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Bracelets Made from Wings


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#1 Paul S

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 09:52 AM

A question. Bracelets made from WWII AAF wings are fairly common and seem to have been made using a wide variety of wings. Does anyone have any solid information that might show how they were sold? Were they made up in some quantity and put on jewelers shelves as spec inventory items or were they made up to order, one at a time?

The reason I ask is that Iíve seen them made from a wide variety of makersí wings, i.e. AMICO, GEMSCO, even Luxenberg & Blackinton....I know, I know http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crying.gif. Most commonly see them made up from the simple GI sterling wings, yet they often use the same kinds of chains and catches.

Does anyone have any pictures showing guys wearing these bracelets? My father only wore his plain sterling ID bracelet engraved with his name and s/n.

Here is a picture of some of mine...show us some of yours.

Paul S :)

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#2 gliderflyboy

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:01 AM

Wish I had some to show off, those are awesome.

#3 pfrost

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:19 AM

I suspect that almost all the bracelets were "after market" modifications. Maybe a local jeweler would do things like this for a wife or mother who's son was in the service. I have seen items that were clearly made by the person themselves, and run the range of high quality workmanship to simple and basic.

This is one of my favorites. It is a Juarez wing with a gold star on it, and clearly made for a ladies wrist with a very fine sliver chain. I expect she was a gold star mother and this was her dead son's wings. sad.

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#4 sgtdorango

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:26 PM

Heres mine, small wing just marked sterling on back with ID part reading Lt. Phil Williams and on back marked sterling and his # O-2484301 is there any way to find out about this officer from his # ?......mike
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#5 Paul S

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:05 PM

Patrick, that's a neat wing with the star and I tend to agree that it must have been more of a stateside fad rather than something the guys did overseas. That may explain the wide range of of wings makers represented on these pieces. The prevalent use of the lobster claw catch is what has had me thinking that they might have been commercially made and distributed through retail jewelers.

Mike, that's a beautiful little 2" Bell pilot's wing, one of the best in my opinion. You can try looking in the Army enlisted database for the pilot by using his name...most airmen started their AAF careers as enlisted men before they were commissioned.

Here's a link: AAF Enlistees

It's also possible that he may show up on one of the Bomb Group sites if you just Google his s/n and/or perhaps his name. A number of the WWII veterans and their offspring have done yeoman's work in producing some remarkably detailed websites.

Paul S

Here's a dainty old Navy sweetheart bracelet that may predate WWII. Don't see nearly as many Navy wings bracelets as you do the AAF wings.

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Edited by Paul S, 24 January 2009 - 04:23 PM.


#6 walt323

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:54 PM

Here is a set I picked up at a sale a couple of years ago. They are sized very small and are clutch back, marked sterling only.
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#7 Tommes

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:40 AM

That are some nice braclets you guys got there..

#8 gpw_42

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:46 AM

I've seen a bracelet like these in wear in the last few months, by a male F16 pilot (or A10?...don't remember which SQN he was with). Didn't ask for the really close view, but did comment on them, and he appreciated that I noticed. They're neat wings, regardless.

Thrasher

#9 Paul S

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

I like to bid on these bracelets now and then when the wings competition on eBay gets too hot. They can provide relief from hot and heavy competition while still satisfying the fun of the hunt.

Sometimes a wing bracelet can cause you to shake your head when youn see that a really nice wing was pressed into this service....take one nice wing--clip off the pin attachments--drill two holes near the tips--bend it into a semi-circle--attach a chain--and for good measure, let's just grind off the device in front and do a bad job of engraving some initials....and you have one like this.....

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#10 pfrost

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:08 PM

I always liked this one, a nice handmade and hand engraved USN combat aircrew wing made into a bracelet. This gentlemen was (best I can recall) flying anti-submarine patrols in the Atlantic.

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#11 relicranger

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 02:50 PM

Hi
This set is sized pretty big,I think it was definately worn by a man.It was pinback and marked sterling but no maker.I like all your variations Bill

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#12 Paul S

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 07:21 PM

Patrick,

Here is a pilot wing with the gold star similar to your bracelet...perhaps it signifies the same thing as you propose...the loss of a relative.

Paul S

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#13 Paul S

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:53 AM

That LGB wing is a great looking piece. Here is one that is hallmarked Blackinton..... http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crybaby.gif

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#14 Blake_E

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:22 AM

All very nice!

#15 JLENG

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:34 PM

Sterling graduation Glider pilot wing bracelet.

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#16 JLENG

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 09:38 PM

This Glider Infantry Bracelet is one of my favorites because of it's unique construction.

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#17 sgtdorango

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 04:13 PM

That Glider pilot wing bracelet is Killer!!......mike

#18 Brig

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 04:17 PM

even myself, a non-wing guy, can appreciate these very interesting pieces. I, too, would guess primarily sweetheart. Some very nice pieces here

#19 Paul S

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:32 PM

The Glider pilot and Glider infantry badges are wonderful mementos and very scarce, since the wings themselves are scarce. The Glider infantry bracelet has the added feature of the English coins fixed to the band leaving no doubt where it was made.

Shown below is another interesting form--a cuff bracelet with an English wing attached to it. These don't appear too often and to my mind represent the product of a "G-job" done on one of the WWII air bases.

The cuff material is .032" aluminum and this particular wing is attached with a beefy aluminum rivet, nicely bucked--see the inset. I believe that .032" aluminum is the predominant skin material used on B-17 and B-24 bombers. I like to think that this piece was made as a favor in the base sheet metal shop from aluminum scrap...maybe leftover from a patch on a shot-up bomber.

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#20 JLENG

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 08:14 PM

N_Bracelet.jpg The aluminum on this example is .02" and the wing appears to be soldered in place. This example was probably made for a woman as
it is a tad over 2" wide.

#21 USMCRECON

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:57 PM

My wing bracelet is considerably more simple than the two that precede it. Like the ones on the first page, these were made by bending a pair of full-sized wings into a "C" shape, drilling a hole near the outer edge of the wingtips, and putting on a chain. This pair seemed to have started life either as aircrew or TO wings. The center was filed/buffed down and initials were stamped into the center.

This pair appear to never have had any sort of mounting device, either clutch- or pin-back attached to them before they were turned into a bracelet so I suspect the owner bought them new rather than bringing in a pair of his wings to be converted. Below it front and back of the bracelet.

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Edited by USMCRECON, 14 February 2009 - 01:09 PM.


#22 USMCRECON

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 12:59 PM

Here are closer views of where the mounting devices would have been on each side.

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#23 brian e

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:44 PM

Hi all here is my ludlow parachute wing bracelet i also have a daily wear jump wing bracelet it is a sugerman hallmarked with the s in a shield brian

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#24 brian e

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:44 PM

here is the back

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#25 Paul S

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 05:48 PM

Here is a nice one and one of only a handful I've seen in this form. It has an excised A.E.Co. triangle mark on the reverse and an unusual piece that hooks onto the chain that is stamped with five symbols.

Anyone have any thoughts about what the symbols mean? Medical terms most likely, Greek perhaps, or Latin...but I haven't been able to find anything that looks like them. Any thoughts?

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