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saarf

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  1. I've posted on my website material on a few unusual OSS-related items that some may find of interest. Link follows. Oddities, Rarities, Mysteries, Fakes
  2. saarf

    OSS Pins

    Hello, Allan! I am certainly older; not sure about wiser. Les
  3. saarf

    OSS Pins

    In pointing to my website, Allan H., as Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by that much." It is http://www.insigne.org Go to Articles, then to Office of Strategic Services. I might add that I have upgraded much of the imagery on the site.
  4. Hi, Eric. He was certainly OSS, and given his assignment with the Bomb Group, probably USAAF as well. If you have my email address, contact me and I will give you his name. I suspect the wing with the elevated period after the S, which Scotty illustrates above, may have been his. I believe the so-called RAF SF wings were only worn by OSS or SOE personnel, although anyone may have been able to purchase one privately. If I were to speculate on the origin of these “RAF” versions, it would go something like this. Someone in the OSS or SOE who was familiar with the wing and who may have been au
  5. This is a response to the SOE/OSS SF wing. One identical to the one illustrated, with the elevated period following the S of SF, was shown to me back in the late 1980s, and is illustrated in my 1988 Trading Post article on the SF wing, by a retired colonel who was OSS Liaison to the 492d Bombardment Group that supported the OSS as part of the so-called Carpetbagger Operations. He acquired this wing as a private purchase from a London tailor shop - indeed, he still had the receipt, which he showed me. I gathered that the wing was among a number of insignia the shop made and that were on dis
  6. For what it’s worth, I am not aware of an oval having been formally approved for any OSS unit. That’s not to say ovals were not worn by OSS personnel, but I believe, typically, they were brought by the personnel from pre-OSS assignments. I acquired the uniform and loose insignia of a former captain in the 2671 Battalion, directly from him, back in the 1980s. Included was his oval, which clearly had been worn. It was Italian-made and blue with a white border: generic Infantry colors. I found similar ovals (as well as black and white ones) among veterans of the 509 PIB.
  7. I believe that you are correct, and that this and the one on eBay are the same post-war version. The similarities are obscured by the one on eBay having been trimmed and thread added around the border. But look, for example, at the stitching of the inner circle on the back around the "SF" - how it splits at the top on both. Caveat emptor.
  8. Try www.zabasearch.com. There are several individuals by that name listed, and year of birth is listed for several.
  9. The SF wing that tonomachi has posted is essentially identical to the one I felt to be very similar to the on eBay if the border were more closely trimmed. Mine came from a member of an OSS detachment that was attached to an Army or Army Group in the ETO. He had been based in England prior to the invasion, but he could not recall, 40 years afterwards, how he had come to have the wing. Interestingly, he was not jump qualified. I recall having seen this style of SF wing (with the wide wool border) on the uniform of at least one member of the UNION II Mission, a fellow who had come to OSS from th
  10. The construction of wing #1, in my view, is consistent with a period piece, but as seebee1 (whom I know and whose opinion I respect) points out, and as I did implicitly, deviates in some respects from the genuine examples that we have seen (requiring closer trimming). Wing #2, embroidered on twill, is one that I would have avoided, not being consistent with anything I have encountered. These points raise some interesting questions. First, if these were found together, in the manner the seller describes, can one be genuine but the other not? Second, and this is a more general quest
  11. Like Patch Johnson, I would be interested in knowing what aspects of this patch's construction preclude its being a period piece. I have four variants of the SF wing (one bullion, the others cotton embroidery on black wool), all acquired directly from OSS veterans. I downloaded the images of this wing and compared them side by side with hi-res images of the front and back of one of mine. The one of mine in question is in the same style as the second one that the eBay seller shows (and has listed), with the base material forming a fairly wide border around the wings and the roundel. Mine differ
  12. I do not see anything amiss with your wing. I've had several of the wings - all from vets - and I have noted less-than-perfect trimming in some instances.
  13. At the time I began collecting, in the early 1980s, Richard Smith (the Smith of Smith & Pelz) put out a fairly extensive sales list. It was not a list of one-of-a-kind pieces in his possession but of items he had in quantity (at least he did when the list was issued). The 501 patch here looks like the one I bought from that list. I no longer have Smitty’s list (I suspect it also included the 508 patch), but I believe his price on this 501 patch was under $10.
  14. The Oklahoma National Guard published a book not unlike a college yearbook (I always referred to it as the ONG Yearbook) circa 1930 (I want to say 1928, but that's a guess - my copy is long gone). In it were photos of troopers sporting a number of interesting variants of the swastika patch, including a circular one.
  15. Somewhere in my files I have an early Patch King catalog, and I’m sure I will find it some day while looking for something else. The following link is to a 1946 magazine ad for his wares (Patch King the First, if there were two). http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/11/03/...the-patch-king/ Does anyone besides me recall that military insignia were included as the “prize” in the boxes of at least one breakfast cereal in the early ‘50s? As a kid, I put together my first collection of patches (now long gone) this way. I wondered if there might be any reference to this practice on the Int
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