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WWII Contracts US NAVY COMBAT AIRCREW WINGS


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#1 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:16 PM

I am not a wing collector , but have accumulated a large number of WWII US Navy Combat Aircrew wings during my pursuit of Naval Aviation groupings. All of the wings in this thread are part of groupings I own and I know the owners by name and unit. None of these wings are post WWII.

Here are some observations I have made.

1. I have never seen a clutchback Combat Aircrew wing that I knew was worn in WWII.
2. There are both large and small sizes. The small ones seem to be scarce.
2. There seem to be only a few contracts :

By far the most common contract is AMICO . Other manufacturers include Gemsco, NS Meyer , and H&H ( Hillborn and Hamburger ) . I would love to see any wings that I have missed . I figured this thread will be a good start on known contracts. I have never seen any made by Balfour, AE , or theater made examples .


Here is an example of a full sized AMICO Sterling Wing in Pinback with no stars. This is the most common contract . Stars were awarded based on qualifying Flight/Strikes.

wing1.JPG
wing1_a.JPG

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 07 June 2008 - 04:45 PM.


#2 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:18 PM

Here is an Amico wing and a miniature NS Meyer wing. Both were owned by the same person.

Wing_3.JPG
Wing_3_a.JPG

#3 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:19 PM

Here is an example of an H&H ( Hillborn & Hamburger ) wing. I like this one a lot !

wing_2.JPG
wing_2_a.JPG

#4 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:21 PM

An example of a wing made by Gemsco .

Wing_4.JPG
Wing_4_a.JPG

#5 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:24 PM

The last example , an NS Meyer full sized wing still on the jacket !

Wing_5.JPG
Wing_5_a.JPG

#6 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:33 PM

Here is one of my favorite photos! It is a pic of Lt Byron Brummer , who was a Radar Countermeasures officer with Air Group 85 on the USS Shangri-La . During WWII he earned both the Bronze Star and the Air Medal . In this pic he is only wearing his Bronze Star ribbon and he has it on the end in the wrong place ( Dont fix ribbons on vet acquired uniforms boys ! )

My favorite part of this pic is that he is wearing Combat Aircrew wings! He was authorized to wear them according to his service record. You dont see officers wearing these wings very often.

brummer2.jpg
brummer3.jpg

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 07 June 2008 - 04:36 PM.


#7 John Cooper

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 05:08 PM

Kurt,

Thanks for starting this thread I am looking forward to others posting their wings. Interesting details on the HH but my current favorite is the GEMSCO - has a tough look to it.

John

#8 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 06:31 PM

Kurt,

Thanks for starting this thread I am looking forward to others posting their wings. Interesting details on the HH but my current favorite is the GEMSCO - has a tough look to it.

John


It sure does ! The Gemsco wing is fairly thin compared to the Amico wing. Those are nice and heavy! The H&H wing is the thinnest.

Kurt

#9 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

Does anyone have any different examples to post ?

Kurt

#10 Scott C.

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:13 PM

Here's my 1-inch Amico-Sterling wing (I couldn't get a clear photo of the reverse http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif )

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#11 Navy Dan

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:04 PM

Here are the ones I have.The left is Amico the right HH the mini is Amico on the card its ashame someone wrote on it in pen.Put for free whos complaining.
Cheers Dan

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#12 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 04:52 PM

Here are the ones I have.The left is Amico the right HH the mini is Amico on the card its ashame someone wrote on it in pen.Put for free whos complaining.
Cheers Dan


I'd love to see the back of the H& H wing . Thats a variety I have not seen and is different than the one I posted.

Kurt

#13 pfrost

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:22 PM

I'd love to see the back of the H& H wing . Thats a variety I have not seen and is different than the one I posted.

Kurt


Here is a salty old sea-dog that was made into a bracelet. This gentleman flew anti-sub patrols in the Atlantic and Pacific. Nice engraved wing--dated 1942-1945 with his name and service number. Somewhere I have information about the VPB sqaudron he flew with.

Patrick

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#14 Navy Dan

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

I'd love to see the back of the H& H wing . Thats a variety I have not seen and is different than the one I posted.

Kurt


Here is the back it is hallmarked HH upper left and sterling to the right. I noticed the difference as well no berries
Dan

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#15 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 04:10 PM

Thanks for the posts guys! I like the h&H wing. That bracelet is awesome too. It looks like a different contract than the ones posted. It has STERLING in raised letters in the center without a makers mark.

Here are a couple of award letters for Air Crew wings from WWII.

AC1.jpg
AC2.jpg

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 09 June 2008 - 04:36 PM.


#16 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 04:21 PM

Here is some info I found on the Navy Historical Center's website concerning the WWII regulations for the Combat Aircrew Wing.

The initial requirements for insignia were:
a. Having served, subsequent to 7 December 1941, for a total of three months as a regularly assigned
member of the Air Crew of a combatant craft.

