My second point is that many (but not all) of the British-made wings were made on a blue backing--as part of the manufacturing process. Tons of this blue fabric was available because all the USAAF patches were made on a blue backing.
This doesn't mean that just because a wing is backed in blue fabric that it was necessarily worn by a guy on combat status. Frankly, any aircrewman stationed in England during the war would have access to these wings (be they 8th, 9th, or maybe the 15th).
Thus, my only point is that just because you see a wing with a blue background, ESPECIALLY those that are trimmed down, doesn't mean that the guy was on a combat crew. I have, in fact, seen groupings of guys who were flying non-combat roles (ie transport and cargo) missions out of England that had the trimmed wings on their uniforms.
As posted, you see a fair number of machine-made, white silk thread on blue backing wings (pilot and aircrew were popular, but you see many other ratings). In fact, I have seen a strip of uncut wings (about 5 or 6 of them) that were clearly all part of a run.
Other English-made insignia put on blue cloth include the airborne pathfinder badge.
As well as a cloth jump wing (this image is borrowed from Mark Brando's site http://www.101airbor.../insignia2.html). I hope that is ok?
BTW, the reason that RAF wings aren't on a blue background is that their regulations specifically said that the wings were to be made on a black melton cloth.
Edited by pfrost, 11 September 2013 - 12:24 PM.