Jump to content


Photo

WW1 Navy Wings?


  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#26 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 1,035 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 October 2010 - 08:49 PM

I've got one more example which might be of interest to some of you. In 1991, during the early days of the first Gulf War, the Elebash Jewelry Store in Pensacola, Florida, began receiving requests for high quality gold US Naval Aviator wings which could be presented to loved ones in the Navy as gifts. According to a store employee I spoke with, Elebash has been around since 1919 and had a history of providing fine gold and silver wings and insignia to flying personnel stationed locally.

When it was apparent there was a renewed market for quality aviator wings, Elebash approached the Robbins Company and ordered up a "limited quantity" of 10 Karat flight badges. Ironically, the Robbins Company produced the order of new wings using the same wing pattern depicted in Terry's original posting. Robbins hallmarked each wing with a small "r", then Elebash inscribed their own identifier into the back of the wings. So, apparently the original dies were still in the hands of the Robbins Co. in 1991. Here's a couple of pictures of an "Elebash" ordered NAP wing.

Russ


Hi Russ,

As some of us might say down here in Dixie, "Well shut my mouth and call me Bubba!" Almost 50 years after the fact and they still had the dies. I think that is a terrific story.

Thank you for sharing.

Cliff :-)

#27 rustywings

rustywings

    Forum Subject Advisor

  • FORUM SUBJECT ADVISOR
    • Member ID: 7,548
  • 3,011 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 21 October 2010 - 03:37 PM

The Elebash Jewelry Store employee I spoke with said the wing I have illustrated above, was most likely their floor sample nineteen years ago. The wings sold to customers did not have the "Pensacola, Florida" inscription because that space was normally reserved for the recipients name or personal inscription. Elebash still sells top quality full size NAP wings today, but they are made by the "Stang Company" and are "14 Karat" marked. They sell for $845.00 a piece. (Christmas is just around the corner!)

#28 KASTAUFFER

KASTAUFFER

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 105
  • 12,207 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:58 AM

Back of the "Elebash" ordered wing. Note the small "r" hallmark...and the extra long studs.



Here is a set of 1.5" 1920's-30's Robbins wings made for Elebash with an Elebash's hallmark. They were converted to a tie tack.

They are marked " Elebash's Pensacola , Sterling ".




MVC_009L.JPG
MVC_010L.JPG
MVC_011L.JPG

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 22 October 2011 - 09:59 AM.


#29 KASTAUFFER

KASTAUFFER

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 105
  • 12,207 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:59 AM

MVC_012L.JPG

#30 Owen

Owen
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,831
  • 331 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:LA (Lower Alabama)L

Posted 27 October 2011 - 12:19 PM

I must disagree that NAPs ever wore silver wings. I was of the belief that
they did since Russ Huff's "Wings & Things" started coming out some years
ago. I live near P'cola and volunteer at NNAM. Over the years I have been
privilidged to meet quite a few of the Silver Eagles. I've attended their re-
unions and done oral histories with them. One of the questions I always ask
is about the silver wings. To a man they tell me there was never such a thing.
and I've asked well over 100. Some were winged in the '20s and 30s. Of
course these guys are no longer with us. I am convinced the NAP silver
wing is a myth that grew out of the silver dolphins for enlisted submariners
and reinforced by the name "Silver Eagles" for the NAP Association.

I would just add that quite a few young aviators that were recently winged
did so with Joe *************** replica wings. They chose the vaulted shield
design from the '30s. It was really cool to watch their wives pin them on
choker whites. Gave me goosebumps.

Wings & Things on Barrancus sells repro vintage navy wings cast by a fellow
on Gulf Breeze. A couple of years ago a whole class was winged with them.
I wasn't there for that.

#31 rustywings

rustywings

    Forum Subject Advisor

  • FORUM SUBJECT ADVISOR
    • Member ID: 7,548
  • 3,011 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 October 2011 - 01:03 PM

Hello Owen,

I think most of us will agree with you that NAP's never did wear silver wings. But there's strong evidence NAO's (Naval Aviator Observers) did wear silver wings for a short period from January 1927 thru October 1929.

Russ

#32 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 1,035 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:16 PM

I must disagree that NAPs ever wore silver wings.

