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Rookie Question...did WW2 jump wings come in clutch back?


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#1 dhcoleterracina

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 02:58 PM

I did look thru the pinned section on jump wings but didn't see CB, only pin back. I recently bought a partially stripped AB Ike and there is a CB indentation for the wings.   



#2 z19

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 04:38 PM

I've seen a few CB jump wings that I believe were WWII and a couple I know were, but they were all theater made. There are several guys on here who can probably give you a much better answer though.


Edited by z19, 12 May 2019 - 04:47 PM.


#3 Allan H.

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 05:07 AM

Clutch back insignia has existed since the 1930's and it was actually more expensive than the pin back fastened pieces. WWII vintage parachute badges with clutch fasteners do exist, but they are rather uncommon to find is a legit WWII grouping. Aviation wings are a little bit different as we can find documentation that the US government was prescribing clutch back wings as early as 1943. These are the wings that we collectors associate with "graduation wings."  After WWII clutch back wings get much more common, so without a letter-number maker's mark, a lot of post war wings get thrown into the "WWII era" category. Since the collector value on clutch back vs pin back is decidedly less for CB, a lot of guys faking uniforms go for the cheaper CB examples when "souping up" a uniform to sale.

 

Allan



#4 dhcoleterracina

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 06:26 AM

Thanks Allan and Z19, very helpful. 



#5 digi-shots

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 04:49 AM

Allan, thanks for your post.  Does the length of the pin help date the wing?  I think I read where the shorter pins are earlier (ie WWII) and the longer are post war??  (this was referenced somewhere before when looking at CIB clutch back badges, not sure if it applies to aerial wings).

 

Thanks!



#6 Allan H.

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 08:09 AM

The earliest WWII clutch back insignias normally have rather short prongs and I have had many veterans tell me they wore their Combat Infantry Badges on their Ike jacket pockets because they couldn't keep the CIBs on the chest from having the clutch fasteners pop loose. I have also had a lot of WWII aviation vets say that their issue wings had such short prongs that they could only wear them on their shirts. Of course, with a little work, you can get both insignias to stay in place when affixed to a blouse or jacket.

 

After WWII, the clutch prongs were made longer by insignia manufacturers based on the complints that they had received over previously manufactured insignia. Of course, with any foreign made insignia, the prongs can vary greatly in length on WWII era manufactured pieces.

 

Allan



#7 pfrost

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 11:35 AM

Ditto what Allan said. There are a few things that you can sometimes tell about the age of a clutchback wing, although there are always exceptions, variations, modifications and alterations.

 

However, roughly speaking the longer clutch back pins can be correlated to more recently manufactured wings, although whether or not that line can be drawn between WWII and KW or KW and cold war, or cold war and VN war, is probably not possible.  I suspect that there are some variations in manufacturer etc--for example, AECo likely used short pin clutch back-made wings pre/earlyWWII, but were out of business before the KW.  GEMSCO appears to have bought the dies used by AMICO after WWII and seemed to have started using the longer pins once they ran out of the old AMICO stock.  So the idea that WWII/KW vintage issue wings had shorter pins, is probably usually valid (with all sorts of caveats).

 

Another way to sometimes get a broad date on a wing is whether or not they used a silver solder or an electro-solder system to attach the pins.  Earlier clutch back pins tend to have been soldered on the wings a using silver solder, which usually leaves a small pool of metal at the base of the pin.  Electro-soldering doesn't leave a pool of solder--this technology is generally seen in more recently made wings (but not always)

 

Yet another way to sometimes date wings by the their pin is whether or not the pin is just a straight piece of metal or is shaped like a nail.  Earlier wings tend to have the simple wire, while later wings have the nail head and are electro-soldered. 

 

Hope that helps.




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