aviator wing sure fits Cliff's description of French style finely made thin gold wire thread. It's a really nice wing! I agree with you regarding your assessment of USN bullion Aviator wings. When you consider there was only one U.S. Naval Aviator for every ten Army Air Corps Pilots during WWII, you would think bullion Aviator wings would be more expensive than the current market commands.

#21 rustywings

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:50 AM

Matching up inter-war period USN bullion hat pieces with similar style bullion wings. Finding nice USN hat pieces with left-facing eagles is a real challenge.

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#22 navyman

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:51 AM

Rusty wings,
I really like your early usn bullion wings! I guess I will have to add a example or too.

Thanks for sharing,
Jason

#23 rustywings

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:54 AM

Left facing bullion eagles.

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#24 rustywings

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:55 AM

One more.

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#25 navyman

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:59 AM

Matching up inter-war period USN bullion hat pieces with similar style bullion wings. Finding nice USN hat pieces with left-facing eagles is a real challenge.


That makes one heck of a display! :thumbsup:

Jason


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