Jump to content


Photo

WWI Pilot Wearing TWO Wings!


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:05 PM

What do you guys make of this one? Talk about screwing with future generations of historians  :blink:

 

-Chuck

Attached Images

  • CT_Pilot with Two Sets of Wings(1.3) (Medium).jpg


#2 gwb123

gwb123

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,506
  • 17,038 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Omaha, Land of the Free

Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:07 PM

Prior service as an observer with the RAF, or some other Commonwealth air arm?



#3 Allan H.

Allan H.
  • Members
    • Member ID: 151
  • 5,515 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Topeka, Kansas

Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:13 PM

That is a US observer wing. It is NOT RFC. I would supposed that he qualified as both a pilot and an observer.

 

Allan



#4 baker502

baker502
  • Members
    • Member ID: 512
  • 1,872 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nunya

Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:58 PM

My guess is he was among the combat observers that were offered pilot training after the wars end. I have a uniform from a similar well decorated observer that completed and rated pilot wings.. Cool image Paul

#5 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 4,113 posts

Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:20 PM

Its just one of those things that makes this hobby so cool.  Looks kind of like he has a Dibb (http://www.ww2wings..../croydibb.shtml) or Dunham wing (http://www.ww2wings....1detailed.shtml) or maybe a Dallas wing variation.

 

Great picture.



#6 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 05 November 2015 - 08:00 PM

Patrick -
Thanks for taking a look at my image. I was hoping to hear from the wing experts about a possible manufacturer of those wings.
Admittedly, I never studied wing variations before. So your comments are most welcomed. When I get a chance to compare the original image with the links you provided, I will certainly give it a shot.
Also, thanks to the other USMF members for commenting on this unusual pic. It is certainly a head scratcher...
- Chuck

#7 Wharfmaster

Wharfmaster
  • Members
    • Member ID: 525
  • 4,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:High & Dry

Posted 06 November 2015 - 09:56 AM

Nice photo.

 

He is wearing a discharge chevron but no Victory Medal ribbon. I would guess the photo was taken in the back yard immediately after he returned home in 1919.

 

Can we assume wearing two different wings at the same time was contrary to regulations ?

 

 

 

Wharf



#8 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 06 November 2015 - 07:16 PM

Wharf - that is a very safe assumption...

#9 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 1,035 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 November 2015 - 02:10 PM

My guess is he was among the combat observers that were offered pilot training after the wars end. I have a uniform from a similar well decorated observer that completed and rated pilot wings.. Cool image Paul

 

That is a strong possibility - I have a Sterling Silver 1919 pilot badge back marked From Official Die that belonged to 2/Lt. Paul C. Wienge from Augusta, Ga.    During World War One he was an Observer with the 91st Aero Squadron and wore a French embroidered U.S. Observer wing; however, after the war and while still stationed overseas, he received additional training to become a pilot and won his duel wings. 

 

In regard to the two wings on the officers uniform in the picture.  The image is too grainy to tell who might have made them but since both badges appear to be made of Sterling Silver it's probably a good bet that he never went overseas.

 

Can it be assumed that wearing two different wings at the same time was contrary to regulations?  Well we can be certain of one thing. . . there was never anything written in regulations against it.  In addition to that, remember that a number of U. S. pilots who received their training in France wore both a metal French pilot brevet on the right side of their uniform and an American pilot embroidered wing on the left side.

 

Cliff


Edited by CliffP, 09 November 2015 - 02:11 PM.


#10 rustywings

rustywings

    Forum Subject Advisor

  • FORUM SUBJECT ADVISOR
    • Member ID: 7,548
  • 3,023 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 November 2015 - 06:51 PM

Chuck,
 
Thank you for posting another terrific image from your wonderful collection of U.S. Aviation-related photographs! Even though you may not be a wing collector per se, your photographic contributions really add substance and meaning to this section of the Forum!



#11 1st Sgt CES

1st Sgt CES
  • Members
    • Member ID: 6,716
  • 3,496 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 November 2015 - 09:21 AM

Great Photo !!!! Blue Skies Mark



#12 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 12 November 2015 - 09:01 PM

You are very welcome. It's a great pleasure to share the visual evidence with other wing nuts and aviation buffs.

Cliff - thanks for replying to this post. I was hoping for your commentary. It never fails that I come away learning something new each time...

- Chuck

#13 bobgee

bobgee

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 503
  • 6,070 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 13 November 2015 - 05:11 PM

 

That is a strong possibility - I have a Sterling Silver 1919 pilot badge back marked From Official Die that belonged to 2/Lt. Paul C. Wienge from Augusta, Ga.    During World War One he was an Observer with the 91st Aero Squadron and wore a French embroidered U.S. Observer wing; however, after the war and while still stationed overseas, he received additional training to become a pilot and won his duel wings. 

 

In regard to the two wings on the officers uniform in the picture.  The image is too grainy to tell who might have made them but since both badges appear to be made of Sterling Silver it's probably a good bet that he never went overseas.

 

Can it be assumed that wearing two different wings at the same time was contrary to regulations?  Well we can be certain of one thing. . . there was never anything written in regulations against it.  In addition to that, remember that a number of U. S. pilots who received their training in France wore both a metal French pilot brevet on the right side of their uniform and an American pilot embroidered wing on the left side.

 

Cliff

He's wearing three overseas chevrons confirming 18 months overseas. Bobgee



#14 cwnorma

cwnorma
  • Members
    • Member ID: 594
  • 2,309 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 November 2015 - 05:18 PM

He's wearing three overseas chevrons confirming 18 months overseas. Bobgee

They could be silver chevrons for stateside service.

