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Copper "Clipped Wings" Jump Wings


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#26 USMCRECON

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:40 AM

.......................For example, how many modified combat infantryman's badges do you see? What about modified gunner or aircrew wings from the AAF? Or modified USN combat aircrewman's wings and badges? Sure, you may find some of these badges that have been modified and altered, but they are usually one-offs or "gag" or joke awards. It almost seems with the LARGE number of these modified wings in the market, that nearly every guy who went through jumps school was willing and able to modify his wings as he saw fit, without anyone saying "knock that off". ................................
Just my 2 cents.
Patrick


It wasn't WW-II but when I was still flying in the early 1980s, we had some modified wings as well. I was in the Standardization and Evaluation Office (Stan Eval or SEFE). We were responsible for ensuring the proper level of proficiency of the fliers in the unit evaluated them by administering written tests and "check rides."

There was at least one SEFE for each crew position and some of the guys had a pair of standard flight wings modified with the addition of a screw atop the shield. Some also got the "screw badges" added to their leather flight suit name plate and wore them when giving a no-notice check ride.

#27 doyler

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 06:32 PM

Here is a set I have.Buffed smooth.Pin back not sterling and no maker mark.

2009_05280016.JPG

#28 19delta-uav

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 07:04 PM

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that even though a person may be awarded wings, it is merely a qualification, and does not mean that they are on jump status. Like the guys we call 5 jump chumps, this means they did only enough jumps to qualify (5 jumps), but they will never jump again as a result of being in a non jumping unit, or a non jumping MOS. Again, merely speculation, but anything is a start.

Edited by 19delta-uav, 02 June 2010 - 07:04 PM.


#29 militarymodels

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:37 AM

Hey Guys! Lighten up some. Let me explain my coments enough so you know where I'm coming from. I spent almost all of my Army career on jump status. I earned my Novice jumpwings, Master Wings, and HALO Wings, along w/ Ecuadorian, and Honduran Wings. I servedwith WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, and guys who jumped into Grenada, and Panama. I've seen guys killed on jumps, and had my share of close calls to include crashing in a Blackhawk Helicopter. Served in the 82d ABN, 5th & 7th Special Forces Groups, plus an instructor at the Special Warfare Center. Honestly, I have never seen or heard of anyone ever doing that to their jumpwings. I was proud of my acheivements, and would not make such an unauthorized modification, and knew no one else that had done it. Obviously they exist! I just never saw them. Wasn't trying to hurt any feelings. SKIP


I can't remember where I read and heard from but I know it was from many reliable sources over times, and I've also obtained an original Airborne Ike jacket with awards and jump wings that was smoothen attached to the jacket.
This kind of practice during WW2 by smoothening the jump wings to make them shinny was not a strange thing or an act of insulting the award but it was, in fact, a way that some WW2 soldiers wanted to impress others by making the wings looked shinier so they could be considered "cool kid" or "the veteran". I've seen a few of these smoothen wings that came from the original WW2 vet's estates. I'm pretty sure they were not approved by the US military but it seemed like their Command Officers did not mind or ban them from wearing those wings during the war.
Remember, our way of thinking and perspectives nowadays are different from the people or kids who grew up in the 30's.
Lonny

#30 SKIPH

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

I checked with a lot of my collector friends locally, and we were all on jump status, and most had only seen WW2 wings well worn from shining. Any more was considered straight abuse. My dealer friend had seen some pretty worn ones too. We all live around FT Bragg, if you were gonna see these regularly, this would be the place. Well, they do exist but I'm inclined to think some of these unauthorized modifications were done by guys who lost jumps status, for whatever reason, and very disgruntled. Who knows! SKIP

#31 Paul C.

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 05:19 AM

Interesting tread, I had no idea. However I will guarantee everyone that we will now have rash of RARE CLIPPED JUMP WINGS on eBay, for BIG bucks. Mark my words!! :rolleyes:

#32 militarymodels

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 06:02 AM

I checked with a lot of my collector friends locally, and we were all on jump status, and most had only seen WW2 wings well worn from shining. Any more was considered straight abuse. My dealer friend had seen some pretty worn ones too. We all live around FT Bragg, if you were gonna see these regularly, this would be the place. Well, they do exist but I'm inclined to think some of these unauthorized modifications were done by guys who lost jumps status, for whatever reason, and very disgruntled. Who knows! SKIP


Here is one of the examples. Please follow the link and see post #28 by Greg Sebring

http://www.wehrmacht...o...4393&page=2

#33 Brian D

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 06:51 AM

Here is one of the examples. Please follow the link and see post #28 by Greg Sebring

http://www.wehrmacht...o...4393&page=2


I was just thinking about Greg and his dad's wings reading this thread...... :lol:

#34 treetop

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:35 PM

Here is a set of "Clipped" jump wings from my collection. I have a few old timer friends who I will contact to ask about this practice. I also have another wing where someone using a tiny grinder touched each of the feathers giving it a "Glitter" appearance and will soon show them.

