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Kimo

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  1. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have this sterling marked pilot wing with exceptional feathering detail on the wings. There is no maker marked on the back, but I have seen a post elsewhere on this area of the Forum that have what appears to be an identical front but slightly difference back and are marked BB&B Bronze. Mine are not marked by Bailey Banks and Biddle and instead of bronze mine is stamped STERLING. Mine measures about 2.75 inches across and are relatively thin - about the thickness of a dime - but are very rigid and would not easily bend, not that I
  2. Are they thick and heavy or thin and light?
  3. I've never seen one but it is very nicely made and it is a nice addition to a collection of squadron pins. All Air Service units were called Squadrons and given numbers such as the 368th. However, many were not flying units. The Air Service needed units to do things like construct air bases, put together aircraft, work on engines, train men, and even go out in the forests and cut down spruce trees to provide the needed wood for companies to build aircraft. I do not know much about the 368th Aero Squadron beyond what you have mentioned that it was short-lived and never went overseas other t
  4. These, and ones with an added arc across the top with the letters ATC are illustrated in Maguire's "More Silver Wings, Pinks, and Greens" on page 263. He suggests they are of unknown origin and so may not be actual ATC wings but might or might not be forerunners of such wings worn by airline pilots contracted to fly for the ATC. I think one would need to find a war time photo of such a pilot clearly wearing these to say they were actually used.
  5. Perhaps, but to my eye they look more like a somewhat porous and not well made example of a cast forgery. Was there a period photo of the man in his uniform with this exact set of wings clearly showing that could confirm your thought of something that was actually worn?
  6. I agree with John as well - he was most likely not a pilot but rather a navigator, radar intercept or weapons officer. When these aircrew officers served on fighter aircraft they would be given the same credit for shooting down an enemy aircraft as the pilot so it is possible that the family lore may have blurred the line between his being a pilot as opposed to air crew on a fighter aircraft?
  7. This is a pilot's wing that would have been worn by a qualified pilot in the US Army Air Corps or US Army Air Force during the second world war. The same design was being awarded and worn from the 1920s when the aviation branch was called the Army Air Service, to before and up until a short way into the war when it was called the Army Air Corps, then during most of the war and a couple of years after when it was called the Army Air Force, and then from then on when it was called the US Air Force - all the way up to today. They are 3 inches across and there are a great many jewelry stores and
  8. Does anyone know the buyer? The reason I ask is that sometimes there are fake auctions where a seller either uses several Ebay accounts to bid on their own items, or they are in collusion with others who bid up items to prices that seem quite out of line. The underlying purpose is to establish a "value based on auction results" and then later sell their items again to real collectors who now think that the value is much higher than they would have been willing to pay previously. I do not know if that is what happened in this particular case, but the very high selling price for a sweetheart
  9. Because of the amount of finely detailed workmanship that goes into most of these my guess is that most were made somewhere between India and Southeast Asia where that level of expertise combined with very low wages would have made such wings and other badges affordable.
  10. The circular pin is called a Distinctive Unit Insignia. These were worn in pairs - one on each epaulet in the middle. This particular one was worn by the members of the US Army Air Force Air Transport Command which was in existence from November 30, 1942 to June 1, 1948. These are relatively common and go for quite modest sums when they actually sell. Recent sales on Ebay show a range of between $7 and $10 for an individual one, matched pairs is what collectors normally want and sales of those seem to be more in the $20 range. The one you show appears to my eye to be a later one, likely
  11. Maybe my computer monitor is playing tricks on my eyes, but is the VANGUARD stamped into the metal or raised up from the metal on your crew wing? On my screen it appears to be stamped into the metal. If so, Tomcatter's information would indicate that it is mid-1950s in vintage.
  12. How do you know they are sterling? The original post said they were tested, but how were they tested? Acid testing will only tell what the metal on the surface is and so if something is silver plated it will test as silver. To use acid with any confidence one needs to cut down into the metal and expose the metal in the core and test that. However I hate to think of anyone actually cutting down into any wings so there are two non-destructive methods - the first is specific gravity and the second is X-ray Fluorescence. Both require specific testing equipment that the average collector is no
  13. A cool thing about Pan Am Africa is that they were analogous to the Flying Tigers in that both groups were technically "contractors" which got them around the neutrality laws before the US entered the war. PAA-Africa was created when Churchill pressed Roosevelt very hard telling him that England was going to lose unless Roosevelt found a way around the US Congress and the neutrality laws and support England. Roosevelt secretyly went to Juan Terry Trippe, the President of Pan Am, and they cooked up a scheme to create two new divisions of Pan Am that would provide war materiel including aircra
  14. Anything is possible, though since these are nothing like the ATC we all know my guess is that it is more likely to be unrelated. It could just as easily be TAC as ATC and be related to some small airline or aviation products manufacturing company or ???
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