 

Chris



#15 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 16 November 2015 - 10:58 AM

Chris - 

Funny you should mention that...I have a sneaky suspicion those are silver chevrons

-Chuck



#16 cwnorma

cwnorma
  • Members
    • Member ID: 594
  • 2,309 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:49 PM

Chris - 

Funny you should mention that...I have a sneaky suspicion those are silver chevrons

-Chuck

Chuck,

 

Are you holding out on us... By all means please share!  Do you, perhaps, own this uniform, or know something about this young pilot?

 

Chris


Edited by cwnorma, 16 November 2015 - 08:49 PM.


#17 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 17 November 2015 - 04:12 PM

Chris -
Neither. I have absolutely nothing to go on, besides the comments posted here.
I was guessing silver chevrons because the tone of their reflection looks much like either of those silver wings. But I've long learned trying to decipher colors, tones, etc...in these old b/w images is very tricky at best.

Edited by cthomas, 17 November 2015 - 04:17 PM.


#18 baker502

baker502
  • Members
    • Member ID: 512
  • 1,872 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nunya

Posted 17 November 2015 - 06:19 PM

Chuck,
He's wearing a Sam Browne belt, I would learn toward an overseas aviator. Paul

#19 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 17 November 2015 - 09:29 PM

Paul -
Good point. That does push me more towards an overseas pilot, but not by much...
I have a stateside aviator studio portrait wearing the Sam Browne. Then there's a neat photo of Lt. Ormer Locklear (aka The Great Waldo Pepper), that was taken stateside of Lt. Locklear wearing his Sam Browne with two silver OS chevrons. You see, Lt. Locklear never made it overseas, yet was allowed to wear the Sam Browne as a stateside flight instructor. If I find that picture again, I'll certainly post it.
But I do believe these two examples are rare exceptions to that rule of thumb we aviation historians hold dear.
- Chuck

#20 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 17 November 2015 - 09:35 PM

Lt. Shirley Short and Lt. Ormer Locklear (right) at Barron Field ca. 1919

Attached Images

  • image.jpeg


#21 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 4,113 posts

Posted 18 November 2015 - 09:31 AM

I am not how much weight to give this, but I had heard that it was relatively rare to see pilots who were overseas wearing metal wings.  It is much more common to see overseas pilots with the bullion wings.  However, I suspect that many exceptions to that "rule" exist.  But taking that at face value, it may lend credence to the idea that this was a stateside pilot, not an overseas pilot.

 

Also, from what I can see, the observer wing looks to be bullion, is that true or do you think that they are metal?



#22 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 1,035 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:45 PM

I had heard that it was relatively rare to see pilots who were overseas wearing metal wings.  It is much more common to see overseas pilots with the bullion wings.  However, I suspect that many exceptions to that "rule" exist.  But taking that at face value, it may lend credence to the idea that this was a stateside pilot, not an overseas pilot.

 

With regards to metal wings worn during WW1. 

 

While the regulations were much more relaxed stateside that was not the case overseas were the Army went strictly by the book which meant that only bullion embroidered wings could be worn on the uniform and no exceptions were allowed. . . if caught.

 

Cliff


Edited by CliffP, 18 November 2015 - 02:49 PM.


#23 pfrost

pfrost
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,519
  • 4,113 posts

Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:32 PM

I believe I may have seen one or two photos of overseas pilots wearing metal wings, but it is rare.  The fact is, to my knowledge, there are no WWI vintage metal pilot wings that were positively known to have been made in France, Italy or England.  Cliff or Russ may know of some examples, but I had a conversation a few years ago with the Wing King and he couldn't identify any foreign-made metal wings either.

 

There is a story of in one of the books on WWI aviators (I can't recall which one) where the author talks about one of the newly arrived pilots from Stateside gambling away his metal pilot wings for bullion wings so that he could be more like the "old hands".  I think it was in a book about Frank Luke.


Edited by pfrost, 18 November 2015 - 04:37 PM.


#24 cthomas

cthomas
  • Members
    • Member ID: 518
  • 1,332 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere cold

Posted 19 November 2015 - 07:52 PM

Patrick -
I can't be certain if they're bullion or not. I'm leaning towards bullion...
I was also very intrigued by there being no bona fide examples of overseas manufactured US aviator wings. It left me scratching my head. Yet we all know of the various examples of foreign made aviation collar insignia. Very weird...
Now Cliff, I'm sure glad you threw that caveat at the end about metal wings not being worn overseas ("...if caught"). I do have a couple of photographic examples of pilots breaking this rule, the least of which show aviation NCOs clearly wearing wings above their left breast pockets. Unfortunately, the image(s) are just blurry enough to rule out if they're bullion...or not.
- Chuck

#25 rustywings

rustywings

    Forum Subject Advisor

  • FORUM SUBJECT ADVISOR
    • Member ID: 7,548
  • 3,023 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 November 2015 - 12:18 PM

 

With regards to metal wings worn during WW1. 

 

While the regulations were much more relaxed stateside that was not the case overseas were the Army went strictly by the book which meant that only bullion embroidered wings could be worn on the uniform and no exceptions were allowed. . . if caught.

 

Cliff

 

I don't doubt there are some impromptu images and privately purchased studio photographs of USAS Pilots in France wearing metal wings during WWI.  But as a litmus test to Cliff's statement above, I'd like to share this original 1918 group photograph I have of the A.E.F. Second Aviation Instruction Center, Tours, France.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't copy well, but this large photograph, in hand, has wonderful resolution and clarity. With a 10X loop, I was able to see, with excellent detail, about ninety percent of the badges worn by this group of over one hundred U.S. Pilots... and every one of them is wearing a bullion Pilot's badge!

      
 

Attached Images

  • photo (6).JPG



2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users