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WWI to WWII USN bullion wings


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#26 CliffP

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:56 PM

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Russ & Patrick,

The USN badge in post #18 was not made before WWII because of the thin gold triangular shaped coils used in its construction.

To produce suitable alternatives for French made thin gold wire and lace for the U.S. Navy, Arnold Manufacturing Company, Pawtucket, RI, managed to develop and patient a machine in 1941 that could be adjusted to produce thin circular coil wire, and triangular shaped coil wire like that seen in Patrick's badge. The triangular shaped coils were unlike those produced by the French because of the manner in which they would reflect light to accentuate certain features of a badge.

At the bottom is a photo of what the triangular coils look like when magnified.

Cliff

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#27 rustywings

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 10:01 AM

More excellent information! Thank you Cliff. The details you're sharing will make us all more knowledgeable collectors. Using this new bullion insight, I went through my Aviator pieces this morning and found one 1950's wing hiding amongst my previously presumed pure WWII era stuff.

So, to be fully prepared to hunt for authentic wings at the next militaria show, I need to bring a 10X loop for close up inspections; a pair of calipers for precise measurements; a digital scale for exact content weight; a blacklight for synthetics screening; a Bunsen burner for material analysis; And my "Cliff Notes" for bullion comparison. Man-o-man, this hobby has turned into one hell-of-a science project...but I love it! Thanks again.
Russ

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Edited by rustywings, 18 March 2011 - 10:03 AM.


#28 pfrost

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 10:41 AM

More excellent information! Thank you Cliff. The details you're sharing will make us all more knowledgeable collectors. Using this new bullion insight, I went through my Aviator pieces this morning and found one 1950's wing hiding amongst my previously presumed pure WWII era stuff.

So, to be fully prepared to hunt for authentic wings at the next militaria show, I need to bring a 10X loop for close up inspections; a pair of calipers for precise measurements; a digital scale for exact content weight; a blacklight for synthetics screening; a Bunsen burner for material analysis; And my "Cliff Notes" for bullion comparison. Man-o-man, this hobby has turned into one hell-of-a science project...but I love it! Thanks again.
Russ


You also need to be willing to smell the wing for age and of course, taste the bullion for chemical tarnish. A collector MUST use all his senses, not just rely on his eyes and ears.

Sniff and lick!

#29 John Cooper

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:30 PM

Russ as always you contnue to impress me with your collection amd when you add in the detailed points added by Cliff you can get a heck of a education.

Cheers
John

Edited by John Cooper, 24 March 2011 - 08:08 AM.


#30 rustywings

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:13 AM

Russ as always you contnue to impress me with your collection amd when you provide it with the detailed points added by Cliff you can get a heck of a education.

Cheers
John



Hello John,

I appreciate your kind comments. There are hundreds of other bullion Aviator badge examples out there. I'd sure like to see our fellow viewers post some of theirs!

Russ

#31 John Cooper

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 08:09 AM

Just speaking the truth!

I have seen some nice example pop up but have not bought any yet as I find it hard to date bullion... this thread helps with that problem. I have a feeling I am not alone in this.

Cheers
John

#32 Aeredale

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 08:12 AM

I flew in the Navy in the 60's and 70's and the bullion wings were sold at the Navy Exchanges and worn by a few pilots, mostly the older guys. I have kicked myself many times for not picking a set up myself, I think they are beautiful. They would have been worn on your service dress blues and the aviation working green uniform (the greens were the best looking uniform the Navy ever had, O D wool that was thick, hardly ever wrinkled and always looked sharp). The ones displayed here all look exceptionally well made so I would guess a date earlier than my time, but be aware they were available and worn as late as the '70's.

#33 CliffP

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:20 PM

There are hundreds of other bullion Aviator badge examples out there. I'd sure like to see our fellow viewers post some of theirs!

Russ

Russ,

Here is a nice World War II example.

Cliff

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#34 rustywings

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:23 AM

Wow Cliff! That's one beautiful and pristine bullion Aviator wing! Thank you...

#35 John Cooper

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:47 PM

Wow Cliff! That's one beautiful and pristine bullion Aviator wing! Thank you...



... and a high res photo you gotta love that!

John

#36 rustywings

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:46 AM

Here's a bullion pin-back Aviator badge which appears to be WWII era Commonwealth made. This badge is thickly padded and fairly heavy. The black felt material is sewn completely around a metal backing plate and covers the 1/4 inch long barrel hinge which holds the pin. I've not seen another badge like this, so identification of the era and origin is speculation on my part. Your opinions are most welcome.

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#37 rustywings

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:49 AM

The back showing an English or Australian style pin? The metal plate and barrel hinge is buried under the black felt.