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  • clipped1.jpg


#35 treetop

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:38 PM

Here is the back, with pins removed. I also have another wing that came from the estate of an 11th Abn guy and the pins were removed and the dog tag chain woven through the wings to make a necklas with the tags.

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  • clipped2.jpg


#36 Prof

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 12:35 PM

Hi All,

maybe the removal of detail was a habit caught from the British. It's not difficult to find British cap badges dating back to at least WWI where the detail has been removed, leaving just the basic badge outline. I asked someone about this twenty years ago, and it was explained that the advantages to removing the detail were that:

You could get a better shine more easily.

You were less likely to leave polish residue which tends to get trapped in the detail.

You resembled an 'old sweat'.

Brass cap badges when polished with abrasive Brasso would loose detail naturally over time, but this was hastened by using grinding and polishing wheels.

Best Regards,

Prof

#37 Bluehawk

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

:think: What would be the purpose served by removing the pins?

#38 treetop

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:30 AM

I spoke with two "Old timers" regarding the clipped wings. First was a dealer friend of mine who has hoarded airborne items for many years. He served in the 11th Abn, 82nd Abn, and many years in Special Forces. He probably owns over 2000 worldwide jump wings. He said that in the 11th Abn in the 50's many odd things were done to "Fancy up" the uniforn, but he never saw clipped wings. He also said that no one would dare to wear any of that stuff for an inspection or on duty. Next, I talked to my friend Jerry Devlin, author of PARATROOPER and several other airborne books and an Airborne historian. He had seen clipped wings in Korea in the 187th Abn after the war, many times. Again, the troopers would never wear them for an inspection, or a pre-leave inspection. They would place the items on the uniform after leaving the area. He never saw them at Ft Campbell. He said they only did it to look "Cool" or different. Other things they did was sewing silver dollaras behind the glider patch on their overseas cap- to be used as a blackjack. Guys inthe 11th also bloused their pants closer to the ground than normal and often with chains in them. Some used cross stitching on their patches just to stand out. Another guy told me that in the 50's in the 504th or 505th you couldn't get away with much of anything, but some wore "Pregnant" jump wings- a wing with a full canopy that stood out. Hope this helps.

#39 John Cooper

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 06:02 PM

Great thread... this sheds a bit of light on some pilots wings I have seen that have the shields polished smooth. I always thought someone was going to engrave them for a girlfriend... but they pop up a bit too often to be unfinished sweetheart items.

Cheers
John

#40 John Cooper

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:35 PM

A quick update - I emailed an 11th AB vet who got his wings in 48 who said he did not know of anyone who modified their wing in this fashion that he recalls. I hope someone run across a photo of one being worn that will help add weight to some of the theories.

Cheers
John

BTW this thread makes me want to expand my collecting :)

#41 BEAR

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:28 PM

When I was a "blackhat" at Ft. Benning in the mid 70s many instructors would have the polished wings devoid of detail on their black baseball caps. This was supposed to symbolize a veteran paratrooper because the older paratroopers used to wear the detail off their wings with constant polishing. This could only be done with sterling silver wings. Many of the instructors were too lazy or impatient with the steady polishing that would wear off the detail so they would use a buffing wheel.
Personally, I never liked the practice however my initial set of jump wings were polished to the point where they were beginning to lose the detail. I pinned my son with those wings in July of 2009. Unfortunately he's not allowed to wear them at Ft. Bragg, he must wear STABRITE wings. I guess the old BRASSO and KIWI cans are disappearing from the paratroopers inventory.
BEAR
Oh yeah, I still have my silver dollar under my glider patch.

#42 John Cooper

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:40 PM

Oh yeah, I still have my silver dollar under my glider patch.


I have heard about that... gives you that extra edge!


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