Pilot' Wings part II
Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:52 AM
The first one (below) came directly from the vet. He flew F4U-4 Corsairs with VF-32 from the USS Leyte. He was part of the flight on which ENS Jesse Brown was shot down at the Chosin Reservoir on 4 Dec 50. When Brown, who was notable himself as the first African-american Naval Aviator, went pull him from the cockpit but his legs were pinned in the buckled fuselage and he died before he could be extrivated. Brown was awarded a posthumous DFC and the wingman was later awarded the Medal of Honor.
The first picture shows front and back. The second is a closeup of the markings. It has a H-H and 1/20 KGF. I assume this is Hilbourn-Hamburger but the H-H looks like the letters are inside the outline of a rabbit; I've never seen that sort of mark before.
Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:54 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:56 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:01 AM
Edited by USMCRECON, 03 August 2007 - 11:29 AM.
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:12 AM
Wes was listed as MIA until some time in 1946 when his mother (my wife's grandmother) got a letter from a minister in the town of Ost Bevern on the German-Dutch border. He told her he believed her son was buried in their town cemetery. She contacted the War Department, they investigated, and in late 1947, his remains were returned to the US for burial in the family cemetery.
The minister told her that after the B-17 crashed near the town, the local civilians braved the fire and exploding ammunition to crawl in and remove Wes' and the other gunner's bodies. The Germans gave them a funeral with military honors, and the Mayor of the town actually sent her some photos of the ceremony.
These wings were among the personal effects that were returned to her in 1948 or 1949.
Edited by USMCRECON, 03 August 2007 - 11:31 AM.
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:16 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:20 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:26 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:43 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 12:17 PM
I'll let others comment on the Navy wings, I got out of them a few years ago, but they all look pretty good. Clutchback wings are DEFINATLY OK for WWII they where actually more expense an some pinbacks in some cases. Very nice feather pattern the gunner, I like it! The first Senior Pilot has the right hallmark and pin for WWII and right after. The 2nd one is a 1950's version, the 9M came into play around Korea, followed by 22M, nice bunch of wings!
Thank you for your comments on both groups of wings, Paul. By the way, the attached pictures are of the owner of the gunner's wings. Unfortunately, the wings he's wearing in the second picture (probably his issues wings) went to my wife's brother. There were three pairs in his effects. My wife's grandmother gave one pair to my wife, one to her brother, and she kept the third set (which, if I remember, also appeared to be issue-type).
Back in the 1980s, the then Mayor of Ost Bevern recontacted my wife'sd grandmother. It seems they were doing a history project and were contacting as many family members of the men who died in the area around their town. He wanted information on Wes as the person, not just the military flier and my wife said her grandmother sent her wingsd along with info and other artifacts, to support that project.
Edited by USMCRECON, 03 August 2007 - 12:18 PM.
Posted 03 August 2007 - 12:27 PM
Edited by crazy-monsooner, 03 August 2007 - 12:27 PM.
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