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US Navy V-5 Aviator Cadet Wing


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#1 Gary Cain

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:39 PM

This is why I like going through antique shops. It was listed as a sweetheart pin.

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#2 Gary Cain

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:40 PM

back

This is why I like going through antique shops. It was listed as a sweetheart pin.

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#3 DMD

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:56 PM

Gary, I have asked this question before, but nobody seems to have an answer.

What were these wings awarded for? I used to think you would get them for completing an introductory flight course that was similar to the Civilian Pilot Training Program. However, I don't think there was any actual flight time given in V-5. It looks like the program was mainly physical and miliary training, along with ground school academics related to flying. Actual flight training (most likely in a Stearman) first occurred when the aviation cadet went to primary.

I have looked through the archives at the University of Georgia, which was one of schools that had a V-5 program. The only insignia you see in the photos is the V-5 patch on the garrison cap. I have never seen a photo of anyone wearing these wings.

So what was the reason for the V-5 wings?

Dennis

#4 Gregory

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:38 PM

What were these wings awarded for?

Good question. I would like to know the same. Does it mean V-5 Class (i.e. Naval Reserve Student Pilot) or V-5 Program?

BTW --> how many such wings existed during WWII? Were there the wings also for V-2 Class and V-1, V-7 and V-12 Programs?

Best regards

Greg

#5 Bob Hudson

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:06 PM

I've never seen one of those V-5 wings before: interesting piece of history.

An official Navy site says this about the V-5 program at Naval Reserve Air Base (NRAB) New Orleans:

The prospective cadets received approximately 10 hours of dual instruction and one hour of solo time. The balance of the 30-day course was devoted to ground school and military training. Those students who demonstrated an aptitude were then selected for further pilot training.


On another website a former V-5 cadet describes his experience in part as:

After learning how to be a proper Navy gentleman, John went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Preflight Training. Civilian instructors taught the group the basics of flying in Piper J-3 Cubs and Stearman biplanes.

This basically continues what the Navy did before WWII: prospective pilots reported to one of 13 NRAB's around the country for their preliminary training, which included basic flight instruction. If they made it through that they then went to Pensacola as Aviation Cadets. From 1935-39, after graduation from Pensacola, the pilots stayed at the rank of Aviation Cadet for three years! Under a 1939 law they started getting commissioned as Ensigns in the Naval Reserve after Pensacola, but also extended their service obligation to eight years (I recently acquired a 1939 yearbook for the Pensacola flight school and it had an interesting article about this).

One more footnote: after WWII a quirk in the law ended up having a couple thousand new Navy pilots spending the first two years in the fleet as "Midshipman Aviators," working side-by-side with commissioned officers, but holding Midshipman rank (and it's attendant low pay).

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#6 RAL

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:23 PM

Those are, indeed, "sweetheart" wings or souvenir wings; they were not regulation and not worn with the uniform.

Rich

#7 Bob Hudson

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:59 PM

Those are, indeed, "sweetheart" wings or souvenir wings; they were not regulation and not worn with the uniform.

Rich



There are numerous online references to those being V-5 cadet wings. I suspect they were awarded after that solo flight and, because the cadets went on to regular Navy flight training soon after that, the wings barely got worn before the owners stint in the V-5 program was over. There was a V-5 emblem worn on the garrison cap. One former V-5 cadet wrote,

Finally we were out of our seaman uniforms and into officer-like khakis with distinctive collar anchors and a neat embroidered V-5 cap insignia. We were really going to fly!

Dealer George N. Wilhelmsen has a V-5 set on his site (for a mere $275):

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#8 Gary Cain

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 09:02 PM

Hi Rich,

Actually you are incorrect on this. The wings were allowed to be worn on the uniform after completion of the V-5 class(which was only for College grads or students so it was a fairly limited group) but upon arrival at their primary flight school they were no longer authorised to be worn. Their next set of wings would be their Naval Aviator wing. You can see them being worn in the Schiffer book dealing with Naval Aviator Wings, I don't remember the title but it is something like Naval Aviator Wings of Gold or something close to that.

Gary

Those are, indeed, "sweetheart" wings or souvenir wings; they were not regulation and not worn with the uniform.

Rich


Edited by Gary Cain, 24 May 2007 - 09:05 PM.


#9 DMD

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 04:48 AM

Forum Support, you quoted a few internet sites. Could you please list the URLs? This is a subject that I am interested in and I would like more information.

I had never seen any documents that discussed flight training, so the 10 hours dual and 1 hour solo is news to me. I have a copy of Tomorrow We Fly, Cadet Life at United States Navy Preflight School at Athens, Georgia. It's a 34 page booket with a lot of photos of athletics, classroom training, and campus life, but there's not a single photo of an airplane. (I got the impression that the title Tomorrow We Fly meant "You aren't gonna do it while you're here at Athens). I also looked at The History of U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School, St. Mary's, California, and there was no discussion of flight training there, either.

