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WWII USAAF Insignia Pin Size for Shirt Collar


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#76 MattS

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 09:41 AM

No problem! In the first photo, Hap Arnold on the left was a 3-star lieutenant general from December 15, 1941 to March 19, 1943, and Jimmy Doolittle was a brigadier general from April 19, 1942 to November 20, 1942 so it's safe to say this photo dates from April to August of 1942. Generals were the only ranks in the army specifically allowed by regulations to wear miniature rank insignia on their collars.

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  • 1944 shirt regs.jpg


#77 whydavewhy

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 11:22 AM

Here are some photos of a WWII colonel wearing the full size eagle rank insignia on his garrison cap, and another colonel with one on his shirt collar. Weren't clutch-back insignia used for shirt collars? It seems like pin-back ones would hang down. But I haven't seen any full size colonel rank insignia from WWII with clutch backs. I have seen clutch-backs on miniature 1" ones from the 1920s and also from the Vietnam era, but none in full size with clutch-backs from WWII. Lots of pin-back ones, though, which were usually used on the shoulders of the tunic. 

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  • Patton's Colonel.jpg
  • ww2-caffey.jpg


#78 MattS

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 01:33 PM

I don't know but here's a thread on colonel's eagles that I started: http://www.usmilitar...colonel +eagles



#79 Gregory

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 05:25 PM

December 1943.

 

This AAF Colonel seems to have a little smaller rank insignia...?

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  • 31.jpg

Edited by Gregory, 14 January 2019 - 05:25 PM.


#80 MattS

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 05:50 PM

Or he might just be a really big guy! It does look like a variant colonel eagle. His branch insignia looks to me like medical, like maybe he was a flight surgeon attached to the AAF?



#81 Gregory

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 05:54 PM

Yes! He is the AAF flight surgeon.



#82 Justin B.

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 06:16 AM

Weren't clutch-back insignia used for shirt collars? It seems like pin-back ones would hang down. But I haven't seen any full size colonel rank insignia from WWII with clutch backs. I have seen clutch-backs on miniature 1" ones from the 1920s and also from the Vietnam era, but none in full size with clutch-backs from WWII. Lots of pin-back ones, though, which were usually used on the shoulders of the tunic. 

 

I don't think clutch backs really caught on in WW2 for rank insignia the way they did for the branch and "U.S." insignia. Pin-back seems to have dominated for the collar and cap as well as the shoulder loops.



#83 MattS

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 06:08 AM

I picked up a 1943 Officer's Guide and it clearly shows the change in wearing of insignia on the garrison (overseas) cap. While the 1942 edition shows "Distinctive Insignia" being worn, the 1943 shows officer rank and amends the accompanying text accordingly. Interestingly, the diagram has a typo as the "Hat, service" (aka Smokey Bear, Montana Peak, Campaign Hat) is labeled the "Service cap" in the drawing. 

1943 regs 1.jpg

1943 regs 2.jpg



#84 Gregory

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 09:23 AM

Interesting that so many AAF servicemen liked so much their garrison caps with collar AAF branch insignia. I mean non-cadet AAFers but operational frontline airmen. They never removed those propelled wings from their caps. It was nice.


Edited by Gregory, 18 January 2019 - 09:25 AM.


#85 Gregory

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 09:35 AM

... not to mention that sometimes they wore two things (against regulations) on their garrison caps -- DUI and rank insignia.

 

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  • 32.jpg


#86 Justin B.

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 10:23 AM

The headgear diagram as it appeared in AR 600-40, March 1944.

 

headgear_insignia_1944.jpg



#87 Gregory

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 10:52 AM

Ha! Extremely interesting.

 

I have never seen EM from March 1944 wearing DUI. I would say they attached DUIs after VE-Day because such photos are known.



#88 Gregory

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 07:59 AM

Matt & Justin,

 

Do you have any period document which tells clearly that:

 

- the AAF Flight Officer belongs to US Army corps of Warrant Officers?

 

or

 

- the AAF Flight Officer is the lowest Officer's rank in the USAAF?

 

Regards

 

Gregory



#89 Justin B.

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 10:47 AM

Matt & Justin,
 
Do you have any period document which tells clearly that:
 
- the AAF Flight Officer belongs to US Army corps of Warrant Officers?
 
or
 
- the AAF Flight Officer is the lowest Officer's rank in the USAAF?

 
 
Flight officer was an Army grade equivalent to warrant officer (junior grade), but used in the Army Air Forces only. It was not a commissioned grade. It was created by an act of Congress of 8 July 1942, which can be read (PDF file) here:
https://www.loc.gov/.../c77s2ch493.pdf
 
Before the war, warrant officers had been a very small and specialized group within the army. The grade of chief warrant officer had been created in August 1941, and the brown bar insignia approved in June 1942. In September 1942 flight officer insignia were added. The main difference between FO and WOJG uniforms was the color of the bar, and that CWO and WOJG wore warrant branch whereas FO wore Air Corps branch insignia.
 
Apparently there was some confusion about these new grades, so the War Department explained it all in Circular 366, 7 Nov. 1942. My copy is not great, so the text is reproduced below.
 

