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Weird Pathfinder/8th Air Force WW2 Ike Jacket

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#1 huntssurplus

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:28 PM



Let me know if the link still works. I'll try to post some pictures later.

This is a weird one. Pathfinder patch and 8th air force patch. Went pretty high too. Not sure what's up with this one. Pretty sure the seller is a good one too.


#2 tarheel1

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 06:54 PM

Pathfinder training was not limited to Airborne personnel.  The AAC/AAF had trained crewmen who would be proficient in operating the homing beacon on the Aircraft.  Interesting that the ike has an 8th patch on it however PF beacon training was a school so it possible that the soldier attended the school and was sent back to his unit.  



#3 vzemke

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 10:03 PM

Forum member Allan H. did a great article on this in the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors (ASMIC) quarterly journal, "The Trading Post".  Bottom line is while collectors always associates the badge with airborne forces, the term "Pathfinder" was developed by the RAF Bomber Command and the American insignia was used simultaneously by 8th AF units in a role that had nothing to do with dropping paratroopers.  Their purpose was to find paths to targets.  The 8th AF even had a Bomb Group designated "Pathfinder", the 482nd.


To be honest I think the Ike jacket went for a very reasonable price, someone got a pretty decent deal.

Edited by vzemke, 11 October 2019 - 10:10 PM.

#4 Allan H.

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:03 AM

I agree with Vance that somebody got a SMOKING deal on what looks to be a totally un-messed-with 8th AF Ike jacket.  As Vance says, the Pathfinder badge was an AAF badge that was "borrowed" by the US airborne forces for use by soldiers that they called "pathfinder." 


I'm not looking to toot my own horn, but I am rather proud of the articles that I have written for the ASMIC "Trading Post" and the information that you find in those pages is often information that you cannot find anywhere else.



#5 John4022

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 07:10 AM

I was watching this very nice jacket and I bidded it up. I didn't want to spend a lot for it since the seller mentioned the jacket emits a musty smell. I'll defiantly have to read your articles Allan!

Edited by John4022, 12 October 2019 - 07:11 AM.

#6 huntssurplus

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:00 PM

I should also read those articles Allan! Things for the info. In my own research on it, I did find the AAF's "pathfinder" designation, didn't really they used the same badge though. Very interesting new fact! Guess I'll have to keep my out for more of these!


#7 Wake1941

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 04:59 PM

Man that was a great deal, I see the path finder SSI go for more than that. Im curious if there is a name or laundry number

#8 doyler

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 05:09 PM

Will add its not uncommon to see the lead aircraft in a Bomb Group/ Squadron designated as the pathfinder going to the target.I have a jacket to a 390 BG B17 pilot who was lead aircraft often.He also flew in the tail gun position on several missions researched.By having a pilot in the tail in the lead airraft he was able to observe the squadron and keep them in formation on the mission and run to the target.

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