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Josten wings question


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#1 B-17Guy

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:28 AM

Josten wings have always been one of my favorite's.

Simple, yet high quality.

I have the set of Pilot, S/P, C/P, and WASP.

However, I have never seen any G, L, or S wings by Josten.

Have any of you ever seen any?

Cheers,

John

#2 pfrost

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:38 AM

Josten wings have always been one of my favorite's.

Simple, yet high quality.

I have the set of Pilot, S/P, C/P, and WASP.

However, I have never seen any G, L, or S wings by Josten.

Have any of you ever seen any?

Cheers,

John


Nope, I don't recall seeing any of the "alphabet wings", nor the gunner/bombarder nor the navigator wing. I do think they also made the observer wing, and some of the balloon wings--balloon pilot, observer, (and perhaps Cliff can confirm) the airship pilot.

#3 CliffP

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:43 AM

Nope, I don't recall seeing any of the "alphabet wings", nor the gunner/bombarder nor the navigator wing. I do think they also made the observer wing, and some of the balloon wings--balloon pilot, observer, (and perhaps Cliff can confirm) the airship pilot.


:thumbsup: They definitely make a Senior Balloon Pilot and Balloon Pilot but they did not make an Airship Pilot.

:think: While it is only an assumption, I think Patrick is correct in that they also may have made a Balloon Observer, an Observer (officially called a Combat Observer) and, to add one more to that speculative list, a Technical Observer.



Cliff

#4 rustywings

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:39 AM

Here's an example of a Josten made Combat Observer's badge. The pin is a little bent, but I believe it's honest wear on an authentic piece. Your +/- comments are welcome.
Russ

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  • IMG_1487_crop.jpg


#5 rustywings

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:40 AM

Back of the Combat Observer's badge.

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#6 rustywings

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:41 AM

Close up of the Josten hallmark.

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#7 MAA

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 01:55 PM

John,

The Josten wings I have encountered over the years include ~

Command Pilot
Senior Pilot
Pilot
WASP
Balloon Pilot
Senior Balloon Pilot
Balloon Observer
Observer

Hope this helps you ~ Dave

#8 CliffP

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:45 PM

Josten Balloon Pilot & Senior Balloon Pilot badges:

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  • Josten_Main.jpg


#9 John Cooper

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:55 PM

Russ & Cliff - thanks for posting such wonderful examples of wing you rarely see.

Cheers
John

#10 bschwartz

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 05:10 AM

Here's a balloon observer from my website. Unfortunately I don't own this badge. The photos came to me years ago from a gentleman who was trying to determine what it was. He was given the wing as a gift as a child from an elderly neighbor whose yard he mowed. Yes, I know it sounds like a story a repo artist would use when trying to sell a wing but the guy wasn't trying to sell it he just wanted to identify it before giving it to his son. I told him if he ever wanted to sell it I would definitely be interested but no luck. I believe this to be an original badge and not a restrike.

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#11 rustywings

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:33 PM

Nice Josten-made badges boys! Cliff, your right about Josten making a Technical Observer's badge. I've been fortunate enough to handle a couple over the years. The T/O badge illustrated on page 135 in Jon Maguire's book, "More Silver Wings, Pinks & Greens" appears to be an authentic example.

It seems a majority of Josten-made badges were produced with clutch-backs. But when Josten did make pin-backs badges, they used an especially thick pin not commonly seen in wings produced by other manufacturers. Josten pins have a unique block shape where the end of the pin connects to the hinge. (Probably more information than anyone wants...but here's a couple of illustrations of what I'm trying to describe.)

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#12 rustywings

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:41 PM

Note the thicker block portion of the pin inserted into the hinge. The Josten-made T/O wing illustrated in Jon Maguire's book has the identical unique pin. (Ok, Ill stop and take my medicine!)

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#13 pfrost

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:19 PM

Note the thicker block portion of the pin inserted into the hinge. The Josten-made T/O wing illustrated in Jon Maguire's book has the identical unique pin. (Ok, Ill stop and take my medicine!)