Hello Owen,

I think most of us will agree with you that NAP's never did wear silver wings. But there's strong evidence NAO's (Naval Aviator Observers) did wear silver wings for a short period from January 1927 thru October 1929.

Russ


Hello Owen,

Russ is correct and I'm fairly certain that no where in this thread did any one ever say that NAP's wore silver wings; however, to be more precise, what was said in Post 22 is that a 26 January 1927 change to the 1922 Uniform Regulations (Change Number 3) modified the Naval Aviation Observer (NAO) wing design and changed it to have the same duel wing insignia worn by NAP's except that it was to be in silver rather than gold.

That change stayed in effect until 19 October 1929 with the release of Bureau of Navigation Circular Letter 71-29 (Change Number 7 to the 1922 Uniform Regulations) in which it directed another change be made to NAO wings. That change said that the new design would have duel wings in gold, the same as for Naval Aviator wings, but that the center device would be a large "O" with an erect plain anchor inside the "O" and that both would be in silver.

Cliff

..........................
Naval Aviation Observer (NAO) wing designs

Attached Images

  • aa.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 27 October 2011 - 02:37 PM.


#33 Owen

Owen
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,831
  • 331 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:LA (Lower Alabama)L

Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:56 PM

I may well have misinterpreted the text. And I completely
concur with observers wearing a silver version in the '20s.
I ha ve a couple in my collection.

#34 Justin B.

Justin B.
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,982
  • 1,437 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Posted 29 October 2011 - 10:41 AM

In October 1929 the Navy may have made an exception to allow the “old salts” who were qualified to wear silver NAP style, also called NAO 2nd style, wings prior to October 1929. Consequently, rather than make those men turn in or discard their original silver 2nd style wings, they allowed those men to continue wearing their original wings as long as they remained in the Navy. In considering of that, you can be sure that a number of those “old salts” did remain in the Navy throughout World War II, and during WWII if they ever wanted an up-to-date NAP style wing in silver they could get one from Robbins.


Certainly sounds plausible, but I still get the feeling the silver NA-style should be less common, if that's all they were made for. As many here know, the aviation observer program in the late '20s was used largely to get senior officers qualified after legislation of 1927 specified that only naval aviators or aviation observers could take command of aviation units. The overwhelming emphasis of naval air training at that point was to crank out pilots.

Looking through the Navy Registers of 1928 and '29, I can find less than two dozen officers listed as qualified NAOs:

RADMs
Henry V. Butler
William A. Moffett
Joseph M. Reeves
Frank B. Upham
Harry E. Yarnell

CAPTs
Frank D. Berrien
Stafford H. R. Doyle
Walter R. Gherardi
John Halligan
Frederick J. Horne
Edward S. Jackson

CDRs
Sydney M. Kraus
Raymond G. Thomas

LCDRs
Robert M. Griffen
Charles G. McCord
Zeno W. Wicks

LTs
Herbert C. Behner
John G. Jones
Timothy J. O'Brien

I may have missed a few, and there may have been some enlisted, but there are also photo examples of officers who were NAO-qualified in '27-'29 wearing the 3rd style NAO wings later on. Admirals Moffett, Horne and Butler, for example. The replacement of the Type 2 NAO wings with the Type 3 after such a short time seems to me like a conscious effort was made to make the insignia more visually distinct from the NA/NAP wings, and I wouldn't be surprised if wearers were "encouraged" to get the new model.

I can't help but wonder if many of the WW2-period silver NA-style wings are just one of those examples we sometimes encounter of a manufacturer making a non-regulation item for reasons that are now obscure. I will try and research this subject further. Thanks to all the above for an informative thread,

Justin B.

#35 B-17Guy

B-17Guy
  • Members
    • Member ID: 12,439
  • 1,136 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Commonwealth of Virginia

Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:22 PM

I thought I would add this wing to the thread.
It seems to me to be in the spirit of the original wing in post #1.
I picked it up a few months ago on ebay.
The Meyer Metal mark caught my eye in the listing. I couldn't figure why a WWII looking wing would have that hm,
as in my experiance, it is generally only seen on 1920's-1930's era Meyer pieces.
Well, once I got the wing in hand, I realized that it has the same small feathers that Cliff discussed earlier.(Couldn't see them in the poor quality pic on ebay). Also, the wing sports the reverse, raised meyer shield which I have on a number of pieces.
I think this may be a seldom seen pattern by Meyer that must have been produced in very small numbers right
after the reg's changed, as Cliff mentioned, and before the Meyer wings with "berries" were produced.

