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BB&B Paratrooper Wing on eBay Probable Copy?


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Something has occurred to me as this post has progressed. We have had a number of forum members jump in and include examples of their BB&B jump wings, yet not one single person has jumped in with one of theirs that mirrors yours. Don't you find that strange? not one single wing attributed to a 501st Battalion trooper or any other vintage source.

Furthermore, going through what I have written about the jump wing for my own education, I recall that Yarborough, owning the patent to the wing, also had control of the dies. This probably explains why you don't start seeing the newer BB&B pattern jump wing surface until 50 years after the patent was issued.

Allan

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pathfinder505

Furthermore, going through what I have written about the jump wing for my own education, I recall that Yarborough, owning the patent to the wing, also had control of the dies. This probably explains why you don't start seeing the newer BB&B pattern jump wing surface until 50 years after the patent was issued.

Allan

That was an interesting tidbit. I personally didnt know Yarborough owned the patent. So did he get royalties from the government to use his patent?

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At this late date I would just as soon not have my name associated with your website. Please remove the credit and any other reference that you may have to me on your site.

 

Something has occurred to me as this post has progressed. We have had a number of forum members jump in and include examples of their BB&B jump wings, yet not one single person has jumped in with one of theirs that mirrors yours. Don't you find that strange? not one single wing attributed to a 501st Battalion trooper or any other vintage source.

Furthermore, going through what I have written about the jump wing for my own education, I recall that Yarborough, owning the patent to the wing, also had control of the dies. This probably explains why you don't start seeing the newer BB&B pattern jump wing surface until 50 years after the patent was issued.

Allan

 

Allan - Some points of clarification. Yarborough's patent was valid for 3 1/2 years after it was approved on 2 February 1943. He filed this patent to prevent commercial knock offs of the this design as he didn't want anyone but paratroopers wearing the badge. I doubt that Yarborough "owned the dies", at the time all dies for the manufacture of approved insignia were considered property of the US Army Institute of Heraldry and it was common practice for makers to return dies to TIOH at the conclusion of the government contract.

 

Some additional interesting information. According to TIOH files, Bailey, Banks and Biddle Company was selected by the Army to produce these badges and was advised informally of this on 6 March 1941, they confirmed the order on 7 March and advised the Office of the Quartermaster General (OQMG) that work was schedule on a crash basis. Lead strikings from the BBB dies were provided to OQMG on 12 March 1941 for quality control. OQMG informed the 501st Parachute Battalion on 13 March 1941 that 350 badges were being shipped and due to arrive on 15 March 1941. This first run of badges was closely controlled and the 501st had to provide by-name rosters with service number to OQMG of who they would be issued to. On 23 April 1941 the 501st submitted a request to the Quartermaster General that an additional 400 badges be produced. Although no maker is specified, one can assume that BBB produced them as they were most likely still in possession of the original dies.

 

Kevin

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101combatvet

No, to my knowledge General Yarborough never made a dime off of any of his designs. I do know several DOA employees that have patents and the most they receive is a cash award or a certificate/medal.... unless something has changed they do not get royalties on government time. Also, if memory serves me correctly many if not all of the officers of the original 501st Bn that survived the war and remained in the Army achieved the rank of COL or higher.

 

Furthermore, going through what I have written about the jump wing for my own education, I recall that Yarborough, owning the patent to the wing, also had control of the dies. This probably explains why you don't start seeing the newer BB&B pattern jump wing surface until 50 years after the patent was issued.

Allan

 

That was an interesting tidbit. I personally didnt know Yarborough owned the patent. So did he get royalties from the government to use his patent?

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pathfinder505
No, to my knowledge General Yarborough never made a dime off of any of his designs. I do know several DOA employees that have patents and the most they receive is a cash award or a certificate/medal.... unless something has changed they do not get royalties on government time. Also, if memory serves me correctly many if not all of the officers of the original 501st Bn that survived the war and remained in the Army achieved the rank of COL or higher.

 

Thanks and that is why I asked. I didnt think he would get royalties.

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101combatvet

A little off topic here.... but General Miley the original commander of the 501st Bn commanded the 17th Airborne Division..... many others went on to do great things.

 

Thanks and that is why I asked. I didnt think he would get royalties.
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Very rarely, you will find the "graduation" or "issue" style US pilot wings stamped with a "Made From Official Dies" or something very similar. My understanding is that these were sample wings produced from the master dies by the Institute of Heraldry and provided to the companies so that they could make their own working dies and manufacture the wings under a US Government contract.

 

As to the original wing that raised this thread. I had a couple of observations that had been bugging me.