So did everyone get the wings at graduation from V-5, or for a solo flight, or were they sweetheart wings?

Dennis

Edited by DMD, 25 May 2007 - 04:53 AM.


#10 DMD

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:34 AM

By the way, there were two variations on the V-5 wings. If you look at Gary's picture and the one below, the PAT PEND and the 1/10 10K markings have switched position.

Dennisw

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#11 Gary Cain

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 08:28 AM

Hi Dennis,

Everyone who graduated from the class earned the wings. They were NOT sweetheart wings but the authorisation for wear was very limited as noted above. There are indeed two variations known of them and National Capitol Historical Sales is even selling reproductions of them(when have you ever heard of a "sweetheart" item being reproduced?) but they are a very rare item indeed.




Gary


Forum Support, you quoted a few internet sites. Could you please list the URLs? This is a subject that I am interested in and I would like more information.

I had never seen any documents that discussed flight training, so the 10 hours dual and 1 hour solo is news to me. I have a copy of Tomorrow We Fly, Cadet Life at United States Navy Preflight School at Athens, Georgia. It's a 34 page booket with a lot of photos of athletics, classroom training, and campus life, but there's not a single photo of an airplane. (I got the impression that the title Tomorrow We Fly meant "You aren't gonna do it while you're here at Athens). I also looked at The History of U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School, St. Mary's, California, and there was no discussion of flight training there, either.

So did everyone get the wings at graduation from V-5, or for a solo flight, or were they sweetheart wings?

Dennis


Edited by Gary Cain, 25 May 2007 - 08:28 AM.


#12 Bob Hudson

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 09:20 AM

Forum Support, you quoted a few internet sites. Could you please list the URLs? This is a subject that I am interested in and I would like more information.

I had never seen any documents that discussed flight training, so the 10 hours dual and 1 hour solo is news to me.
Dennis


Check out this official Navy site: http://www.nasjrbnol...mil/history.htm

The V-5 program went through some changes during its lifetime, but I think the primary purpose remained the same: to screen out prospective aviation cadets before they got the Navy flight school, and part of that screening process was to do the bare to solo.

As for uniforms, I read accounts of the early days when the V-5 trainees bought the own khaki pants and shirts and some wore caps and some did not. Later the Navy laid out uniform specs and for "administrative reasons" started requiring enlistment as a seaman second class to get into the V-5 program.


Here's a good account from someone in the early days in mid 1942 with the V5 training lasted just 13 weeks and the trainees were still civilians: http://www.sharlot.o...001_11_11.shtml

#13 Gregory

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 06:07 PM

Hello friends :)

If I may comment something as an external observer and simultaneously a person interested in every one the smallest detail of the US naval aviation cadets training in WWII...

Frankly speaking in my 20-year so called career of military history and aviation journalist I have never seen such an unique mish-mash in the historic description as in the case of USN aviation cadets educational process. No wonder that several persons participating in this thread are surprised by various data presented by the others. No wonder because even training terminology is not standardized in this case. Believe me that nobody outside the USA will understand who is who, what is what, what belongs to whom, what is civil, what is paramilitary, what is military in the air cadets WWII educational system if such descriptions of this process are prepared today. One and the same course has 2-3 various names in the BuAer materials and post-war literature.

Example: When I read the original WWII era BuAer materials it is logical for me that till approximately 3rd quarter of 1942 (before WTS courses) the system step by step was the following:

1. V-1 course.

2. US Naval Flight Preparatory School.

3. US Navy Pre-Flight School.

4. Either CPTP course or classic V-5 course at one of eight Navy Academic Refresher Unit (V-5).

The guy from this link ruins my thinking about this system when he writes that (quotation) "The V-5 program, also known as the Naval Flight Preparatory School"... etc. According to him No. 2 at my list is the same as No. 4. Sorry, but I am a pilot as well and I am unable to believe that after V-1 course a man jumps into aircraft and flies with instructor and in a moment he flies solo.

Best regards :)

Greg

#14 Bob Hudson

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 07:02 PM

Well these are government programs so none of us should be surprised if they sound illogical :)

Go read the story of the Aviation Midshipmen and find out how a government SNAFU led to a couple thousand Naval aviators each flying with the fleet for a couple of years that were not credited to their time in service.

Clearly the V-5 program had many evolutions and it's no wonder the Navy - as far as we know - has not put together a detailed history of it: even they don't really know what happened.


Hello friends :)

If I may comment something as an external observer and simultaneously a person interested in every one the smallest detail of the US naval aviation cadets training in WWII...

