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

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  1. It is one-piece, but all of them I have found are more hollow-backed. Hollow-backed examples can also be found of many of the other ratings. One rating I have never found in this pattern (slick or hollow-back) is the Observer.
  2. My pilot is this pattern weighs 26.43 grams, my Navigator weighs 26.45 grams, my Aircrew weighs 25.51 grams and my Glider Pilot weighs 26.1 grams so they are all on the heavier end of the wing spectrum with comparable thicknesses. For comparison, my Robbins hallmarked Pilot weighs 25.47 grams but it is lacking the pin which would probably add at least a gram. I suspect (as do at least one or two other collectors) that this pattern was actually made by Robbins but can offer only an opinion based on the similarities and logic.
  3. You can also find glider, service and liaison pilots, aerial gunner and bombardier in this pattern, although these others are not completely slick back as the center areas are recessed. You might be able to find them in full slick back but I have not been able to. The backs of these other wings really remind me of the backs of the 2" Robbins wings.
  4. Here are photos to illustrate my prior post:
  5. Although I agree these bear some similarities to Robbins wings, I don't think they can be dated to the 1930's. Slick-back wings with this same feather pattern and sterling mark can also be found in other ratings such as navigator and aircrew which clearly do not date to the 30's.
  6. Pilot and aircrew are the only two ratings I have seen in this pattern. Bob has examples of the aircrew and two different pilot wings on his website. The pilot wings tend to be really desired and bid up into the hundreds of dollars when they pop up on ebay, but the aircrew wings tend to slip by kind of un-noticed for less than $100. The aircrew wings tend to show up less often though.
  7. You can order wings from Blackinton with this same base wing today.
  8. I concur that is a Donduro wing as there are Donduro hallmarked examples out there. Post war Donduro had hallmarked wings (with the D-1 code) made with the Amcraft dies. Ron Burkey has sold a couple of these, which although not hallmarked he did identify as being Donduro in his listings. These are some of the nicest pilot wings I have seen, finished with bright cuts on the edges of the feathers that give them an extra sparkle. I'm still looking for the Command Pilot version myself.
  9. Just to add to Patrick's post, Pasquale was selling wings at least as early as 1919 so who knows when they started offering the ones made by Blackinton.
  10. Although referred to as cap-sized, I am not sure these were ever intended for wear on uniforms. These were made by or for Bell Trading and Walter Lampl and may have been simply sweetheart pieces. I have examples with hallmarks from both companies, as well as ones like this just marked sterling. They can also be pretty routinely found on the original Bell sales cards marked as being "naval aviator" wings. You can observe on this example that the "G" is upside down and reversed which is common for many Bell and Lampl wings. I have only ever found one of these with a gold finish. These are
  11. So in order from most expensive to lease expensive for basically the same wing made by Blackinton? Bond Pasquale Luxenberg Blackinton unmarked I am curious what the Pasquale wings were made of as the ones I have seen are marked "silver" not sterling. Were they coin silver or some other blend? I have one that appears to have been made for Pasquale but only got the silver stamp.
  12. I have a book that lists the students at Brooks, March and Randolph Fields from 1922 to 1932. In the summary section is says that 571 graduated from March during the period of 1927 to 1931 when March was being used for flight training. One site I saw said March had also been used for pilot training from 1918 to 1922, but I don't have any books that provide information for those years.
  13. As the wing has now made its way back to ebay with many much clearer photos, I wonder what everyone's thoughts are now? https://www.ebay.com/itm/HOLY-GRAIL-WWII-BB-B-Bailey-Bank-Biddle-3-SILVER-pilots-wings/143714670645?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649 I don't have an example of one of these BB&B wings to compare to, but it does look very much like the slick-back non-hallmarked "Noble" wing I showed in the Noble thread. It appears to have the same vaulting as the Noble wings, which the BB&B wing on Bob's site does not, and the BB&a
  14. I am curious as to when those early aviators would have actually become eligible to wear wings? Would they have been eligible after primary, or was it like WWII where they had to complete their advanced training to earn them?
  15. Without rock solid evidence as to when the specific hallmark was used, or attribution to a pilot these are hard to date. The style and fittings imply pre-WWII but that can be misleading. I am not aware of any advanced pilot schools in California or Arizona from 1920 to WWII to create a significant demand for government-issued wings from an LA jeweler. Even during WWII there were only advanced pilot schools at Stockton in CA and Luke in AZ. I would guess these J.A. Meyers wings were all private purchase by LA area pilots, but from what decade I cannot say.
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