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5thwingmarty

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  • Location
    Maryland Heights, MO
  • Interests
    WWII Army Air Forces, especially the 15th AF and 5th Wing
    B-17 Flying Fortresses
    Wings

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  1. A B-17 flight engineer I met showed me the wing he was issued when he graduated from the Boeing FE school. I can't recall if it was an Amico or an LGB wing, but it was an Observer wing with an applied E. It is the only such wing of the type I have ever seen but there must be more out there as he said his entire class received them.
  2. My only criticism is that the French maker only included ten stars. That is not unique to this badge though and it is interesting to me how common it is to see WWI era badges with more or less than 13 stars. Another incredibly beautiful badge Chris.
  3. To me the sad thing is that you can go to almost every online militaria site that offers wings and find wings that are either obvious restrikes, outright fakes, or misidentified as much more valuable examples than they really are. No one is infallible, but some of the wings being offered are clearly not what they are listed as being.
  4. Ok, somebody take Patrick's keys away.
  5. Air Force would be silver and Navy would be gold with a silver acorn. I don't know what year the designs for these insignia changed from the WWII versions but would assume it would have been no earlier than the 1950's as examples with the number-letter manufacturers codes are out there. Marty
  6. The uniform regulations changed the prescribed wing widths to 3-1/8" in December of 1926, not 1941 so the span is not an accurate way to date the wings. Many WWII Amico and Balfour wings are only 3" wide so there was no hard enforcement of making the wings 3-1/8" wide.
  7. Here are pics of the three wings, first the fronts:
  8. I also have an attributed one in this pattern. Mine has the same catch but the pin is silver not brass, and mine has an incised STERLING mark. According to one article I found, my pilot did not join the Air Force until January of 1942 so the pattern pre-dates WWII but they were still available during the war. I have a second very similar pilot wing that has a brass pin, the same catch and no metal mark. From the back the wing looks exactly like yours, but on the front the shoulder feather details are different. Both wings are about 1/8" thick, and are heavily vaulted when viewed on edge. There are also similar observer wings out there, thick, heavy, vaulted edge profile, same brass pin and large catch. The observer wings are wider in span (3-3/16"), have a raised letter STERLING and almost no shoulder feather detail. I will try to get some photos posted for comparison later. Marty
  9. The only other option I can think of would be to include photos of the backs along with the wings. To me mirrored display cases would be annoying as the reflections seem like they would still be hard to see, and would also be reversed.
  10. Another beautiful wing and informative post Chris.
  11. I don't recall seeing a catch exactly like this one. It is similar to the type on the 20's-30's full-size wings that were recently discussed, but the center gap on this one looks much wider. I take it this wing is not hallmarked?
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