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Joel J

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  1. Fair enough, either is plausible. From the CPT Yarborough Memorandum For Record on the subject, BB&B only found out they received the contract on 6 March and within 6 days, lead strikes from the dies were submitted to the Army QuartermasterGeneral for approval and they were supposedly shipped and received by the 15th of March. Point being, they were concentrating on the face of the badge and may well have not designed the integrated clasp for the first batch. I just doubt it is a repair due to the lack of wear. I’ve shined enough brass in 24 years of the Army and 4 years of military school to know the wear and tear of soft metals. At any rate, thanks for the comments; it’s a fascinating and rapid procurement for the Army.
  2. The oval was separate. As far as the catch, it is a metal baseplate like you see on some German awards. My uncle now has these locked up in his safe and I am enroute to Fort Campbell to see my son who flies Blackhawks. Sorry, but it will be awhile before I can get a closer pic of that feature.
  3. I got my dates wrong. The presentation to the test platoon and the 501 Battalion was 21 Mar 41, not 9 Mar.
  4. There are hundreds of photos in this grouping. I believe the one I posted was 21 MAR 41. Many test platoon photos as well that are thus far unpublished.
  5. As a retired paratrooper myself, I was expecting to find 4-5 wings in his effects and hopefully there would be one BB&B. Instead, there was only this one pair with absolutely minimal wear and a very straight pin. He also had a master jump wing and a pic of the 18th Airborne Commander, MG Cleland pinning it on him about a month before he was killed in 1954. I suspect Jimmy Basset saved these special wings and did not wear them after 1941. All through his career, he wore wings and the wear on these would indicate they are not the ones worn.
  6. I need some help determining a value for insurance. These are the wings and first issue 501 oval plus certificate from 1LT James Bassett, the assistant platoon leader from the test platoon. He was killed in 1954 and his insignia has been in a locker since. I helped my uncle go though all the items, so they have been in daylight now for 5 days. I’d like to donate them to the National WW2 museum, but that has to be negotiated. I believe this is the most significant set of wings in existence. These were presented with the 501 Parachute Battalion on 9 Mar 1941. See pic. Thoughts?
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