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#1 517th

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:39 AM

Any thoughts on these minature Wasp wings, sterling, brooch back.Original or made up??.Picture taken with glider wings for comparison on size......517th

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#2 Paul C.

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:45 AM

Well, they would be "made up" regardless. There is no "issue" WASP wing ( or any other wing, really) in this size The question is "when". They have a nice period look to them

#3 fortworthgal

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:14 PM

What you have is a miniature WASP wing that was made in the 1960s for the WASP reunions.

The original WWII WASP diamond shield wings were all clutchback, no pinbacks, and were made by Jostens. The only full-size pinbacks out there are the "reunion" wings made in the 1970s. Also, the original WASP wings were all standard size, same as USAAF wings. The earlier numbered class wings were pinback.

WASP wings are valuable because there were so few of the ladies. I've seen a few come up for sale and the range has gone from about $450 to over $1400 for original early WAFS wings. Believe it or not, I've seen the full size reunion wings sell for about $250-$300. I'm not sure about what you have, as I've actually never seen one before - I've only read about them. I would expect they're at least in the $200 range as far as value, though.

#4 517th

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:27 PM

Thanks for the info, suprised to hear that the diamond shield wings were clutcback.........517th

#5 Paul C.

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:27 PM

Actually based on the hardware, the "wings" part at least, is older than the 60's

#6 517th

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:32 PM

I agree, would have thought the wing is older than 60`s . When was the clutchback device first used on wings in general??.......517th

#7 fortworthgal

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 01:39 PM

They didn't manufacture pinback diamond shields, or miniature WASP wings, until the reunions. The first official reunion was held in 1964. I believe your miniature wings were either produced them, or for the 1969 reunion (which was much more well attended & popular). The full-size reunion wings were produced for the 1974 reunion.

Bell (the company who made the miniature WASP reunion wings) manufactured other, similar 1-3/4" sweetheart wings during WWII, so it is possible that the actual "wings" portion could have been leftover old stock that they used for the reunion wings by sticking on the diamond lozenge.

Not sure about when clutchbacks first came out... I have heard people argue that all WWII wings were pinback only, but clearly they were around in WWII, as all the original diamond WASP wings were clutchback... which kinda blows that argument outta the water. Last year my husband had a nice sterling WWII clutchback wing that he donated to the uniform being put together for a surviving Tuskegee Airman. Also John Maguire's book Silver Wings, Pinks and Greens has some nice documentation & photos of WWII-era clutchback wings.

Edited by fortworthgal, 04 November 2009 - 02:00 PM.


#8 usaf70

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:02 AM

The Wasp ISSUED wings were clutchback, however there are WWII period WASP wings that were Private Purchase and have pinbacks. This was verified by J.Duncan Campbell from a pair of wings I sent him for verification.

#9 fortworthgal

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:18 AM

The Wasp ISSUED wings were clutchback, however there are WWII period WASP wings that were Private Purchase and have pinbacks. This was verified by J.Duncan Campbell from a pair of wings I sent him for verification.


I would be very interested in seeing the documentation on these. Are they diamond shield or numbered shield?

All of the diamond-shield wings were jeweler-made by Jostens. The only diamond shield pinbacks I have seen that are wartime are the class 43-8 wings, which are a diamond shield on top of a modified USAAF pilot's wing. These were hastily made because the new Jostens wings didn't arrive in time for graduation. But, those have a completely different look though as you can still see the pilot's wing underneath. All other pinback diamond shields are reunion wings, which are often mistaken for originals, even by collectors. The reunion wings were intentionally made pinback so they would not be mistaken for originals... but there are no other distinctions from originals. I am not a wing collector and I haven't written any books, but I have done extensive research into the WASP, including working with the WASP Museum in Sweetwater and the TWU WASP Archive. I would be interested in verification/comparison from the WASP archive at TWU (i.e. a WASP collector/archive vs. a wing collector).

I have never heard of any of the ladies purchasing their own wings for any reason. I have to be honest and say I am skeptical. I am very curious what they are marked and which WASP they are attributed to.

Edited by fortworthgal, 05 November 2009 - 09:48 AM.


#10 fortworthgal

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:53 AM

Sorry, I should add that I'm not trying to be harsh - but being one of the few female collectors out there, there is a lot of misinformation. I have had WWII vets tell me that women never wore Army hat badges, had male collectors argue with me that Army Nurses never wore black shoes, I've seen patches and other women's items attributed wrongly in some of "the" reference books, as well as even seeing modern items pictured as wartime in said books! So I am always skeptical.

#11 pfrost

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 02:45 PM

Sorry, I should add that I'm not trying to be harsh - but being one of the few female collectors out there, there is a lot of misinformation. I have had WWII vets tell me that women never wore Army hat badges, had male collectors argue with me that Army Nurses never wore black shoes, I've seen patches and other women's items attributed wrongly in some of "the" reference books, as well as even seeing modern items pictured as wartime in said books! So I am always skeptical.


