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post WWII, 50's & 60's US Air Force uniform photos


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#26 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 08:05 AM

Here is a transitional Ike style blue AF wool jacket with the patch for the 581st Air Materials Assembly Squadron which served during the Korean War providing aerial delivery of supplies and equipment used to support guerrilla operations and distribute psychological warfare propaganda materials.

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  • 581st_Air_Materials_Assembly_SquadronPatch.jpg
  • 581st_Air_Materials_Assembly_SquadronPatch__2_.jpg


#27 CW4AFB

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:49 PM

Wailuna--love the photos---nice work and a great tribute for these guys:

heres my contribution to the topic---first up is the trunk lot I picked up a while back---must have been right on the cusp of the transition because the guys set included the Ike with the wing stripes and then his blue jacket with the next rank---I have blotted out his name and serial number on the lid of the trunk out of respect for his privacy. You can see his set also included both blue and olive overseas hats and garrison hats.

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  • usaf_1.jpg
  • usaf_2.jpg


#28 CW4AFB

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:54 PM

And here's one more ---- as you can see somebody got to the patches on both sleeves but left the other stuff---from the shape of patch remnants it might have been 8th AAF and USAAF or other round ETO patches. AFB

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  • usaf_3.jpg


#29 dan

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:17 AM

Fantastic, I love those Army IKE's. Nice group.

Dan

#30 CW4AFB

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:37 PM

Fantastic, I love those Army IKE's. Nice group.

Dan

Dan---I'm headed back home on thursday to visit my folks and I'll try to get my dad to dig into his memory banks and see what he can remember about the transitional period and why they wore the combinations they did...fascinating period to study...and the uniforms are really an undervalued area of miltaria...
AFB

#31 dan

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 08:14 AM

CW4AFB,

Yes the transition uniforms are underated. I for one will be waiting to hear what your dad remembers about them.

Dan

#32 f4cweasel

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 07:41 PM

Here is a set of USAF EM collar discs and possible early USAF hat emblem from the late 1940's or early 1950's. All three of these emblems came in the same box find from a local antique store here in Colorado. I've always had the understanding that the gold cut-out hat emblems were US Army WAC and not USAF, but since these came together, I'm now wondering if the hat emblem is USAF? The discs are without hallmarks and the hat emblem is KREW, G.I., STERLING marked. Does anyone know for sure if USAF wore these gold cut-out hat emblems before they switched to the silver cut-outs?

The 1948 USAF Instruction which authorizes the gold colored Enlisted "Transition" Collar Insignia that are shown in the photo also authorizes a gold colored Enlisted Cap Badge of the type shown. The Instruction indicates that the Badge is 1 3/4" in diameter and slightly convex. The "Spec Sheet" for the production of the Cap Badge indicates that the Badge is 1 11/16" in diameter and that it has a screw post on the back.


The WAF bugler photo from 1952 or 1953 shows her wearing the US collar disc on the left collar, so can anyone pinpoint a specific date the gold cut-out wing and prop discs were discontinued?

Still looking, but probably sometime in 1950. Has anyone got any info on the Enlisted Transition Collar Brass in silver? I have several.


BTW - Bob, this early USAF thread was an excellent idea! Transitional and Korean War era USAF is one of the most undocumented and underappreciated areas of US military history and collecting. Maybe we can tie allot of their history together?

Gary


The 1948 USAF Instruction which authorizes the gold colored Enlisted "Transition" Collar Insignia that are shown in the photo also authorizes a gold colored Enlisted Cap Badge of the type shown. The Instruction indicates that the Badge is 1 3/4" in diameter and slightly convex. The "Spec Sheet" for the production of the Cap Badge indicates that the Badge is 1 11/16" in diameter and that it has a screw post on the back.

Also tried to answer the following question about when the Silver US replaced the Transition Pieces. I'm still looking, but probably about 1950. They show up quickly once the blue uniform starts getting into the field, but so far I haven't been able to find a reference.

