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Progression of USN wings from WWI to WWII

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#1 pfrost

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 11:33 AM

This is a composit of USN wings illustrating the "general" evolution of USN wings over time that I put together from wings in my collection. I have found that all sort of variations and exceptions exist to the rules, but I think this represents a general time line for USN wings.

Wing 1 front and back is what I think is a nice WW1 vintage wing. The area between the shield and anchor is not pierced. The wing has fine feathering and the back has the "typical" C-catch of early wings. This may actually be a late war-1920's pattern as many WWI wing seem to be oversize, have stars in the shield. Even early USN wings had a US in the center like the Army pilot wings.

Wing 2A has lost all of its gilt, but shows later characteristics of the 1920's vintage wing. It is also not pierced, but the back pin and catch assembly (not shown) is of the later style. I know a number of collectors believe that silver USN wings are either early observer or enlisted pilots. I don't think either is correct--but this is for another thread.

Wing 2B is clearly of the 1930's pattern, although I have wings from pilots trained during the war that wore this pattern. If this was due to old stock being issued or just variants in the general manufacture of USN wings, I don't know.

Wing 2C is a early Robbins marked wing. It shows a nice series of transitions between the pre and war time USN wings. It has berries (2C-berries insert), but it has the more delicate shield and anchor of the 30's vintage wing. It also has the pin and catch assembly more commonly seen on the earlier wings.

Wing 3 is the typical war-time and post-war to current USN style. You can see that the berries are now more abstract compared to the earlier wing (which seems to be more similar to feathers in the Robbins wing).


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  • USNwings.jpg

#2 ghost

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 12:56 PM

Hey Patrick,
Thanks for taking me to school!
I for one really appreciate this type of format for viewing several types of wings at the same time.
Thanks again,

#3 rustywings


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Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:24 AM

Here's a quality thread from years past which deserves another look.  Nice clear images...and a topic which can be expanded upon.


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Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:50 AM

yes, excellent thread that I'm sure most have missed.



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