 

First, the "WWII vintage" wing and the wing made in 2003 both have similar levels of wear and the same finish. However, the WWII version should have been of an oxidized silver finish (where the silver is chemically oxidized and then the high points are polished, finally the wing would have likely been laquered). Unless the scans are really out of whack, these two wings look like neither one has had this process done to them--in fact both the front and back of both wings show the same level of patina. This means that if there is indeed 60 or so years between the two strikes of this die, one has not aged at all.

 

Second, if you carefully examine the front of the wings, you can see that they both have very similar details and patterns of wear--specifically in detail of the parachute canopy and the feathering. Since both wings have the same wear and level of detail, it means that this is a fact of the details in the die being transmitted to both wings. Since both wings are exactly the same, and the point was made that these wings are from exactly the same die, then it suggests that the "60 year old" wing and the 5 year old wing were never worn (or worn to exactly equal amounts).

 

Third, the WWII vintage wing, we are told, comes from an employee of BB&B who worked there during WWII. I assume he wasnt a paratrooper (I also assume if he was, then this point would have come out already), and as such would likely have not actually worn this wing on his person. Then, why is that wing damaged? The pin is all bent and the catch is missing its roller. It is not easy to break these catches and pins. Unless someone really wore this wing and exposed it to lots of wear and tear, then it should also be perfect (like the 2003 marked wing). However, since both wings have the same amount of wear, its not logical to believe that one has a seriously damaged pin and the other is perfect.

 

I guess a number of hypothesis can be put forth to explain why the wear and patina of two wings that are 60 years apart are the same. However, I would think it likely that those scenarios explaining similar levels of wear would be at odds with other hypotheses that could explain the striking differences in damage to the pin.

 

Patrick

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I captured both the images of the jump wing in question and put them side by side. I must amend my previous post, the wear on the front is not exactly the same for both wings, the WWII version of the wing does seem to have a bit more wear than the 2003 marked wing. I would still argue that overall, the finish and the patina is the same, and that the small variations seen between the two could simply be due to changes in lighting. Still, I dont think its the level of variations one would expect in a 60 year age difference.

post-1519-1199813688.jpg

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And the backs. Despite damage to the pin and catch, the rest of the back of the wings shows no wear at all. In fact, some of the discoloration patterns are similar on both wings, especially on the right side.

post-1519-1199813844.jpg

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Very rarely, you will find the "graduation" or "issue" style US pilot wings stamped with a "Made From Official Dies" or something very similar. My understanding is that these were sample wings produced from the master dies by the Institute of Heraldry and provided to the companies so that they could make their own working dies and manufacture the wings under a US Government contract...

 

Patrick

 

Patrick To my knowledge TIOH never made dies. They provided the specification drawings, and in the case of medals paster casts, and the maker produced the dies. Standard samples of insignia were sent back to OQMG for quality control and approval before the maker could start production. (TIOH still requires sample insignia today.) In most cases during this period master dies went back to TIOH after the end of the contract and then in turn were issued to the original or new manufacturers when contracts for additional insignia were let. When contract production requirements were greater than what one maker could produce additional master dies were made. But they all had to meet TIOH specifications. It is entirely possible that during the early war period that the master dies for the BBB parachute badge were returned to TIOH and issued to other manufacturers for production of this badge. Kevin

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Kevin,

 

Thanks for correcting me. I recall reading somewhere that the government supplied lead "hubs" of wings to the different manufacturers in one of the wing books. Mabye I misread or mistakenly linked the two points. I do know that some wings are marked "From official dies" or something similar (I cant recall the exact phrase).

 

Patrick

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At this late date I would just as soon not have my name associated with your website. Please remove the credit and any other reference that you may have to me on your site.

 

Something has occurred to me as this post has progressed. We have had a number of forum members jump in and include examples of their BB&B jump wings, yet not one single person has jumped in with one of theirs that mirrors yours. Don't you find that strange? not one single wing attributed to a 501st Battalion trooper or any other vintage source.

Furthermore, going through what I have written about the jump wing for my own education, I recall that Yarborough, owning the patent to the wing, also had control of the dies. This probably explains why you don't start seeing the newer BB&B pattern jump wing surface until 50 years after the patent was issued.

Allan

 

I am by no means an expert on this - not even close. I have a wing that is eerily similar to Mark's, and yes, we are friends. My wife also once took care of Gen. Yarborough too at one time ! The wing did not come from him. :rolleyes:

 

This particular piece came from the son of a 377th Pathfinder. I have a few of his patches, his bronze star and a one of his chutes, not to mention about 250 combat photos. Al the son knows is that it was his Dad's 'stuff.'

