.......................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.
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.