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WWII USAAF Insignia Pin Size for Shirt Collar


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#26 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:11 PM

I believe every photo showing this insignia on the overseas cap is a photo of an AVIATION CADET.

 

Matt,

 

There are hundreds, if not thousends, of images showing non-cadet (Officers) AAFers wearing AAF branch insignia on their OS caps.

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#27 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:28 PM

Yes, regulations changed and the pre-war practice of wearing DIs on overseas caps was changed. If you say there are thousands of photos showing the wing-and-prop worn in theater, that's fine, but the photo you used to illustrate your point is of a bombardier in training. The original caption to this photo is, "USAAC B-17 Crews in Training McDill Florida, 1942". https://www.ebay.com/itm/352179013414

 

Many men were already commissioned officers by the time they went to flight school, but were still considered cadets in a training environment.  


Edited by MattS, 09 January 2019 - 02:29 PM.


#28 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:29 PM

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#29 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:38 PM

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#30 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:50 PM

Great photos! So you're saying every one of those men is wearing a "sweetheart pin" on their caps?

 

Also keep in mind that every photo of an officer wearing rank on the shoulders of their shirt (every one in post 29) is early/pre-WW2 before the regulations changed the wearing of insignia. 


Edited by MattS, 09 January 2019 - 02:55 PM.


#31 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:54 PM

No, there are standard collar ones. I wanted to show only that those collar wings were attached by AAFers many times to their OS caps.



#32 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:06 PM

As was regulation prior to 1943. The pilot in the leather jacket in post 28 is wearing it correctly. His shirt shows "US" on the right collar and branch (AAC) on the right and overseas cap. He was wearing his captain's bars on his shoulders undoubtedly. After the effective date (and I don't recall when it was, maybe Jan 1, 1943?), rank was worn on the right collar, branch on the left, nothing on the shoulders, and rank on the overseas cap. So if you see a photo of an officer wearing his rank on his shoulders, it tells you it was 1942 or earlier and that the wing-and-prop was appropriate on the overseas cap. 



#33 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:10 PM

For better discussion...

 

England late war.

 

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#34 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:13 PM

I believe that is a lieutenant with a wrinkle in his cap, but that's just my opinion. 

 

In reviewing every photo posted since the top of this page, all of them (except for the sergeant) are of officers correctly wearing rank and branch insignia prior to the regulation change. If anyone knows the exact date of the change, please post it. 



#35 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:19 PM

England, May 27, 1943

 

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#36 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:31 PM

Yep, no insignia on the collar means he's a sergeant, the four officers of the crew are kneeling in the front.

 

I'm not saying there weren't exceptions, but regulation for officers (after 1942) was rank on the overseas cap while AAF cadet insignia was worn by aviation cadets.  



#37 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:40 PM

Basingbourne, England, May 1943, King George VI with the AAFers,

 

What this guy has on his OS cap? Aside Jumbo size also design is untypical.

 

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#38 whydavewhy

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:46 PM

Wow, great picks. Thanks for sharing!



#39 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:56 PM

Basingbourne, England, May 1943, King George VI with the AAFers,

 

What this guy has on his OS cap? Aside Jumbo size also design is untypical.

 

 

Another sergeant too.



#40 Justin B.

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 03:58 PM

According to William Emerson's Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms, a 1-inch tall AC insignia was used for the officer's garrison cap from 1925-1937, while the collar/lapel insignia was 3/4 inch. Cadets started wearing the garrison cap insignia in 1928.

 

As to the collar rank, I looked it up and the miniature rank insignia was authorized for a shorter time than I thought, 1916 to 1924, but obviously it was sold and used a lot longer than that. Here's a quick summary:

army_shirt_collar_rank.jpg



#41 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 04:05 PM

The change was in August of 1942, earlier than I thought. Thanks Justin!



#42 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 04:06 PM

Yep, no insignia on the collar means he's a sergeant, the four officers of the crew are kneeling in the front.

 

Matt, lack of brass on shirt collar means nothing in the case of WWII USAAF airmen. There are tons of wartime images showing all possible ranks of the AAF officers who have nothing on their shirt collars.

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#43 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 04:20 PM

England, January 1945. The AAF officers with nothing on their shirt collars.

 

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#44 MattS

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 04:21 PM

As per WW2 US Army regulations, insignia was not worn on the officer's shirt when the jacket was worn, only when worn without the coat (see Army Officer's Guide, 1944, page 131, and page 143 for proper placement). So every one of those photos is correct. Regardless, the man in the crew photo in post #35 is a sergeant, one of the 6 on that B-24 standing in the back row.



#45 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 04:24 PM

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#46 Gregory

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 04:49 PM

England, December 1943. One more AAF crewman with branch wings on his OS cap.

 

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#47 MattS

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:37 AM

Here's the way I understand WW2 US Army uniform regulations concerning the wearing of rank and branch insignia on shirts and overseas caps for officers of the Army Air Force. Others should correct me if I'm wrong.

Prior to August of 1942: Shirts were worn without collar insignia when the coat was worn. If the shirt was worn as an outer garment, rank was worn on the shoulders, US on the right collar and AAF prop-and-wing on the left and on the matching (OD or khaki) overseas cap. Aviation cadets wore a visor cap with a blue cap band and the large 3" cadet insignia while a 1" version of the aviation cadet insignia was worn on the overseas cap.

After August of 1942: Shirts were worn without collar insignia when the coat was worn. If the shirt was worn as an outer garment, rank was worn on the right collar and AAF prop-and-wing on the left and rank was worn on the matching (OD or khaki) overseas cap. Aviation cadets wore a 1" version of the aviation cadet insignia on the overseas cap. 

 

I think it would be a very rare occurrence for an officer of the United States Army Air Force to show up to an awards ceremony in Class As and be out of uniform (in other words, in violation of uniform regulations). 



#48 Justin B.

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:05 AM

According to Emerson, all officers switched (officially) to rank only on the garrison cap in 1937.



#49 MattS

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:25 AM

Thanks Justin!



#50 MattS

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:40 AM

According to Emerson, all officers switched (officially) to rank only on the garrison cap in 1937.

 

Wait, in post 25, the 1942 Officer's Guide shows DIs were worn on the garrison/overseas caps? Was there a change between 1937 and 1942?




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