Check 6,

Bill

#33 CW4AFB

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:33 PM

CW4AFB,

Yes the transition uniforms are underated. I for one will be waiting to hear what your dad remembers about them.

Dan

Dan---It was an experience---He and one of his buddies---B24 radio Operator shot down over Ploesti and went on to serve 25+ years in the USAF--sat down with me and we looked at all the uniforms on this string and other places here to discuss...when I get some time this weekend, I'll transscribe my notes and give you what they told me...
Al

#34 USMCRECON

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 03:10 AM

Some 1950's officer's uniforms.
Here some officers meet with Eddie Rickenbacker in May 1951:



This photo dates from 1955:



Those khaki suits were sharp looking.


The guy in the middle, between Rickenbacker and the Generalm, looks like J. J. Jabarra who was one of the top Aces of the Korean War.

#35 market garden

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 11:28 PM

Here is a photo of my father who was a CFC gunner on B-29 bombers stationed in Savana Ga. in 1952 He tells me that when he enlisted in 1951 they had the

brown issue uniforms also given to them. Here he wears kakis and a blue tie. ( His gunner wings are WW2 issued pin backed)Market garden

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Edited by market garden, 06 June 2008 - 11:35 PM.


#36 market garden

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 07:08 AM

I have several other photos of him and his friends wearing fatigue uniforms of the period. Also one of him in his gun turret(in color).

That photo could pass as WW2. Ill dig them out. Market garden

#37 market garden

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 07:14 AM

If you desire to see great post war Airforce uniform photos get the following movies. The Big Lift. with Montgomery Cliff. About the Berlin blockade. and Strategic Air Command with Jimmy

Stuart. In this movie He makes the comment "When I was in before we wore the brown uniform". when he gets "Challenged" by a AP in a blue uniform at a airbase Market garden

#38 Guest_vinz_*

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:04 AM

My ike jacket:
http://img403.imageshack.us/my.php?image=veste1951wn3.jpg

#39 DutchInfid3l

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 01:41 PM

My USAF uniforms
http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/Kimballsek/4th008.jpg
http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/Kimballsek/4th009.jpg

#40 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:39 PM

Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, there were about 3 people in the US collecting USAF fatigue uniforms. I was one of them, and the other two were the ones who occaisionally bid against me at Manion's.

There just was not a whole lot of interest in them. Most of them probably had their patches removed and then donated to base thrift shops and Goodwill. (The USAF thrift shop at Hickam used to put them out for three weeks and then donate them to the Civil Air Patrol).

Here are some selections from my former collection:

1) 27th Fighter Squadron Missile Maintenance technician. Note the yellow nametape with the stenciled lettering. As I recall it was made of a reinforced cloth of some type, like some kind of strapping material. Also note there is no USAF tape. I am guessing this is from the 1950's. Note the brown plastic buttons.

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  • USAF_AA_27th_FTR_Missile_small.JPG

Edited by gwb123, 12 July 2008 - 07:40 PM.


#41 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:43 PM

2) A very poor picture of an Asian made fatigue shirt with a Japanese made Neko Nomad unit patch. The name tape is large and white and had four lines of information including the owners first and last name, his duty station, a full line in Japanese and his unit. Note the added pen pocket on the left sleeve. This one I believe came from Manion's auction and is also most likely from the 1950's.

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  • USAF_AA_Neko_Nomad_small.JPG


#42 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:46 PM

3) An interesting shirt from the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. The F106 Delta Dart patch is quite striking. If you look closely at the left sleeve you will see the shadow of a much higher NCO rank. Most likely this shirt was recycled for use by another airman. Early 1960s?

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  • USAF_AA_49th_FIS_F106_small.JPG


#43 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:49 PM

4) At first this shirt with the MAC patch looks fairly ordinary... until you realize that the wing is for a pilot and not an enlisted Airman. Mistake? Or a retread officer?

