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pfrost

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  1. wow, it sold for over $2600! Ive seen them sell for less than $1500 on ebay in the past (although that seems to be close to the average price I have seen on some of the premium militaria online sites). Just goes to show you, you never know.
  2. There are so many fakes, reproductions and restrikes of this wing, that it is almost impossible to reach a consensus opinion--especially on those wings that don't already fall into a very narrow number of "known good ones". All that we have to work with in this example are the sterling mark and the pin/hinge findings. My advice is to ask youself if this wasn't a TO wing, but a regular combat observer/aircraft observer wing, could you live with it as a vintage example? Again, for every wing, there will be at least 4 opinions. But if this were an NS Meyer hallmarked badge, the ste
  3. I love the Haltom wings. I've seen (and have) them both hallmarked and unhallmarked. Originally, they were screw back like the ones in this auction, but you frequently find them converted to pin back. Not sure if that was done in the factory or if it is just a common jeweler modification made after they were purchased. IIRC both of my examples have converted pin backs. It is also likely that there were more than one die used to make these wings, as you can often times see very subtle differences in the feathering pattern in the shoulders, but that could also represent wear on t
  4. That is what I was talking about, some vintage photos! Thanks for sharing, first ones I have ever seen.
  5. I suspect that the number of "official" enlisted pilots may have numbered between about 20-30 fellows before and during WWI who were actually flying military aircraft. Maybe there were a few more "unofficial" enlisted pilots during this time, who were involved in various training or development roles. The question is what was happening in 1917 when the enlisted badge/insignia was authorized? It seems that to me that some/most of these enlisted pilots were likely awarded a commission and would have worn the RMA/JrMA badge with the war starting. Was this enlisted pilot rating also
  6. The enlisted aviator insignia/badge is an interesting one. I always look for pictures of potential enlisted aviators, but I don't think I have seen one. I know that (IIRC) the Air and Space Museum or Air Force Museum has the uniform of William Beigel, who was an enlisted aviator in WWI on display. From my reading, I think you can broadly divide the question of enlisted aviators into two era, pre-WWI aviation in the US and late WWI aviation and training of AEF personnel in France. When the US began to train aviators to fly, because of the novelty of aviator, you had a very
  7. Ditto. Also the font of the STERLING mark is too large when compared to originals. There are some good threads on NS Meyer restrikes.
  8. Marty, that has been my experience with this pattern as well. There is a reference in one of my books about this badge being worn by LtCol Harold Evans Hartney after WWI. Hartney was a WWI ace who may (or may not) have been shot down by the Red Baron. This is the best photo of Hartney I could find on line, and I guess he could be wearing this pattern of wing (or not--its hard to know for sure)? But if that is the case, then it would provide solid evidence of a 1919-1920ish date of manufacture.
  9. While it may be comparing apples to oranges, I do know that Blackinton used its old dies/patterns to make other types of wings up to today. This is a Capitol Airways pilot wing from (more than likely the 1960's). Also, while I don't have it on hand right now, I believe I have the same wing you show, in gilt but without the central device--that was probably used as a base wing for various other airlines. My point is that Blackinton probably used their old dies/patterns throughout their history. I know if you go onto the Blackinton website you can find products that they make now
  10. I think we agree, that there were many great items in that group. I have no quibble with any of that what so ever. My only point is that I think the BB&B wings aren't any good.
  11. This is another bucket list wing that I recently added to the collection. No idea who make this pattern, but is shares some similarities with the early Gemsco pilot wing. Typically, this wing is viewed as being from the 20's-30's era (leaning more towards the 20's). I would like to believe that is the case (a fact which I used to subscribe to fully) but then someone found this same pattern of wing in the aircrew rating. That would mean that who ever was making this pattern was probably making them into WWII. Other than the pilot and the aircrew, I don't recall seeing this pa
  12. pfrost

    Wing

    They made tons of these (literally). I think if you were patient, you would find them with all sorts of markings and such. At least some of the Government issued contracts for wing insignia indicated for them to be made in STERLING silver. But you will find non-sterling examples as well. Who knows what was going on back then--I'm sure that the vagaries of war played a part?
  13. at first look, they seem fine to me. This "AMCRAFT" snowflake pattern wing seems to have come in both pin back and clutch back versions. The also seem to have been made in sterling silver and unmarked. I don't recall if they are hallmarked AMCRAFT, but they were probably made by them This is thread where a similar wing is discussed.
  14. pfrost

    Wing

    There is nothing wrong with these wings. It is possible that it wasn't sterling silver when the planchet was struck, but they used the wrong forcer. They would have had to deface the sterling mark, sometimes you see that happen. It is what it is, a nice (but rather common) graduation/issue wing likely born sometime between WWII and the KW.
  15. IIRC, the first auction was selling a handful of named and unnamed and rather common medals and insignia, with the nicest pieces being the sweetheart bracelet, the Mexican Boarder War campaign medal and the WWI victory medal (three campaign bars) with some state service medals and the WWII vintage set of dog tags. The CIB, and a few other dribs and drabs could have been added. I have no idea about the value of medals, but I assume that with the other named medals (like the purple heart) keeping the earlier stuff together would make sense. So maybe subtracting the wing
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