   VI. Warrant officers and flight officers--Duties, rank, insignia, and courtesies. The following instructions and information are published to clarify the status of warrant officers and flight officers, and to alleviate uncertainty regarding their position and the courtesies due them, caused by the similarity of their uniforms and insignia to those of lieutenants.  
   1. Rank--Chief warrant officers and warrant officers (junior grade) rank in that order and immediately below second lieutenants and above all other grades, including cadets and master sergeants. Flight officers rank with warrant officers (junior grade).
   2. Courtesies.--a. Warrant officers and flight officers henceforth are entitled to the salute, and to the courtesies and respects normally granted commissioned officers.
   b. Warrant officers and flight officers are eligible for membership in messes maintained for commissioned officers.
   3. Uniform.--The warrant officer and the flight officer wear the uniform of a commissioned officer.
   4. Insignia, other than Army Mine Planter Service--a. No braid is worn on the cuff, except that those individuals who served as commissioned officers in the first World War may wear a braid of forest green.  
   b. Bars with rounded ends and brown enamel top, with the longitudinal center of gold for chief warrant officers and latitudinal center of gold for  warrant officers (junior grade) are worn the same as lieutenant's bars.  Flight officer’s bars are similar to those of warrant officers (junior grade) except that the enamel is blue.  
   c. (1) On the warrant officer’s lapel is worn insignia consisting of an eagle rising, with wings displayed, standing on a bundle of two arrows, all inclosed in a wreath. The flight officer wears the Air Corps wings.  
   (2) The foregoing warrant officer’s insignia is worn on the service can and also on both sleeves of the overcoat 4 inches above the end of the sleeve.  
   (3) A silver and black cord or cord edge is worn, respectively, on the service hat and garrison cap.  
   5. Insignia for Army Mine Planter Service.--a. For master and chief engineer, four bars at brown braid on cuff of service coat and overcoat.  
   b. For first mate and assistant engineer, three bars of brown braid on cuff of service coat and overcoat.  
   c. For second mate and second assistant engineer, two bars or brown braid on cuff of service coat and overcoat.
   d. Master and mates wear small brown anchor on each sleeve.  
   e. Engineers wear brown three-bladed propeller on each sleeve.  
   6. Duties.--The duties of the warrant officer, in general, are to relieve officers of administrative and technical details. In the Army Mine Planter Service the warrant officers’ duties consist of the navigation, operation. and administration of the mine planter as a ship. The duties of the flight officer may he that of pilot, bombardier, or navigator.

 


wo_circular_1942.jpg

 

 

So that was the official word from the top. What we know, though, through photos and used examples, was that in practice flight officers usually wore the same uniform as Air Corps commissioned officers: same cap badge, braid on cuff, and gold/black cord on the garrison cap. And within flying units very little attention seems to have paid to the difference between FOs and lieutenants regarding duties, living conditions, privileges etc.



#90 MastersMate

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 12:41 PM

As to the dimensions of the full size and "miniature" or shirt collar size, some clues cam be gleaned from early USN and USCG uniform regulations that used rank insignia on the khaki shirts worn as part of the aviator uniform. They were pretty general in designating the size but generally stated collar insignia was approximately 5/8 ( roughly 69 to 70% ) the size of rank devices. Rank devices were worm on the full size epaulets and were generally embroidered and about 1" in height.  The  posted photo describes the 1918 sizing for the new Ar Service collar insignia for the choker collar of their uniforms. The full size dimensions are given. The advert shows the full size and shirt collar size. 

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  • 1918 Air Service A.jpg

Edited by MastersMate, 20 January 2019 - 12:43 PM.


#91 Justin B.

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 06:09 AM

^ That's a good find, the short-lived green and black branch colors for the Air Service seems to have slipped through the cracks in a lot of references.

 

Emerson gives 1926 as the year the Air Corps devices was specified at 3/4 inch height for wear on the lapel, in the changeover from the standup collar service coat.



#92 patches

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 06:21 PM

Here's a Airman who went one better, he wears Officer AC BOS instead of the collar discs, uncertain what he has on the other side, another prop and wing officers badge, or a officers U.S badge, He's one Frank Kroesel, 573rd Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion. Since he's wearing no Ruptured Duck no less ribbons indicates this is a wartime portrait.

 

os99el.jpg


Edited by patches, 22 January 2019 - 06:23 PM.


#93 Justin B.

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:43 PM

Here is a pre-WW2 Air Corps officer with branch insignia on a garrison cap, photo dated 1937.

 

1937_ac_gcap_01.jpg

 



#94 Justin B.

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 12:44 PM

Un-cropped photo from http://www.loc.gov/p...tem/2016871609/

 

1937_ac_gcap_02.jpg

 

 



#95 KurtA

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:40 PM

Looks like they were awarded Soldiers Medals, but just had the ribbon bar pinned on.



#96 Justin B.

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Posted 16 March 2019 - 02:47 PM

They had received Soldier's Medals, but in the photo the general was presenting the Air Corps Cheney Award.
https://en.m.wikiped...ki/Cheney_Award


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