Hi Russ,

It is that kind of detail that collectors need now a days. As we have discussed in the past, I am also one who tries to use ALL my senses when studying a wing. Thus, let me ask you, do you find that the Josten wings have other unique characteristics? Say, for example, do they feel heavier? Smell different.... taste different as well?

Patrick

#14 rustywings

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 10:52 PM

I see there's a Josten hallmarked Command Pilot wing currently being offered on ebay (#350389154044). It has a pin-back on the reverse, rather than the more common clutch-back. Is it authentic?

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  • _B1fNuq__mk___KGrHqR__jgE_pby_5IuBMerPFkReg___3.jpg
  • _B1fNtF_BGk___KGrHqN__jcE_pZJleRsBMerPCoglQ___3.jpg

Edited by rustywings, 30 August 2010 - 11:02 PM.


#15 pfrost

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:01 AM

I see there's a Josten hallmarked Command Pilot wing currently being offered on ebay (#350389154044). It has a pin-back on the reverse, rather than the more common clutch-back. Is it authentic?


I would want an iron clad return policy on this one, I think. It is always hard to know for sure with out handling the item, but I see a couple or 3 red flags right off the bat.

First, the front looks to have a casting flaw on the left wing. Could be a ding from normal wear and tear, but the rest of the wing seems pretty good. The shield has a sort of look of casting as well.

The back has similar casting flaws, and the patina looks like it was put on chemically. It has that sort of matt-grayish/black finish, and it shows evidence that someone tried to buff the high spots (notice how much brighter it is on the edges and tips of the star). That always makes me think of someone trying to artificially age a wing. On the other hand, the hallmark and pin look good, from what I can see.

The only way to be sure would be to either handle it in person or get exact measurements and compare it to known good Josten wings. As cast wings will be slightly smaller than the die struck wings.

Patrick

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  • fakejosten.jpg


#16 pfrost

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:03 AM

I would want an iron clad return policy on this one, I think. It is always hard to know for sure with out handling the item, but I see a couple or 3 red flags right off the bat.

First, the front looks to have a casting flaw on the left wing. Could be a ding from normal wear and tear, but the rest of the wing seems pretty good. The shield has a sort of look of casting as well.

The back has similar casting flaws, and the patina looks like it was put on chemically. It has that sort of matt-grayish/black finish, and it shows evidence that someone tried to buff the high spots (notice how much brighter it is on the edges and tips of the star). That always makes me think of someone trying to artificially age a wing. On the other hand, the hallmark and pin look good, from what I can see.

The only way to be sure would be to either handle it in person or get exact measurements and compare it to known good Josten wings. As cast wings will be slightly smaller than the die struck wings.

Patrick

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  • fake2.jpg


#17 uscollector

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 06:05 AM

Excellent information and analysis. Thanks.

#18 pfrost

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 07:30 AM

Excellent information and analysis. Thanks.


Here is my Josten Command Pilot wing. Notice that the hallmark is fine and not so deeply and unevenly punched into the wing. Also not the finer details in the wing and the wreath of my wing that are lacking in the one Russ posted. Again, it is always hard to know for sure, but.... :thumbdown:

Also, almost all the Josten's I have seen have a silver finish or "frosting" type patina. Note that the finish doesn't wear off evenly and you can see residue of that finish on almost all the wings--except for the one that Russ posted..

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  • pilot_josten1.jpg

Edited by pfrost, 31 August 2010 - 07:32 AM.


#19 CliffP

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:47 PM

I see there's a Josten hallmarked Command Pilot wing currently being offered on ebay (#350389154044). It has a pin-back on the reverse, rather than the more common clutch-back. Is it authentic?


Russ,

There are some dealers on eBay we should avoid no matter what...
and that one is no exception. Check out some of his other listings,
he is well known to sell... lots-of-bad-stuff !!

Sorry for the pun but I could not resist it.

:lol:

#20 Paul S

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:48 PM

I'm increasingly of the opinion that the Josten Sr. Pilot and Command pilot wings that we see with some frequency may be post WWII wings made during the early years of the USAF before the alpha-numeric marking system was instituted. The nail heads they used push me toward that notion. Unless I'm forgetting some others, I don't recall seeing the nail heads used on earlier wings.

