I'm kind of in the same boat that Camopara is in that I would really like to see something definitve here to document you are saying. Like Leif, I have had the honor of meeting and knowing a few marine paratroopers and I can't say that I have ever been able to observe more that one guy that had a pair of WWII vintage marine para wings in his possession and with photographic proof that he had them before the end of the war. In all cases, to a man, these troopers had army pattern wings in their possession and virtually all (ok, all but the one mentioned above) only showed army wings on their uniforms.
Allan & Camopara,
The information which I posted on the forum was written down in one of the notebooks that I keep so it took a while to locate the original
source before getting back to you.
I cannot reproduce the actual article that contains all the information you seek on this forum because the copyright belongs to the AMERICAN SOCIETY of MILITARY INSIGNIA COLLECTORS
; however, it was published in their TRADING POST
magazine, Volume L, No 4 (July-September 1991), on page 66. The title is, The US Marine Corps, WWII, Gold Parachute Wing
by Michael A. Shepherd. With it are World War II era photos of two members who belonged to the 1st Parachute Battalion wearing the AMICO badge on their uniforms.
If you don't have access to that issue of the TRADING POST
send me your address via PM and I will help you.
While I am asking questions here- if these wings were so widely worn by the 1st MAC Paratroopers in the PTO, why don't we find Aussie made gold para wings?
I doubt that can be answered to the complete satisfaction of everyone; however, due to the relative small size
of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion, and its breakup before the end of the war, the fact remains that the badges were unofficial
. Therefore, I can only assume that there was not enough time for the Australian manufacturers to get wind of the unofficial badges used by that unit through the grape vine rather than through official channels.
(How soon do you think we'll start seeing fake Aussie maker marked marine gold para wings now that it has been brought up?)
That's a sticky $64 question subject to broad speculation but since you asked.
Based on what may now be known, should a collector ever stumble upon what is said to be a legitimate, yet unofficial, World War II USN/USMC gold parachute wing... the rule of thumb should be to trust only a badge made by AMICO and to avoid all the others. That should be simple enough.
Below are three views of an original AMICO badge that is in my collection to get a better idea what the markings on the back should look like.
Edited by CliffP, 12 March 2011 - 10:11 PM.