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Airship Pilot wing badge die - Making a badge


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#26 John Cooper

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:47 PM

I just bought sterling Myers Airship wings this past weekend. Any info on that type of wing would be appreciated. I think from reading through the thread that they would have been issued between 1921 and 1940? And who would have worn sterling (as opposed to gold for navy)? Thanks!



Please post some photos as they are many reproduction Meyer Airships wings... I am sure Cliff will be able to assist you.

John

#27 CliffP

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:25 PM

.
When the U.S. Army Air Service introduced its Airship Pilot badge in October 1921, the profile of the airship stamped on it was actually patterned after the first U.S. Army Airship, the RN-1. RN-1 was originally built for the French Navy in 1919 and called the Zodiac ZDUZ-1 before being acquired by the U.S. Army that same year.

The envelope for the RN-1 was 910 feet long, 200 feet high and 185 feet high. It cost $1,500,000 in 1919.


This evening while going through some boxes of old aviation photographs and correspondence I came across a wonderful color enhanced postcard of the U.S. Army Airship RN-1 for which the 1921 Airship Pilot wing badge was patterned after. Here it is to share with you.

Cliff

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  • Airship_RN_1.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 06 March 2011 - 07:29 PM.


#28 armillary_journey

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 11:33 PM

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The following is only meant for the benefit of hardcore USAAC Airship Pilot wing badge collectors! :lol:

*When the Airship Pilot wing badge was first introduced in October 1921 the airship image seen on it was actually patterned after the U.S. Army RN-1. It began life in 1919 as the French built Navy Zodiac ZDUZ-1 and was acquired by the Army that same year. It was extensively modified with a new envelope in 1923 built by Airships Inc. with stronger and lighter tail surfaces buit by Wittemann-Lewis Aircraft Co. It is seen here at Scott Field, IL in the early 1920's.

*If anyone is getting tired of what may be useless trivia please speak now or forever hold your peace ... :unsure:


:bravo: Cliff, I feel like I should be sending a tuition check somewhere. Like Patrick said, it's all Golden! Thanks!

Edited by armillary_journey, 07 March 2011 - 11:37 PM.


#29 rustywings

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:23 PM

Cliff, this thread has become an excellent Airship reference. Thank you for your efforts. I though you might be interested in this 5.5" X 7.5" press release photo dated May 26, 1928 of Captain William E. Kepner.

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#30 rustywings

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:28 PM

There's an Associated Press stamp and typed caption on the back of the Captain Kepner photograph.

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#31 rustywings

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:30 PM

Back of the Captain Kepner photograph.

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#32 rustywings

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:34 PM

Closer view of Captain Kepner's Airship Pilot wings and ribbon bars.

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#33 rustywings

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:56 AM

Captain William Kepner (pictured above) piloted U.S. Army Airship #1 (depicted by Cliff in Posts #20 & #27) in the 1928 "National Elimination Balloon Race" and won the contest. Below is a newspaper recap of the race which also killed two Army Officers competing in U.S. Army Airship #3. When William Kepner retired from the USAF as a Lieutenant General in 1953, he held six aviation ratings which included: Command Pilot, Combat Observer, Senior Balloon Pilot, Zeppelin Pilot, Semirigid Pilot, and Metal-Clad Airship Pilot.





Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Wisconsin Rapids, WI. 31 May 1928
Pittsburgh, PA Balloonists Killed in Storm, May 1928

LIGHTNING KILLS 2 BALLOONISTS

SEVERAL INJURED AND CRAFTS FIRED AS ELEMENTS PLAY HAVOC IN NATIONAL ELIMINATION RACE.

Pittsburgh, Pa., May 31--(AP)--The U. S. Army balloon No. 1, the last of the bags entered in the national elimination balloon race to report, landed at Weems, Va., at 6:10 o'clock this morning, race headquarters were advised in a telegram from the pilot today.

Pittsburgh, May 31--(AP)--Two balloonists were killed by lightning in the national elimination race Wednesday. Several others were injured.

All but one of the 14 starters were known today to have been forced to earth by a storm not long after the take offs.

The balloon unreported today was the Army No. 1, from Scott Field, Belleville, Ill. It was in charge of Captain W. E. Kepner as pilot and Lieutenant W. Eareckson as aide.

Strike Ground Hard.

Those who met death were Lt. Paul Evert, pilot of Army No. 3, Langley Field, Va., and Walter Morton, of Akron, Ohio, aide to Ward T. Van Orman, also of Akron, pilot of the Goodyear V. and winner of the elimination for the last two years. Van Orman was in a hospital with a fractured leg, suffered when his balloon struck the ground with great force after being hit by lightning. Morton's skull was fractured at the same time.

Evert met death when struck by lightning as the Army No. 3 floated 1,000 feet in the air. The bolt also fired the big bag, which fell to the earth and was consumed. Evert's aide, Lieut. U. G. Ent of Northumberland, Pa., was unhurt.

Shocked

James F. Cooper, Akron, Ohio, aide on the City of Cleveland, was shocked and suffered burns when lightning pierced his balloon. He was in a Westmoreland hospital, where his condition was reported as fair. Carl K. Wollam, Akron, Ohio, pilot of the Cleveland entry, escaped.

