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Gold Pilot Wings ???


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#1 currahee506

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:14 AM

Just curious.. by chance, I have fallen into a great grouping that belonged to a pilot who was KIA in the CBI Theatre. This hero's plane was shot down while 'flying the hump.'

While looking through a bag of insignia attributed to this hero, I came across a gold pair of pilot's wings, probably 2 1/2 - 3 inches long. No makers mark on the back.

Any idea what the gold wings signify?

Sorry, but I won't have pictures until Tuesday. Hope someone can help.

Rich

#2 Gary Cain

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 07:41 AM

Hi Rich,

I have seen a couple of those and the ones I saw were solid gold. They were for the sweetheart at home.


Gary

Just curious.. by chance, I have fallen into a great grouping that belonged to a pilot who was KIA in the CBI Theatre. This hero's plane was shot down while 'flying the hump.'

While looking through a bag of insignia attributed to this hero, I came across a gold pair of pilot's wings, probably 2 1/2 - 3 inches long. No makers mark on the back.

Any idea what the gold wings signify?

Sorry, but I won't have pictures until Tuesday. Hope someone can help.

Rich



#3 BEAST

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 09:36 AM

I posted a pair on the forum a little while back. I have heard that they were sweatheart wing and also others have said that they were instructor wings. Here is the link to mine. http://www.usmilitar...d...ic=9577&hl=

#4 pfrost

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:18 AM

Sometimes civilian pilots or instructors at the civilian contract flight schools wore gold colored wings. Strictly speaking, they wouldnt have been allowed to wear US military wings unless they were in uniform and were authorized to wear them. I know for sure that Cal Aero Flight Academy gave out gold colored pilot wings with the name of the instructor engraved on the back. However, these were the 3 inch wings.

On the other hand, a great deal of sweetheart jewelry was made, and frequently in gold metal. I would lean towards this particular item being a sweetheart wing--something given to a wife/girlfriend/mother, or maybe something to wear on the lapel of a suit for civilian cloths.

Patrick

#5 currahee506

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:13 AM

Sometimes civilian pilots or instructors at the civilian contract flight schools wore gold colored wings. Strictly speaking, they wouldnt have been allowed to wear US military wings unless they were in uniform and were authorized to wear them. I know for sure that Cal Aero Flight Academy gave out gold colored pilot wings with the name of the instructor engraved on the back. However, these were the 3 inch wings.

On the other hand, a great deal of sweetheart jewelry was made, and frequently in gold metal. I would lean towards this particular item being a sweetheart wing--something given to a wife/girlfriend/mother, or maybe something to wear on the lapel of a suit for civilian cloths.

Patrick


Thanks everyone.

I'm picking up the grouping today, and will post under latest acquisitions.

Currahee!

Rich

#6 USMCRECON

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:50 AM

FYI, below is a picture of a pair of what I believe are 1920s era pilot's wings. I have 4-5 pairs of these and all are almost identical from the front. One is hollow-stamped and the rest are solid sterling. This particular one, however, seems to have been gold plated over the sterling silver. In the picture below it is shown along with a standard sized late 1930s Gemsco wing for size comparison. When I first bought it, I thought it had just tarnished to a gold tone but when I was able to actually hold it in my hands, it was clearly gold plated over sterling silver.

Gold_Pilots_wings.JPG



#7 Senator57

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:03 PM

In addition to the gold pilot wings, which I've seen identified as civilian instructor and sweetheart wings, I'm posting this set of full size Gold Airplane Observer wings, which are not hallmarked but have a snowflake reverse. I've also seen Gold Balloon Observer wings with the snowflake pattern. I was told that these could of been worn on Dress Uniforms (Dress Whites?) during the 1930's-early 1940's. This may be another wing mystery but I wanted to add that gold wings have popped up in other patterns as well. Thanks.

-Frank

Gold_AC_Observer_Obv.jpg

Gold_AC_Observer_Rev_1_.JPG

#8 Scott C.

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 04:53 PM

A flight instructor vet told me the gold wings were worn by 'generic' contract flight instructors during WWII. I have several sweetheart-size gold pilot wings (including one command pilot), and these 3-inch wings from LGB (1/20 10k GF Sterling) pictured with it's sterling AAF cousin.

Scott

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  • Copy_of_LGB_Trio.JPG


#9 doyler

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:48 PM

Great Wings guys!!!!!!

RON

#10 Guest_The Mentor_*

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 06:35 PM

On the gold wings debate can I throw in an angle I was told by a very experienced collector who had been in the US army of occupation in Japan? I was told by him that when the Japanese airforce, under US jurisdiction was being reformed, the very first pilot wings worn were a small (slightly less than 3 inch) GOLD US-pattern wing. I have heard this also from some other collectors of senior experience since.

Is this just another urban myth in the process of becoming "cast in stone" true...or is it real?

#11 pfrost

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:30 PM

On the gold wings debate can I throw in an angle I was told by a very experienced collector who had been in the US army of occupation in Japan? I was told by him that when the Japanese airforce, under US jurisdiction was being reformed, the very first pilot wings worn were a small (slightly less than 3 inch) GOLD US-pattern wing. I have heard this also from some other collectors of senior experience since.

Is this just another urban myth in the process of becoming "cast in stone" true...or is it real?


I think this is an urban myth. The Japanese postwar constitution basically renounced war and banned Japan from maintaining any armed forces to prevent the country from ever becoming an aggressive military power and placate the enemies of Japan who suffered during WWII. I think that it wasnt until after the Korean War in the mid to late 50's that Japan established its Self-Defense Force, and even then it was rather small.

While the Japanese self defense force used American arms and equipment, I believe they had their own uniforms and insignia that were unique to Japan.

Patrick

#12 pfrost

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:43 PM

Here is another gold pilot wing in the Blackinton pattern (but not marked as such). I believe that this is an instructor wing.

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  • goldinstructor.jpg



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