 

Is it legit? I have every reason to believe it is. I'll let everyone else debate this as I don't have the faintest...

post-395-1199825621.jpg

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I am by no means an expert on this - not even close. I have a wing that is eerily similar to Mark's, and yes, we are friends. My wife also once took care of Gen. Yarborough too at one time ! The wing did not come from him. :rolleyes:

 

This particular piece came from the son of a 377th Pathfinder. I have a few of his patches, his bronze star and a one of his chutes, not to mention about 250 combat photos. Al the son knows is that it was his Dad's 'stuff.'

 

Is it legit? I have every reason to believe it is. I'll let everyone else debate this as I don't have the faintest...

post-395-1199827288.jpg

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Sparkyasundevil
And the backs. Despite damage to the pin and catch, the rest of the back of the wings shows no wear at all. In fact, some of the discoloration patterns are similar on both wings, especially on the right side.

 

The back of the "WWII" wing has been cleaned as I suspect the front has been. You can see very dark tarnishing around the area the pin is attached. They just couldn't get in the recesses real good I guess?

 

I can answer for the bent pin and the loss of the clasp. I had put the pin on a cap at one point and my son had taken the cap and wore it around school (without my knowledge of course). I noticed the damage when I picked up the cap and the wing fell off.

 

In hand they look as though they have been worn. By whom, I have no idea.

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101combatvet

How was this possible..... please explain.

 

My wife also once took care of Gen. Yarborough too at one time ! The wing did not come from him. :rolleyes:
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How was this possible..... please explain.

 

Ralph:

 

Well... let's just say he went to a certain hospital in the Cleveland area and a certain nurse took care of him while he was there.

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Ralph:

 

Well... let's just say he went to a certain hospital in the Cleveland area and a certain nurse took care of him while he was there.

 

And while we are on the subject of jump wings, what in the world is the deal with the 'ALLEGED' WWII jump wings sold by Donna Wosk out of San Diego? They look like they were made yesterday??

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And while we are on the subject of jump wings, what in the world is the deal with the 'ALLEGED' WWII jump wings sold by Donna Wosk out of San Diego? They look like they were made yesterday??

the Wosk wings look like they're new because they're unbought surplus. Most are still on the cards. I have never heard of any complaints of the wings sold by the Wosk's, and several big Paramarine collectors have them in their collections, and are in the reference Paramarine! I have a couple pairs myself

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101combatvet

These have the blue line border on the cards and are "sterling" marked with slick back?

 

the Wosk wings look like they're new because they're unbought surplus. Most are still on the cards. I have never heard of any complaints of the wings sold by the Wosk's, and several big Paramarine collectors have them in their collections, and are in the reference Paramarine! I have a couple pairs myself
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I have one pair on the card with the smooth back and raised 'sterling' and one in a green box, on a thick padded card, wrapped in celophane never opened, so I can't check the back. I also have a mini pair in an Amico box, and a pair of Navy/Marine rigger wings in a dark red or purple box (not on me at the moment, but I think I can dig up pics. I'll see if I can). Most of my Wosk items still have the original price tags

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here are the pics I pulled off WA. Sorry, all I have at the moment. As a side note, I didn't get these at steal prices when I bought them from her in 2004

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101combatvet

Yes.... most collectors consider these to be WW2 period.... I think some can be early post war.

 

here are the pics I pulled off WA. Sorry, all I have at the moment. As a side note, I didn't get these at steal prices when I bought them from her in 2004
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Yes.... most collectors consider these to be WW2 period.... I think some can be early post war.

that's possible, but it would have to be very post-war, as Wosk went out of business in 1947

 

as you can see from the tag on the rigger wings box, it is dated '3-45' for March 1945. The pics of the patches I have available show tag dates of '1-45' for January 1945

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I have one pair on the card with the smooth back and raised 'sterling' and one in a green box, on a thick padded card, wrapped in celophane never opened, so I can't check the back. I also have a mini pair in an Amico box, and a pair of Navy/Marine rigger wings in a dark red or purple box (not on me at the moment, but I think I can dig up pics. I'll see if I can). Most of my Wosk items still have the original price tags

 

That's very good to know. I was quite worried about these. Glad my worries were unfouunded. Thanks for the info.

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That's very good to know. I was quite worried about these. Glad my worries were unfouunded. Thanks for the info.

two last points before I allow this thread to get back to the BB&B subject...

 

1- A lot of people may me skeptical of these because of the large amount around. The business went under in 1947 presumably because of the reduction of size of the Marine Corps post-war, and business was not what it once was

 

2- These types of jump wings are associated with the Marine Corps and Navy and can be told apart from the Army types, most times (not all, because of the darker patina than that which the Army used

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