#34 CliffP

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:18 PM

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Russ, thank you for your comments and the great picture of Captain William E. Kepner. I don't know why John Cooper unpinned this thread.

Here is a neat picture of three more airship pilots, left to right: 1/LT Max F. Moyer, 1/LT William A. Gray, Jr. and Major Norman W. Peak. The exact date of this picture is unknown but it must predate 1926 because Moyer resigned his commission on April 1, 1926, and Gray was killed in an airplane crash at sea near Barnegat Bay, NJ on February 17, 1927.

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  • Airship_Pilots.jpg


#35 John Cooper

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:52 PM

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Russ, thank you for your comments and the great picture of Captain William E. Kepner. I don't know why John Cooper unpinned this thread.



Cliff et al. Neither do I... that is to say I do not know who did. Maybe the mod who did can PM us about it.

Cheers John

#36 CliffP

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:29 PM

Cliff et al. Neither do I... that is to say I do not know who did. Maybe the mod who did can PM us about it.

Cheers John

:crying:
John, I apologize for the error since I did not realize there were other moderators for the US MILITARIA WING BADGE FORUM. Hopefully you will let me get away with attributing it to an old-age-thing.

Kind regards,

Cliff :blushing:

Edited by CliffP, 21 March 2011 - 02:49 PM.


#37 John Cooper

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:21 PM

:crying:
John, I apologize for the error since I did not realize there were other moderators for the US MILITARIA WING BADGE FORUM. Hopefully you will let me get away with attributing it to an old-age-thing.

Kind regards,

Cliff :blushing:



Well to tell the truth my first reply was going to contain the words "...cantankerous old... but I decided against it :hapy0004:

Cheers
John

#38 B-17Guy

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:59 AM

Since nothing has been added to this great thread for over two years, I thought I would add this
Blackinton Airship badge.
Best, John

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  • Blackinton Airship wing #564 001.jpg

Edited by B-17Guy, 22 March 2013 - 11:01 AM.


#39 B-17Guy

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

Back

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#40 CliffP

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:15 AM

Since nothing has been added to this great thread for over two years, I thought I would add this
Blackinton Airship badge.
Best, John

Hi John,

What a wonderful badge. . . and it serves as proof positive that there are still 'diamonds' waiting to be discovered by dedicated collectors like yourself.

Frankly, I'm a bit jealous but also very happy for you because due to the absence of a V. H. Blackinton Co. trademark on the back it would not surprise me if your badge pre-dates 1928 which was the year the Army Air Corps closed the Balloon & Airship Pilot School at Scott Field, Illinois. I say that because prior to 1930, V. H. Blackinton did not start adding a trademark to any of the wings that they produced.

Your Airship Pilot badge with its original pin-back locking device still intact is also an excellent example for newer collectors to compare next to one of the Blackinton-style Airship Pilot badge re-strikes that have showed up in the market place in recent years. See below:

Cliff

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  • Airship-Copy-Copy-Copy.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 24 March 2013 - 07:35 AM.


#41 rathbonemuseum.com

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:51 PM

Here is my contribution to the Airship photo files:

Posted Image

Posted Image

#42 CliffP

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:49 AM

:)

 

A little off the topic of metal Airship pilot wings - Here is an extremely rare post-WW1, pre-WWII Airship Pilot badge borrowed from the fine website operated by Bob Schwartz, Aviation Wings and Badges of World War II.     http:www.ww2wings.com/main.shtml

 

Cliff

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  • 2.-presley-airship-bullion-.jpg


#43 B-17Guy

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:30 AM

That is about as nice as it gets!



#44 Jarrett Richey 1944

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 09:32 AM

Rusty wings yes that type of die is what I'm looking for I don't plan to make any wings but I'm wanting one for a display of mine do you know where I could find a set ?

#45 CliffP

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 08:17 AM

Lt. William Olmstead Eareckson, USAAC - Scott Field, Illinois - May 23, 1928

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#46 rustywings

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 06:15 PM

Lt. William Olmstead Eareckson, USAAC - Scott Field, Illinois - May 23, 1928

 

That's a terrific image Cliff!  Thank you!
 



#47 roadwayguy

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 04:11 PM

I'd like to shift this discussion slightly to Navy airship pilots.  I'm trying to research a gentleman by the name of John W. Kellar, Naval Aviator #2148.  I'd like to know the correct wings, medals, etc. to put on his uniform.  Would appreciate tips on sites to find this info, as well as anything else related to Navy LTA pilots.  Thanks in advance.



#48 pfrost

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 09:01 AM

USN LTA pilots wore the same USN aviator gold wing as any other naval aviator.  There was not a different USN LTA pilot wing.

 

Basically, your guy would have worn the same medals and insignia as any other similar naval aviator.


Edited by pfrost, 15 June 2016 - 09:03 AM.


#49 roadwayguy

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 09:40 AM

Do you know websites where I can learn more about this specific guy or at least verify the details that I do know?  I've spent a couple of hours trying to do that but the only thing I've confirmed was his time at MIT in 1918,



#50 roadwayguy

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 09:41 AM

So the half wing doesn't apply here?  I did find conflicting opinions about that.




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