For me, the give away on the wing Russ references is that it is stated as being 2-15/16". I've found only the LeVelle patterns and cast copies to be under 3".

Below is an attributed wing I got from a pilot who flew in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. So, unless he got the wing from someone else, he must have picked it up after WWII since he wasn't qualified to wear it then. It looks very much like the Josten CP wings to my eye.

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  • GI_Command_Pilot.JPG


#21 B-17Guy

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:05 AM

I see there's a Josten hallmarked Command Pilot wing currently being offered on ebay (#350389154044). It has a pin-back on the reverse, rather than the more common clutch-back. Is it authentic?




Here is a set of Josten C/P wings with zero detective work needed.

Nice wings, great reference.

http://www.flyingtig...;Category_Code=

Cheers,

John

#22 will m.

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:22 AM

Dave......thats the complete list...........no Combat Observer, no Tech Observer, nor any of the Lettered or other Specialty wings. The Combat Observer shown is one of those that appeared in the early 80s(?)....it is in fact a very well known NS Meyer pattern badge. The Tech Obs is of the same vein, once more a known Meyer pattern badge marked to Josten..........not correct.

In my short time of collecting I never once saw a Josten wing badge marked in the center....always lower right corner and usually at an angle. And never deeply pressed........some reserve was used in marking these badges.

My opinions only...................

Will















John,

The Josten wings I have encountered over the years include ~

Command Pilot
Senior Pilot
Pilot
WASP
Balloon Pilot
Senior Balloon Pilot
Balloon Observer
Observer

Hope this helps you ~ Dave



#23 pfrost

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:01 AM

Dave......thats the complete list...........no Combat Observer, no Tech Observer, nor any of the Lettered or other Specialty wings. The Combat Observer shown is one of those that appeared in the early 80s(?)....it is in fact a very well known NS Meyer pattern badge. The Tech Obs is of the same vein, once more a known Meyer pattern badge marked to Josten..........not correct.

In my short time of collecting I never once saw a Josten wing badge marked in the center....always lower right corner and usually at an angle. And never deeply pressed........some reserve was used in marking these badges.

My opinions only...................

Will

Howedy Will,

I will have humbly disagree with the statement that the combat observer is not right. Josten used a couple of different patterns for the wings--the WASP wings, for example, are not the same pattern as the pilot series. It is true, it seems that 100% of all the senior and command pilot wings and the WASP wings have the hallmark on the back of the wing and at an angle, I have also seen 100% legit wings (some are shown on this thread) that have the hallmark in the center.

Also, the pattern used for the observer wings is not strictly a NS Meyer pattern. I believe a number of firms used a very similar pattern, as you will see this wing with and with out a hallmark--I have a few in my collection that I wouldn't attribute to NS Meyer. IMHO, the one Russ shows is NOT a NS Meyer restrike. I have handled that wing as well, and would give it a 100% :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

On the other hand, you are correct that not a few of the NS Meyer restrikes (both with and without hallmarks and even some with fantasy hallmarks) have been used to make fakes--most notably the 1919 Pilot/observer wings, the vast majority of Ebay-offered TO wings, and the balloon and airship series. We have had a fair number of discussions on that in the past.

Best regards

Patrick

#24 CliffP

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 10:38 AM

In my short time of collecting...............

My opinions only...................

Will

:lol:
I have to smile at Will's modesty. There are not many gentlemen who read this forum that can honestly claim they have spent over 50 years diligently collecting military aviation wing badges but he can... if only he wanted too. Speaking on his behalf, he knows his stuff and for many years has taught me a great deal.

Thanks Will, :thumbsup:

Cliff

#25 B-17Guy

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:38 AM

Here are two Josten pilot wings with the hallmark in the center.

http://www.flyingtig...;Category_Code=

http://www.ww2wings....tgidhagen.shtml

I am sure they are good.

Really enjoying the great discussion's on Josten wings.

Great information.

I have only been collecting wings for about eight or nine years, which makes me an infant in the wing world.

Again, enjoying the discussion's.

Cheers,

John


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