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#38 rustywings

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:50 AM

Side profiles of the badge.

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#39 rustywings

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:52 AM

Close up of the shield.

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#40 pfrost

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 02:33 PM

Close up of the shield.


Nice wing. Just to play devil's advocate, do you think the common-wealth style pin could have been added later? It is such a rare thing to see a pin back bullion USN wing. I have seen WWI vintage german medal bars with a similar style pin.

That being said, I do have a related wing in my collection of a pin back RAAF pilot wing that was made into a pinback version by gluing the wing to a bit of airplane aluminum as a backing frame.

Patrick

#41 rustywings

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:34 PM

Nice wing. Just to play devil's advocate, do you think the common-wealth style pin could have been added later? It is such a rare thing to see a pin back bullion USN wing. I have seen WWI vintage german medal bars with a similar style pin.

That being said, I do have a related wing in my collection of a pin back RAAF pilot wing that was made into a pinback version by gluing the wing to a bit of airplane aluminum as a backing frame.

Patrick


The gold bullion was sewn directly to an oversize piece of black felt, then stretched completely around a thick padded back-plate and stitched closed. The felt remains all one piece. Peeking under the felt around the findings, it appears the barrel hinge and "C" catch are hand soldered in typical fashion to the metal back-plate within. The pin, hinge and catch look Australian-made to me. There is nothing to indicate this badge was altered from its original design or piecemealed together. The bullion design is unlike any other I have seen.

Russ

#42 pfrost

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:42 PM

The gold bullion was sewn directly to an oversize piece of black felt, then stretched completely around a thick padded back-plate and stitched closed. The felt remains all one piece. Peeking under the felt around the findings, it appears the barrel hinge and "C" catch are hand soldered in typical fashion to the metal back-plate within. The pin, hinge and catch look Australian-made to me. There is nothing to indicate this badge was altered from its original design or piecemealed together. The bullion design is unlike any other I have seen.

Russ


I think that answers my question. It is a cool wing, that is for sure.

Thanks
Patrick

#43 CliffP

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:30 AM

Nice wing. Just to play devil's advocate, do you think the common-wealth style pin could have been added later? It is such a rare thing to see a pin back bullion USN wing.

Russ & Patrick,

Note the tips of the badge in this photo of Admiral Richard Byrd. Since it does not appear to be sewn flush against his uniform, could it be a pin back bullion USN wing?

:unsure:

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#44 hawk3370

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:03 AM

Absolutely beautiful Navy wings. Thank you all for posting. I have thrown these out before but thought since I had all the Navy experts on this thread would do it again.

These came from the estate of Lt Roland Corbin who flew sub patrol lighter than air dirigibles between Florida and Cuba during WW1. I have never been able to determine why the color contrast with the gold anchor and silver wings. Any thoughts?

Terry

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#45 CliffP

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:50 AM

These came from the estate of Lt Roland Corbin who flew sub patrol lighter than air dirigibles between Florida and Cuba during WW1. I have never been able to determine why the color contrast with the gold anchor and silver wings. Any thoughts?

Terry,

There is something I would like to say. WoW!

Cliff .... :-)

#46 hawk3370

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:44 PM

Terry,

There is something I would like to say. WoW!

Cliff .... :-)


Cliff.
Attached is a pic of Roland Corbin, Naval Aviator #621 and his brother Horace W. Corbin during the war.
Terry

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#47 rustywings

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 10:41 AM

Cliff,
The Aviator wing depicted in Admiral Byrd's photograph certainly does resemble a pin-back style badge. His wing has a similar bullion design and appears to be applied to the same type of thick triangular shaped back plate. Thank you for posting.



Terry,
What a beautiful bullion wing! I've never seen a similar silver example. As you probably well know, NAO's (Naval Aviator Observer's) were entitled to wear silver Aviator wings for a very short period during 1927-1929. But that doesn't explain why Ensign Roland Earl Corbin would be in possession of them since his Naval career lasted from 1917 to 1921. Could they have belonged to another family member? Terrific stuff! Thanks for posting.

Russ

#48 John Cooper

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:09 PM

Gentlemen this is rapidly turning into a thread destine to be “PINNED” please keep posting!

Cheers
John

#49 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:54 PM

This pair of wings is 3.5 inches long..... thats not a typo.... 3.5 inches

They are on the uniform of a Naval Aviator who died in 1937.


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#50 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:58 PM

Here is another identical 3.5 inch set to another Naval Aviator who was KIA in 1942. When you see them up close they look huge.


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Edited by KASTAUFFER, 01 April 2011 - 07:59 PM.



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