Also note the reflective flight line tape on the sleeves to increase visibility during darkness.

If you look at the inside center of the shirt, you will see that the flight line tape was also sewn on the back as well.

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  • USAF_AA_MAC_small.JPG

Edited by gwb123, 12 July 2008 - 07:50 PM.


#44 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:54 PM

5) USAF field jacket, similar to the M-65 but notice the difference in the collar. Note the large TAC pocket patch. But the neatest thing about this jacket is again the use of the reflective flight line tape, both on the front and back. I took this out at night and shined a light on it, and it lit up like neon. This was quite used. 1960s?

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  • USAF_AA_Field_Jacket_TAC_small.JPG
  • USAF_AA_Field_Jacket_TAC_b_small.JPG


#45 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 07:59 PM

6) A standard issue OG-107 cotton fatigue shirt with direct embroidered rank and pilot wing, as well as name and USAF tapes. As I recall it could have been embroidered in either Thailand or Vietnam. This is most likely from early in the Vietnam War.

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  • USAF_bb_TAC_pilot_small.JPG


#46 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:01 PM

7) Sometimes uniforms from this period had a bare minimum of insignia. This is an Asian embroidered Air Commando tab on a starched cotton OG-107 fatigue shirt. Other than name, rank and USAF there was never any other insignia on the uniform.

I believe I pulled this out of the Hickam AFB thrift shop in the 1980's.

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  • USAF_bb_Air_Commando_small.JPG

Edited by gwb123, 12 July 2008 - 08:06 PM.


#47 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:05 PM

8) Another example of bare minimum insignia: The qualification badge is beautifully hand embroidered, most likely from Thailand. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the blue background of this insignia is a very richly dyed deep blue.

Also hard to tell is that the name SKINNER is actually very closely chain stitched. And also, look how closely trimmed the 1st LT rank is.... this is not direct embroidered but very tightly sewn on without the blue border. The USAF tape is standard issue.

This was a Salvation Army find on Oahu.

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  • USAF_bb_Navgator_thai_small.JPG

Edited by gwb123, 12 July 2008 - 08:06 PM.


#48 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:10 PM

9) Asian made fatigue shirt on display at the museum of RECON Militaria, in Dallas TX (now currently in storage).

The rank and pilot wing are direct embroidered, and the USAF tape is hand embroidered.

Note the added sleeve pocket in a slightly different shade of material. The Asian dyed thread has faded slightly to provide an outline of the shirt. Note the small size buttons. The Air Commando Squadron pocket patch is Thai made.

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  • USAF_bb_11th_Air_Commando_b.JPG


#49 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:17 PM

10) Another Thai made fatigue shirt featuring a pocket patch for the 553rd RECON Sq. and its associated wing. This unit flew EC-123, electronic monitoring versions of the Constellation. Note the light weight material, which is one reason such uniforms were favore. The name and USAF are custom embroidered and the wing may have been as well. Again note the small sized buttons.

I believe this was purchased through Manion's auction at a price far below the value of the patches sewn to it. That was true about uniforms for a long time.... you could pick them up cheaper than the patches because nobody wanted to store them. As one collector told me "you cannot fit a fatigue shirt into a notebook binder!"

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  • USAF_bb_553rd_Recon_small.JPG


#50 gwb123

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 08:21 PM

11) Jumping forward in time, one of my favorite uniforms. This would have been for an Air Liaison Officer attached to a unit of the 1ST CAV Division.

This uniform is hard to date. The material looks like the synthetic introduced in the 1970's.

This shirt was probably not worn during the Vietnam War, but immediately after it. While Airmen and Officers wore subdued insignia in theater (Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, PI), I believe they continued to wear full color insignia in the US until the mid 1970's.

Attached Images

  • USAF_TAC_1CAV_Liaison.JPG

Edited by gwb123, 12 July 2008 - 08:22 PM.



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