Just a point or two. First, IIREC, both Josten and AMICO made the WASP "lozenge" wings. The AMICO wings are rather rarer than the Josten-made wings, but they do exist. I believe the class wings were made from a mixture of base wings from a number of different manufacturers that were then modified with the shield and class number. The Pinks and Green's book show a number of these variations.

Here is a nice WWII vintage photo of a WASP. You can see here wings and the wing and prop insignia.

Clutch back wings were made during WWII. IT is an old myth that only WWII wings used the pin back attachment.

Patrick

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#12 fortworthgal

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 04:47 PM

Amico never made WASP wings, at least not during the war. I have seen several Amico wings that are either fakes or reproductions... but none of the WASP ever received Amico wings, and Amico was not a contractor of the diamond shield wings - only Jostens.

The WASP wings are so rare, and collectors want them in their collection so badly, that I think lines have become blurred on what is authentic and what is not.

Edited by fortworthgal, 05 November 2009 - 04:48 PM.


#13 bschwartz

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 07:36 PM

The EAA museum in Oshkosh has a boxed set of Amico made WASP wings donated by a WASP. Unfortunately I will not have a chance to get there any time soon to get the name or see if I can get a look at the back of them but they are on display for all to see. If someone on the forum lives in the Oshkosh area perhaps they could swing by the museum and get some photos. I don't know for sure when they were made (during or post-war) but they are definitely not restrikes. I know that Shutsy has a lot of documentation on the makers of the official WASP wings and I'm sure you've seen that at the Wings Across America archives. I spoke with her at Oshkosh a few years ago but didn't get into all the details of the wings.

#14 Paul S

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:46 PM

Does anyone know when AMICO last made wings or went out of business? I've seen a few AMICO wings stamped with a GEMSCO overstamp and have generally thought the GEMSCO marks showing a wreath or simple incised block font date to the early to mid 1960's (or maybe fifties).

It seems that GEMSCO must have either taken over AMICO or bought their old stock, similar to the HH/Imperial Navy wings of 1941, or thereabouts. However, I don't recall seeing any wings marked GEMSCO that were clealy AMICO designs.

Patrick--what is IIREC?

Edited by Paul S, 05 November 2009 - 09:49 PM.


#15 pfrost

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 09:39 AM

marked GEMSCO that were clealy AMICO designs.

Patrick--what is IIREC?


A typo.... :crying: IIRC== if I recall correctly.

BTW, for what it is worth, a number of people who I know have been collecting high end wings for many years have confirmed to me that AMICO was, in fact, a maker of the WASP wings. That being said, I have no other first hand knowledge.

Patrick

#16 Paul S

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 05:26 PM

Thanks Patrick...IIRC an AMICO 2" pilot wing was modified for the W-8 class and one list I've seen indicates that an AMCIO 3" pilot was modified for the W-6 class; however, the Smithsonian display (with attribution) shows a modified Bell 3" observer was used for the W-6 class. A contemporary copyist follows the Bell model for his W-6 productions; however, I have a convincing picture file that shows the AMICO 3" as a W-6 piece.

I'd love to have a look at that AMICO WASP in the EAA museum to see if it were a W-6, W-8, or a diamond center wing by AMICO.

#17 CliffP

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 06:56 PM

A typo.... :crying: IIRC== if I recall correctly.

BTW, for what it is worth, a number of people who I know have been collecting high end wings for many years have confirmed to me that AMICO was, in fact, a maker of the WASP wings. That being said, I have no other first hand knowledge.

Patrick

Thanks Patrick...IIRC an AMICO 2" pilot wing was modified for the W-8 class and one list I've seen indicates that an AMCIO 3" pilot was modified for the W-6 class; however, the Smithsonian display (with attribution) shows a modified Bell 3" observer was used for the W-6 class. A contemporary copyist follows the Bell model for his W-6 productions; however, I have a convincing picture file that shows the AMICO 3" as a W-6 piece.

I'd love to have a look at that AMICO WASP in the EAA museum to see if it were a W-6, W-8, or a diamond center wing by AMICO.


:bye1: Paul & Patrick,

AMICO did not make a full size WASP wing badge. Class 43-8 was scheduled to be awarded the first official WASP wings made by JOSTEN. When they failed to arrive on time, AMICO wings were modified by a local jeweler who partially cut away the center part of the pilot shield and in great haste fashioned a WASP diamond and superimposed it over the shield.

Cliff

Edited by CliffP, 06 November 2009 - 06:57 PM.


#18 Paul S

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 07:43 AM

The Air & Space Museum has these WASP wings in their display with attributions. Do they have it right? The W-8 wing is from another collection, is attributed, and although it looks like an AMICO wing, it is marked only with an incised sterling mark.

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Edited by Paul S, 07 November 2009 - 07:44 AM.


#19 bschwartz

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 08:10 AM

The wing in the EAA museum has the diamond center. Next time I'm up at the museum I'll see if I can get some shots. I also contact them ahead of time and see if I can see the back of the wing.