Frankly speaking in my 20-year so called career of military history and aviation journalist I have never seen such an unique mish-mash in the historic description as in the case of USN aviation cadets educational process. No wonder that several persons participating in this thread are surprised by various data presented by the others. No wonder because even training terminology is not standardized in this case. Believe me that nobody outside the USA will understand who is who, what is what, what belongs to whom, what is civil, what is paramilitary, what is military in the air cadets WWII educational system if such descriptions of this process are prepared today. One and the same course has 2-3 various names in the BuAer materials and post-war literature.

Example: When I read the original WWII era BuAer materials it is logical for me that till approximately 3rd quarter of 1942 (before WTS courses) the system step by step was the following:

1. V-1 course.

2. US Naval Flight Preparatory School.

3. US Navy Pre-Flight School.

4. Either CPTP course or classic V-5 course at one of eight Navy Academic Refresher Unit (V-5).

The guy from this link ruins my thinking about this system when he writes that (quotation) "The V-5 program, also known as the Naval Flight Preparatory School"... etc. According to him No. 2 at my list is the same as No. 4. Sorry, but I am a pilot as well and I am unable to believe that after V-1 course a man jumps into aircraft and flies with instructor and in a moment he flies solo.

Best regards :)

Greg



#15 DMD

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 03:52 AM

"Clearly the V-5 program had many evolutions and it's no wonder the Navy - as far as we know - has not put together a detailed history of it: even they don't really know what happened."

The information is available, but it is stored in the library collections of some the colleges that hosted the V-5 programs. For example, take a look at what is in the archives at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania:

http://library.bloom...ids/2001006.htm

The problem is that the documents are stored in boxes and do not circulate. You have to go to the library and do your research there. Unfortunately, the University of Georgia did not keep this type of information in their collection, and I didn't find what I was looking for.

Gary said that everyone got the wings upon graduation from the program, but I won't be satisfied until I can see what the program regulations said. There is too much opinion and speculation on the subject. A detailed history of V-5 would make an excellent research project, if you live close to one of the libraries that has the necessary documents.

Dennis

Edited by DMD, 26 May 2007 - 03:57 AM.


#16 Bob Hudson

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:30 AM

The information is available, but it is stored in the library collections of some the colleges that hosted the V-5 programs.



If you do a google search you will find many other universities do have at least a online reference to their V-5 programs and sometimes an essay about it.

Look at the first results from this search: http://www.google.co...G=Google Search

#17 Gregory

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 07:55 AM

Well these are government programs so none of us should be surprised if they sound illogical :)

:lol:
Maybe it was logical for somebody in newly-built then Pentagon but how it is described today is real publicistic catastrophe. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif

Go read the story of the Aviation Midshipmen and find out how a government SNAFU led to a couple thousand Naval aviators each flying with the fleet for a couple of years that were not credited to their time in service.

Oh yes, real SNAFU http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif It is strange situation. WWII era V-7 Midshipmen were treated much better, if I am not mistaken.

I had never seen any documents that discussed flight training, so the 10 hours dual and 1 hour solo is news to me.

Most likely V-5 contained solo flights. When the CAA's WTS replaced CPTP program late 1942 new WTS was composed of 240 hours of ground school instruction and 35 flying hours of dual and solo flights.

Best regards :)

Greg

#18 DMD

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 08:26 AM

If you do a google search you will find many other universities do have at least a online reference to their V-5 programs and sometimes an essay about it.

Look at the first results from this search: http://www.google.co...G=Google Search


I don't think the internet is going to provide the answers. Most of the essays or histories on these sites are too general to answer questions like, "When were the V-5 wings awarded?" or "What was the flight instruction syllabus?". The libraries are not publishing the program records and documents on-line. To get the information, you have to go to the library, request the material from the archives, and start going through the boxes.

Dennis

#19 DwightPruitt

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 01:06 PM

Back into my first foray into wing collecting in the early 1990's, I remember that a Cincinnati-area dealer had contacted someone from the Gordon Miller firm and found a cache of period V-5 wings from old stock. IIRC there were somewhere around 200 -250 wings found.

#20 Gregory

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 06:27 AM

From today’s perspective of interest is the fact that the V-5 students had meteorology lessons dispersed between small separate subfields as the aerology, air masses and fronts, thunderstorms etc. Nobody teaches it today in such a manner. At present all those fields are absorbed by meteorology for the pilots.

:)

#21 Gregory

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 06:41 AM

BTW --> I found in the net one more V-5 patch worn by the cadets over the right breast pockets.

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#22 Kilroy56

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 07:53 AM

Those are, indeed, "sweetheart" wings or souvenir wings; they were not regulation and not worn with the uniform.

Rich was apparently correct...

 

 

 

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