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USAAF Technician Qualification Badges


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USAAF Technician Qualification Badges have been an ongoing obsession of mine for nearly twenty years. At times I’ve lost hope of ever finding all 27 different bars and put them aside only to pull them back out and resume the hunt. I recently found the Parachute Rigger bar. I now lack only four bars. I’m throwing myself at the mercy of the forum to see if any member can help. I need the Bombsight Mech., Radio V-1 Mech., Radio V-1 Obs. And the RC Turret Mech. bars. If you have these or know of a source please let me know. I don’t expect them for free.

 

Thanks - Tinman

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Superb collection! I've got a few AF Q- bars tucked away somewhere, though I'm not sure that they're the ones you list above. I'll take a look later.

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Indeed, a wonderfull collection, and from what we see, all in mint condition :thumbsup: what are the backs like, are they various makers, with some being Pin back, with some being clutch back ? likewise the makers of the bars, are they differant makers ?

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To the best of my knowledge, these badges were issued by the AAF and therefore lack any maker marks with the exception of GEMSCO, which did offer the badge for private purchase. The GEMSCO badges are quite rare and I don't have one. The issue badges are marked with either a raised or stamped STERLING. All of the badges I have encountered are pin-back. The bars are marked with either a raised or stamped STERLING or have no mark. I have never seen or heard of a bar that is maker marked. The British offered the badges and bars with the 'Stay-bright' finish. - Tinman

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Robswashashore

I have always thought this badge was one of the more handsome Q badges -- my father was a Weather Forecaster at Bluie West One Air Base in Greenland during the war and I still have his.

 

Your collection is stunning!

 

Jean

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These are from my collection. I obtained the bars here in the UK so they may well be of British manufacture?

 

post-8022-1335206484.jpgpost-8022-1335206491.jpg

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Sabrejet -

 

Nice collection! I believe your badges and bars are US manufacture. mmerc20 recently sold a group of 10 British badges - http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...howtopic=141518 (I'm not sure how to post links) which were snaped up quickly (unfortunately for me). The T'RET & SIGHT SP. is one of the more difficult to find. It, the RCT MECH GUNNER and the RC TURRET MECH were the last three bars issued. They were specifically issued to B-29 technicians.

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Tinman-

 

I have the Bombsight Mech and Radio V-1 Obs bars that I would consider parting with.

 

They are slightly different than the ones in your photo in that they appear to be silver, silver-plate, or some sort of tarnish resistant silver finish. They are not balack oxidized in the recesses as yours are. They are approx. 15/16 inches/24 millimeters wide.

 

If interested please PM me or e-mail me at: skborts@gmail.com

 

I can e-mail photos, but posting photos here has been problematic for me.

 

Steve

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To the best of my knowledge, these badges were issued by the AAF and therefore lack any maker marks with the exception of GEMSCO, which did offer the badge for private purchase. The GEMSCO badges are quite rare and I don't have one. The issue badges are marked with either a raised or stamped STERLING. All of the badges I have encountered are pin-back. The bars are marked with either a raised or stamped STERLING or have no mark. I have never seen or heard of a bar that is maker marked. The British offered the badges and bars with the 'Stay-bright' finish. - Tinman

 

 

Thank you for the info guy. Yes it would seem that as far as standard Army Q-Bars go, they really start to be Maker hallmarked from the post war- 50s period on. Now for a kind of related question, whats the most bars you have seen being worn on these Tech Badges ? like we have all seen a veritable ladder being worn by some Soldiers during WWII, these being of course normally ground troops, was the wearing of multiple Q-Bars on this badge obtainable ?

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The most I have seen is two bars, see attached photo. It appears the badge in this picture is one of the non-issue, oversize badges made out of pot metal. Using a glass you can make out the inscriptions - RADIO MECHANIC and RADIO OPERATOR. He is alos wearing an AAFTS (Army Air forces Technical School) Instructor's Badge.

post-14361-1335240605.jpg

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Yea, I seen one of those pot metal Technician badges once, it had both it's pin back protuberances busted off, very common with all types of these pot metal badges.

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  • 9 months later...

Facinating topic and super looking badges!

 

Here's a question, looking at Tinman's group shot, I do not see this "Machine Gun" bar. Is it legit or perhaps from a later timeframe?

 

Tim

post-50776-0-58989500-1361142138.jpg

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That is one great collection of AAF Q-bars.I think the MACHINE GUN is something that was probably but on by a bomber gunner.I think that's just a marksman Q-bar?