#20 bobgee

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 08:12 AM

:bye1: Paul & Patrick,

AMICO did not make a full size WASP wing badge. Class 43-8 was scheduled to be awarded the first official WASP wings made by JOSTEN. When they failed to arrive on time, AMICO wings were modified by a local jeweler who partially cut away the center part of the pilot shield and in great haste fashioned a WASP diamond and superimposed it over the shield.

Cliff


I agree with Cliff. And the following pics from NASM bears his analysis out. JOSTEN was the only WASP LOZENGE Wing manufacturer and in clutch back only. All the earlier classes had modified sterling pin-back wings with their class number applied on a separate shield, except W-8. My 2-cents. Bobgee

#21 bobgee

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 08:30 AM

I collected wing badges seriously in the 70's & 80's. I was fortunate to own several genuine Wasp wing badges. I recently acquired this piece in a small collection of miscellaneous wings I bought for resale. It is a 1" JOSTEN'S sterling marked, die-struck, drop-in catch pin-back wing, obviously intended for lapel wear. It is a quality piece, showing some age, notice the pin-shadow on the reverse. I have not seen one before. Is it a true JOSTEN'S manufactured piece, for sale at Reunions, or is it a knock-off, perhaps by Mr. ***************?

Opinions? Comments ?

Thanks....Bobgee

Wasp_Mini_Wing_OBV.JPG Wasp_Mini_Wing_REV.JPG



#22 flyingfortress

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:14 AM

I collected wing badges seriously in the 70's & 80's. I was fortunate to own several genuine Wasp wing badges. I recently acquired this piece in a small collection of miscellaneous wings I bought for resale. It is a 1" JOSTEN'S sterling marked, die-struck, drop-in catch pin-back wing, obviously intended for lapel wear. It is a quality piece, showing some age, notice the pin-shadow on the reverse. I have not seen one before. Is it a true JOSTEN'S manufactured piece, for sale at Reunions, or is it a knock-off, perhaps by Mr. ***************?

Opinions? Comments ?

Thanks....Bobgee

Wasp_Mini_Wing_OBV.JPG Wasp_Mini_Wing_REV.JPG



Bobgee, If I'm not mistaken, Joe ***************'s wings are always cast and not die-struck. Regards, George



#23 rustywings

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 12:27 PM

It appears your small WASP wing is an authentic WWII era piece...and it is just one portion of a two-piece sweetheart piece. If you look closely at the back hinge you can see a loop for attaching a small chain, which in-turn would have been attached to a dime-size enamel roundel with some type of AAC logo. None the less, this is a GREAT little wing and extremely desirable to most WASP collectors.

Russ

#24 none

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:13 PM

The small Josten is not one of my wings. I have never made one of these. As you can all tell I am back on line and will be happy to let you know if a wing is one of mine, etc.

About some of the other WASP wings. Cliff is correct AMICO did not make any of the "lozenge" wings for the WASPs. These could have been made after the war for sale in Army-Navy Stores which was a very common event. The various WASP wings up to W-8 were made by Harry Taylor of Taylor & Co. Jewelers of Houston, TX, they are still in business. The business is now owned by Terry Taylor, Harry's grandson. The shields on the W-1 to W-7 were made by Raymond Mayeur a master engraver who worked in the store. The reason the WASP wings have different back wings is that Lt. Fleishman would go the Ellington Post Exchange and buy whatever was in stock for Taylor to modify. Don't forget these were purchased by Jacqueliie Cochran with her own money and not any government funds.

According to Ms. Reynolds, a WASP, and keeper of the WASP store for years the 1 1/2 inch mini which started this discussion was made for the 1960's reunions. The odds are the Josten 1 1/2 was also made for the reunions.

I have a complete history on the WASP wings and would be happy to answer any questions.

Joe W.

#25 517th

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 01:57 PM

The small Josten is not one of my wings. I have never made one of these. As you can all tell I am back on line and will be happy to let you know if a wing is one of mine, etc.

About some of the other WASP wings. Cliff is correct AMICO did not make any of the "lozenge" wings for the WASPs. These could have been made after the war for sale in Army-Navy Stores which was a very common event. The various WASP wings up to W-8 were made by Harry Taylor of Taylor & Co. Jewelers of Houston, TX, they are still in business. The business is now owned by Terry Taylor, Harry's grandson. The shields on the W-1 to W-7 were made by Raymond Mayeur a master engraver who worked in the store. The reason the WASP wings have different back wings is that Lt. Fleishman would go the Ellington Post Exchange and buy whatever was in stock for Taylor to modify. Don't forget these were purchased by Jacqueliie Cochran with her own money and not any government funds.

According to Ms. Reynolds, a WASP, and keeper of the WASP store for years the 1 1/2 inch mini which started this discussion was made for the 1960's reunions. The odds are the Josten 1 1/2 was also made for the reunions.

I have a complete history on the WASP wings and would be happy to answer any questions.

Joe W.


What is your opinion on the wing shown at the start of this post........517th


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