These highly collectible wings, cap pieces and insignia varied widely in design from one flight school to another and can make for an interesting study. Fellow Forum members have posted nice examples of some of these rare wings in past threads, but unfortunately they soon get lost in the archive pages. If we can consolidate our efforts into one thread which encompasses all of these common organizations, we can establish a "pinned" source for easy reference. If Forum members like PFrost, DMD, Flyingfortress, and Got-Da-Penny would relist some of their previous CAA, WTS and CPT contributions in this thread, many of us would be most appreciative of your efforts. Please feel free to post any and all related wing badges here.
Lets start with a few gilt or gold pilot wings which were sometimes worn by civilian contract flight instructors training Army Air Corps Flying Cadets. They were also used as presentation wings...and as Cliff Presley pointed out in another thread, they may have been displayed on dress blue uniforms during formal functions in the 1930's. I've heard a number of collectors call these full size gilt wings sweetheart pieces, but believe that description should be reserved for the two inch and smaller gold wings.
A number of the early Army Contract Flight Schools, especially in the west, wore gilt cap pieces with their own Flight Academy design rather than wear the standard CAA/WTS wings and cap piece. It stands to reason that many civilian instructors would have preferred to wear a gilt wing that not only matched their gilt cap piece, but also closely resembled Army Air Corps issued pilot wings without being in violation of the rules of heraldry. Here's a few examples of early gilt wings and some of the matching flight school cap pieces.
This first image shows a standard unmarked gilt wing and two styles of gilt Amcraft hallmarked wings.
Edited by John Cooper, 01 April 2010 - 01:50 PM.