(1) “Combat aircraft” shall be considered as all operating aircraft of the Fleet or Frontier
Forces, and excepts utility aircraft which are neither designed nor fitted out for offensive
(or defensive) operations. (2) The term “regularly assigned member of the
Air Crew” shall be interpreted literally, and shall be substantiated by the battle station bill
of the unit, under such instructions that may be approved and promulgated by the Bureau
of Naval Personnel.
b. Having suffered injuries or other physical impairment, while engaged in combatant operations since 7
December 1941, as a regularly assigned member of a combatant aircraft, which precludes the possibility of
fulfillment of the time requirements, stated in subparagraph (a) above, and is recommended by the
Commanding Officer of the Unit in which injury or physical impairment was received.
c. Individual combat stars will be authorized by Unit Commanders, in conformance with instructions issued
by Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet, to those members of Air Crews who:
(1) Engage enemy aircraft, singly or in formation.
(2) Engage armed enemy combatant vessels with bombs, torpedoes, or machine guns.
(3) Engage in bombing offensive operations against enemy fortified positions.
(4) A maximum of three combat stars shall be awarded for display on the Air Crew Insignia;
combat actions reports in excess of three will be credited only in the record of the individual concerned.
d. Personnel qualified by provisions of subparagraphs A and B above may wear the Air Crew Insignia permanently.

The above set of requirements for qualification to wear the Air Crew Insignia were modified several
times. BuPers Circular Letter Numbers 173-43 of 8 September 1943, 22-44 of 29 January 1944 and 174-44
of 16 June 1944 all make modifications to the qualifications but do not give a detailed description of the
insignia.

BuPers Circular Letter Number 395-44, dated 30 December 1944, provided a comprehensive description
of the Aircrew Insignia: “The Aircrew Insignia is a silver-plated or silver-color, winged, metal, pin, with
gold-color circular shield with surcharged foul anchor, superimposed on wing roots, with words “AIRCREW”
below circular shield; a silver-color bar over the circular shield with three threaded holes to receive three
gold-color combat stars when officially awarded. The insignia will measure two inches from tip to tip of the
wings: circle on shield 5⁄160; total depth of the shield from the top of the circle to the bottom of the shield
9⁄160. The Uniform Regulations of 2 May 1947 provided the following description of the Aircrew wings: “A silver-
plated or silver color, winged, metal pin, with gold circular shield surcharged with foul anchor, superimposed
on wing roots, with word ‘AIRCREW’ in raised letters on a silver-color background below the circular
shield; above the shield there shall be a silver-color scroll; the insignia to measure 20 from tip to tip of the
wings; circle on shield 5⁄160 in diameter; total height of the shield and silver background beneath the shield
9⁄160. The scroll shall be 1⁄80 wide and 3⁄40 long and shall be centered over the wings. Gold stars to a total of
three, as merited, shall be mounted on the scroll, necessary holes being pierced to receive them. A silver
star may be worn in lieu of three gold stars.”

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 09 June 2008 - 04:29 PM.


#17 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:53 PM

Here is an award certificate for the Air Crew wing " sans stars " . It was earned upon completion of aircrewman training at NAS Miami.

AC3.jpg

#18 John Cooper

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 08:38 AM

Great posts Patrick & Dan THANKS for sharing!

Kurt this is a great thread except you are promoting me to expand my collecting again to include some of these wings as well... shame on you! lol My wife will not be happy! :lol:

John

#19 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 04:37 PM

Great posts Patrick & Dan THANKS for sharing!

Kurt this is a great thread except you are promoting me to expand my collecting again to include some of these wings as well... shame on you! lol My wife will not be happy! :lol:

John


Glad you like the thread John ! These wings dont seem to get much love from collectors so I thought I would try and get the ball rolling ! :lol:

Kurt

#20 05canderetd

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:28 AM

Hello. Im new to this site and am learning lots about US WW2 wings. I am a long time Canadian collector and recently acquired a set of USN wings which I am unable to identify and would sure appreciate any assistance from the forum members.

It is a USN navy aircrew wing done in one piece silver metal without the separately affixed 3 stars at the top. It is about 1.75 inches wide and is curved. Interestly the back bears a serial number and is maker marked "Canada Century" which sure is an interesting name ... I can't find anything on this company in any listing of WW2 trademarks.

It is not a clutch back and has two prong or hook type fastening devices.

I have attached a photo.

Thank you very much,


Harry

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Edited by 05canderetd, 21 May 2010 - 08:30 AM.


#21 MikeK

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:38 PM

Good thread!

Here's a variation that hasn't been shown yet, double riveted but the rivets are larger than the Balfour style (I think ). My other example like this has no stars but a dark finish/patina.

Regards
Mike

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#22 roadrunner

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:06 AM

Here are two Combat Aircrew.
Both pinback.
One AMICO Sterling, the other only marked Sterling.

Michael

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  • Aircrew_01.jpg


#23 roadrunner

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:07 AM

reverse

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#24 roadrunner

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:07 AM

miniature

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#25 roadrunner

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 11:08 AM

miniatrue reverse

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