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Hi firefighter,

 

Yes, I think that is exactly what this one is as well, a ground marksmanship qual bar put on the aviation tech badge. Thank you for confirming my thoughts/concerns here.

 

Tim

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Here are the ones I have at the moment. Although three are the standard "sterling" marked ones of Aerial Gunner and Radio Operator, there are two oversized lead (or similar material) badges and bars (one of Radio Operator and one of AP Mechanic) as well as a loose Photographer bar.

 

The others are the unmarked shiny but non-silver material badges and bars I was selling last year. The bags are the current bars I have left (there might be more somewhere) What you see is:

 

Link Trainer Instr. (9ea)

AP Armorer (13ea)

ACS Radio SP (3ea)

AP Instrumen SP (2ea)

AP Machinist (2ea)

T'ret & Sight SP (8ea)

Hydraulic (7ea)

 

Mike

post-3373-0-15012200-1361243480.jpg

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Discussing the actual badge pendant, what's the difference between the ones with the flat back and the ones with the recessed propeller? Both versions are marked sterling. Is it maker's or timeframes?

 

Tim

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Here are the ones I have at the moment. Although three are the standard "sterling" marked ones of Aerial Gunner and Radio Operator, there are two oversized lead (or similar material) badges and bars (one of Radio Operator and one of AP Mechanic) as well as a loose Photographer bar.

 

The others are the unmarked shiny but non-silver material badges and bars I was selling last year. The bags are the current bars I have left (there might be more somewhere) What you see is:

 

Link Trainer Instr. (9ea)

AP Armorer (13ea)

ACS Radio SP (3ea)

AP Instrumen SP (2ea)

AP Machinist (2ea)

T'ret & Sight SP (8ea)

Hydraulic (7ea)

 

Mike

 

 

Nice collection.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a question, are there normal combinations of clasps to be expected? I can understand Radio Operator and Radio Mechanic but what are some of the other possible combinations?

 

Tim

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  • 7 months later...

Here are the ones I have at the moment. Although three are the standard "sterling" marked ones of Aerial Gunner and Radio Operator, there are two oversized lead (or similar material) badges and bars (one of Radio Operator and one of AP Mechanic) as well as a loose Photographer bar.

 

The others are the unmarked shiny but non-silver material badges and bars I was selling last year. The bags are the current bars I have left (there might be more somewhere) What you see is:

 

Link Trainer Instr. (9ea)

AP Armorer (13ea)

ACS Radio SP (3ea)

AP Instrumen SP (2ea)

AP Machinist (2ea)

T'ret & Sight SP (8ea)

Hydraulic (7ea)

 

Mike

 

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Dear Mmerk20,

 

I tried to send you a private message but this system will not let me even though I have joined and been approved.

 

Anyway,

 

111202651039_1.jpg

 

I just bought this on ebay. However, I need AP Armorer for my Fathers badge. Are you selling your bars? I saw you had 13 armorer's.

 

I would also be willing to trade these Propeller and Mechanic bars for the AP Armoror bar if your interested.

 

Please let me know.

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USAAF Technician Qualification Badges have been an ongoing obsession of mine for nearly twenty years. At times I’ve lost hope of ever finding all 27 different bars and put them aside only to pull them back out and resume the hunt. I recently found the Parachute Rigger bar. I now lack only four bars. I’m throwing myself at the mercy of the forum to see if any member can help. I need the Bombsight Mech., Radio V-1 Mech., Radio V-1 Obs. And the RC Turret Mech. bars. If you have these or know of a source please let me know. I don’t expect them for free.

 

Thanks - Tinman

 

Hello Tinman,

 

Beautiful collection, I am a bit jealous...

 

You know you could combine all those qualification bars in a column on one badge,

 

quetelaafTechBadgeWith22Of24Barsfrtsm.JP

then you could distribute all the other badges to others, like me, who need one for their fathers medal display?????

 

Just saying... :)

 

BTW... The wiki page for this badge - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USAAF_-_Tech_Badge_BW.jpg

 

has pic of one you need. Maybe if you can find the source of that wiki page you could get the R.C. Turret Mech from them ???

 

355px-USAAF_-_Tech_Badge_BW.jpg

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Robswashashore

Here's a question, are there normal combinations of clasps to be expected? I can understand Radio Operator and Radio Mechanic but what are some of the other possible combinations?

 

Tim

My father had Weather Observer and Weather Forecaster.

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