Best, John

Attached Images

  • Navy_Meyer_Metal_v2_Pilot_wing_001.jpg

Edited by B-17Guy, 05 November 2011 - 09:25 PM.


#36 B-17Guy

B-17Guy
  • Members
    • Member ID: 12,439
  • 1,136 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Commonwealth of Virginia

Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:23 PM

Back

Attached Images

  • MM_001.jpg


#37 B-17Guy

B-17Guy
  • Members
    • Member ID: 12,439
  • 1,136 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Commonwealth of Virginia

Posted 05 November 2011 - 09:30 PM

Here is the wing with a standard WWII Meyer wing with "berries".

Attached Images

  • MM_cp_002.jpg


#38 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 1,035 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

Pictured below is a photograph of the first ten USN enlisted pilot trainees who were selected to begin 18-months training at Pensacola, FL beginning on January 1, 1916. These ten were from the crew of the USS North Carolina. The picture was taken on March 21, 1917. Unfortunately, the name of these ten men have never been confirmed. The second class entered pilot training in June, 1917.

Attached Images

  • 3333-220.jpg

Edited by CliffP, 16 February 2013 - 02:12 PM.


#39 hink441

hink441
  • Members
    • Member ID: 10,825
  • 4,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

Hi Cliff,
I think this picture is in the book by Ron Willis and Tom Carmichael on Navy Wings. I am at work now, so I don't have my copy handy, but I thought the picture had names with it. I wonder if the info in the book regarding these Aviators is possibly not accurate? Thanks for posting that great picture!!

Chris

#40 hink441

hink441
  • Members
    • Member ID: 10,825
  • 4,648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:51 AM

Pictured below is a photograph of the first ten USN enlisted pilot trainees who were selected to begin 18-months training at Pensacola, FL beginning on January 1, 1916. These ten were from the crew of the USS North Carolina. The picture was taken on March 21, 1917. Unfortunately, the name of these ten men have never been confirmed. The second class entered pilot training in June, 1917.


The book "United States Navy Wings of Gold" has these aviators named.

Here is the list;

"Standing left to right: Charles L. Allen, Naval Aviator #110-1/2; Walter D. Bonner, Naval Aviator #50; George Enos, Naval Aviator #61; Augustus A. Bressman, Naval Aviator #44; Oliver P. Kilmer, Naval Aviator #70; Alfred Hayes, Naval Aviator #69.

Seated left to right: Thomas H. Murphy, Naval Aviator #51; John T. Sunderman, Naval Aviator #55-1/2; Guy Mclaughlin, Naval Aviator #90; Giochino Varini, Naval Aviator #62.

Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Historical Center Washington, D.C. "

#41 CliffP

CliffP
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,542
  • 1,035 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:18 AM

Hi Chris,

While doing some research yesterday for B-17GUY (John Ferguson), I found the picture in the Fall 1988 edition of Naval Aviation Museum FOUNDATION magazine, Volume 2, Number 9.

Thank you for the update.

Cliff

#42 Uniforms of the Day

Uniforms of the Day
  • Members
    • Member ID: 663
  • 126 posts

Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:46 AM

I have a set, identical to Pfrosts that are also Robbins marked.

#43 artk2002

artk2002
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 154,982
  • 1 posts

Posted 12 November 2014 - 01:43 PM

I wish that I had a set of wings to share, but I can share pictures of one of the wearers. In the list of NAOs above, LCDR Charles G. McCord was my grandfather. There are two pictures of him taken in late '26 and early '27 at Pensacola NAS. The final picture is on board USS Wright (AV-1), the first seaplane tender. He started as an engineer and was promoted to Air Exec some time in '28.

 

 

Attached Images

  • CGMcC11_72.jpg
  • IMG_0002_72.jpg
  • IMG_0004_72.jpg



1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users