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WWI Bronze Naval Aviator's Wings marked BB&B


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#1 Jack's Son

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:35 PM

These Wings came from a small Antique Shop in Nebraska. The Wings are well worn, but they have a story to tell. On the reverse are Initials, and numbers that could lead us to the pilot.

If you will help, with all of your knowledge and resources, the Pilot may be identified.

Front View....

1.JPG 3.JPG

#2 Jack's Son

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:37 PM

Reverse......

4.JPG 6.JPG

#3 Jack's Son

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:39 PM

Reverse Clasp and Hinge....

7.JPG 8.JPG

#4 Jack's Son

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:47 PM

On the reserve are some letters scratched into the surface. The letters look like P, H or P ,(I ,X) or (X). PH or PIX.

Above the letters, (too small to read), are the letters or numbers..... 2 7< 2 3 or 2 K2 3. 27<23 or 2K23
The smaller figures are barly visible with a 20X glass.

9.JPG 10.JPG

#5 cutiger83

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 08:11 PM

Beautiful wings! Congrats.....Kat

#6 Jack's Son

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:48 PM

On the reserve are some letters scratched into the surface. The letters look like P, H or P ,(I ,X) or (X). PH or PIX.

Above the letters, (too small to read), are the letters or numbers..... 2 7< 2 3 or 2 K2 3. 27<23 or 2K23
The smaller figures are barly visible with a 20X glass.

9.JPG 10.JPG

Also, the numbers could be ..... 21223 or 21323

#7 CliffP

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:38 PM

Also, the numbers could be ..... 21223 or 21323

:think:
It's a mystery... and very confusing. You may need to call in a really big gun.
Say perhaps a good forensic expert?

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  • reverse_shading___Copy.jpg
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Edited by CliffP, 26 August 2011 - 10:41 PM.


#8 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 02:20 AM

Great looking early wing, best of luck in solving this mystery!

#9 John Cooper

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 03:01 PM

Beautiful wing and some interesting markes on the reverse!

Just from the initial "quick look" i.e. not to over think it it appears someone tried to scratch in a date in the standard format i.e. x/xx/xx

In my opinion it could be a date and initials.

Cheers
John

#10 Jack's Son

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:39 PM

I am adding a new set of pictures that were taken of the wing under a microscope.
Perhaps this may help with detail.

Robin_4.jpg Robin5.jpg

#11 Jack's Son

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:40 PM

...

Robin_6.jpg Robin_7.jpg

#12 Jack's Son

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:41 PM

.......

Robin_8.jpg

#13 horsa

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:57 PM

Beautiful wings.

Ok, here's a guess. "PH" is Pearl Harbor and "ZK" is for Zeke. I don't know how that would add but it was a first thought.

#14 Jack's Son

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:43 AM

Beautiful wings.
Ok, here's a guess. "PH" is Pearl Harbor and "ZK" is for Zeke. I don't know how that would add but it was a first thought.

OH, my friend.......there is some logic in your guesses.
Unfortunitly, this wing is from WWI !!

#15 BEAST

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:49 AM

OH, my friend.......there is some logic in your guesses.
Unfortunitly, this wing is from WWI !!



J.S., Can you give us a date range when these were worn? Or when these would have been issued/purchased by the original aviator?

#16 Jack's Son

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:15 AM

J.S., Can you give us a date range when these were worn? Or when these would have been issued/purchased by the original aviator?

Hi C,
From what I have garnered, the wing was the first issued to Naval Aviators circa 1917. They were made of bronze with a gold wash on them. Shortly after that, the new wing style was ordered by the Navy that incorporated a base metal of Sterling Silver with a gold finish.
My guess is that these wings would have been worn by early Naval Aviators, before the switch (1917-18).

Don't hold be to these exact dates, I'm still learning!! :thumbsup:

#17 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:30 AM

A detailed history can be found here: http://www.history.n...-1910/APP20.PDF

#18 Jack's Son

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:34 AM

A detailed history can be found here: http://www.history.n...-1910/APP20.PDF

EXCELLENT reference material......D.
Thank you! :thumbsup:

#19 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:45 AM

Another thought, the two set of numbers may be his aviator number (first set) second set maybe his service number (USN, USMC or USCG). This can be verified by someone with a copy of "Contact" the book listing the first 3000 designated Naval Aviators.

#20 Jack's Son

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:54 AM

Another thought, the two set of numbers may be his aviator number (first set) second set maybe his service number (USN, USMC or USCG). This can be verified by someone with a copy of "Contact" the book listing the first 3000 designated Naval Aviators.

Yes D......This is a quote from an email I received today!

"That could stand for Naval Aviator #188 and if true then the pilot's name would be Roland Palmedo, nick name "Pal." He was Naval Aviator number 188 and had Navy Serial number 25244."
The serial number doesn't seem to fit however.

#21 pfrost

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:01 AM

Another thought, the two set of numbers may be his aviator number (first set) second set maybe his service number (USN, USMC or USCG). This can be verified by someone with a copy of "Contact" the book listing the first 3000 designated Naval Aviators.


I suspect that these wings are circa WWI, and are not absolutely of WWI vintage (~1916-1918). I do have the book Contact and did a quick look see. None of the more obvious combinations of numbers (ie 2723, 2423, 2123) matched aviator numbers and aviator in initials (ie. P. H.).

My thinking is that you may have either a USN serial number (or partial number) or maybe a date? (ie 2/12/23). In my experience, when someone does a quick and crude scratching on the back of the wings, it was to identify the owner in case the wing was stolen or lost. Why put a date on it? It wasn't intended for anything other than for the owner to be able to identify the wing as his own.

Patrick

#22 Jack's Son

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:26 AM

Patrick,
I have tried the logic that #118 would be the Aviator's number, and that 2/12/23 might be the date of graduation, but so far, that doesn't add up. Then we throw in the initials, and it really gets messed up.

Perhaps the initials have nothing to do with this equation! Then we are left with the numbers, and maybe that's what we should concentrate on. I think the aviator would have put his number on a wing first, then some other number that would be of importance to him. So my thinking goes back to Aviator number #188, but then we have to ask "of what relevance is that date" ?

#23 pfrost

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 09:53 AM

Patrick,
I have tried the logic that #118 would be the Aviator's number, and that 2/12/23 might be the date of graduation, but so far, that doesn't add up. Then we throw in the initials, and it really gets messed up.

Perhaps the initials have nothing to do with this equation! Then we are left with the numbers, and maybe that's what we should concentrate on. I think the aviator would have put his number on a wing first, then some other number that would be of importance to him. So my thinking goes back to Aviator number #188, but then we have to ask "of what relevance is that date" ?


Frankly, I doubt that it is aviator #188. I still think you are looking at a date there, not aviator number. Maybe a serial number? Maybe the random scratching of a bored pilot or his little kid?

I suspect you are better off going through all the aviators whose initials are "PH".

#24 njaviators

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:22 PM

If it turns out to be Rolando Palmedo, here's a photo. From Orange, New Jersey, attended Williams College.

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#25 usmcaviator

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:21 PM

I would say that is the day he earned those wings.. 1/2/23. My parents found a jeweler in Pensacola, and opted for an "old school" 14K set with my name, winging date, and my Helicopter pilot number. This is my most valued piece of USMC insignia.

S/F,
Mike
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f63/usmcaviator/IMG_03873.jpg


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