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Can Glider Wings have Stars?


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Thank you! It makes me proud to hear you say that.

I learned all of this about my grandpa shortly after he passed a few years ago.

A very long, sad, yet interesting turn of events brought my interest to my family's involvement in WWII.

I read a good book written by a 325th veteran. Some of the things they did, I haven't seen such intense things in movies.

Yet I remember him as the quiet man who often fell asleep watching the news when he visited. It's awful to know that I missed out on all of the stories from North Africa to Germany.

Your Granfather is also wear a Red Army cap badge on the pocket flap, no doubt a souvenir, though not exactly sure when the 82nd came into contact with the Russians, ah yes, Berlin, the 82nd went into Berlin as the one of the U.S.'s occupation units, along with the 2nd Armored Division, the 2nd Armd Div has first claim for entry into Berlin though.

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Yes, that always gets a chuckle out of me. Wish we still had it, he did away with most of his souvenirs (captured flag, Luger, that pin, and probably more)

I don't know if he sold them or if they're lost somewhere in a box, but we've been through most if his stuff so they probably belong to somebody else now.

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This badge is currently manufactured by Vanguard using an old Meyer die. Here is the link:

http://www.vanguardmil.com/army-badge-airborne-glider-silver-oxidized-finish-p-678.html

 

If you go to this website: http://www.questmasters.us/Glider_Memorabilia.html

It shows a glider badge with a star and states:

"The Glider Badge on the top of the photo has one single bronze star attached to the center. This was an unofficial marking done to symbolize a second landing into enemy held territory."

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To add to the discussion, I have a 13th Airborne Division glider badge certificate awarded to an artilleryman dated 30 June 1944. I believe the 13th was stateside until late 1944.

 

The certificate reads "This is to Certify That (name and rank) in accordance with provisions of paragraph IV of War Department Circular 220, 2 June 1944, satisfactorily completed the prescribed course in Knots and Lashings, loading Organizational Equipment, Safe Landing Principles, and has made the prescribed number of Glider Flights. He is therefore rated from this day June 30, 1944 as a qualified gliderman.

 

I won't show a picture because this would be easy to duplicate with today's technology. These were professionally printed with a background scene of gliders. Note no capitalization of gliderman. There is also no mention of the number of qualified Glider Flights.

 

The soldiers discharge certificate reads Awarded: Parachute Badge Qualified: Glider Badge.

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I purchased a subdued metal glider badge at the Cameron Station, VA PX in the late 1970's. I suppose the Army or the maker (N.S. Meyer) thought there might still be soldiers in fatigues who could still wear it. That is the same place I bought subdued overseas cap "glider" patches, both EM and officers types. No one has been able to provide me a reasonable explanation for these so far.

I saw a senior NCO wearing a 17th Airborne combat patch and glider badge in my mess hall at Ft Meade in 1977. Perhaps they were still making them for guys who earned them and were still serving.

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Your Granfather is also wear a Red Army cap badge on the pocket flap, no doubt a souvenir, though not exactly sure when the 82nd came into contact with the Russians, ah yes, Berlin, the 82nd went into Berlin as the one of the U.S.'s occupation units, along with the 2nd Armored Division, the 2nd Armd Div has first claim for entry into Berlin though.

 

the 82nd met the russians at the elbe river, a freind of mine who was a plt. sgt. in the 504 spent two weeks drinking vodka with them, when he came back he was busted for being awol so he went back for another two weeks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here are a couple of photos of my fathers uniform.

 

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The oval I believe indicates Headquarters. My father always mentioned serving with the 325th, which he may have been with druing the war. He spent time in Berlin until late '45.

 

Served with the 82nd Glider Infanty Signal Company. Note signal flags on uniform.

 

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First row third from the left in this photo of the Radio Section of the 82nd Signal Company

 

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  • 7 years later...

Hello, for what it's worth after years this thread has passed.

I have tried to read about the glider wings and the stars attached. And whether 2 stars attached would have been possible for a veteran which would mean that veteran must have landed per glider during 2 battles, let's say. I see Normandy has been mentioned and prior to Normandy the Italian scene, but I think there are doubts about the Italian scene. What I was wondering about, is the fact that I have not read anyone mentioning Operation Market Garden where gliders were used to transport troops.

So, would it be possible that if a veteran using a glider wing with 2 stars, he would have earned those during Normandy and Market Garden?

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6 hours ago, sop308805 said:

Hello, for what it's worth after years this thread has passed.

I have tried to read about the glider wings and the stars attached. And whether 2 stars attached would have been possible for a veteran which would mean that veteran must have landed per glider during 2 battles, let's say. I see Normandy has been mentioned and prior to Normandy the Italian scene, but I think there are doubts about the Italian scene. What I was wondering about, is the fact that I have not read anyone mentioning Operation Market Garden where gliders were used to transport troops.

So, would it be possible that if a veteran using a glider wing with 2 stars, he would have earned those during Normandy and Market Garden?

Let's see if we can answer your questions. It was quite possible to find soldiers who wore two campaign stars affixed to their glider badges. These soldiers would have belonged to glider units in the 82nd Airborne and the stars would have signified landings in Normandy and landings as part of Operation Market-Garden. 101st glider troopers arrived in Normandy via sea. As was mentioned previously, the US didn't use gliders for glider assaults in Sicily or in Italy. Again, the glider troopers went into battle via landing craft in those campaigns.

 

While there was no mention of the addition of stars to denote landings for either parachute or glider assaults, the practice was widely done and, even though the regulations didn't call for it, units like the 82nd made it SOP for soldiers to apply the stars. These adorned badges were widely worn in the 82nd after they returned to Fort Bragg after WWII.

 

I've taken the liberty of attaching a photo of General James Hollingsworth. Note that he is wearing a glider badge above his ribbons. Hollingsworth was one of the last soldiers to go through the Glider Course before it was abolished after WWII. I believe Hollingsworth went through the course in 1948.

 

Allan

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Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Gliders were used in the invasion of Sicily, but the only Americans I am aware of that arrived on Sicily via glider were a handful of glider pilots who volunteered to fly the British troops in.  The rest arrived via parachute or boats. 

 

Were the glider pilots awarded air medals to denote their combat landings? 

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Ok, thank you very much for your explanation Allan H.

So if someone wears a glider wing/badge with 2 campaign stars, those stars would have been more likely earned during Normandy and Market Garden rather than during Sicily/Italy and Normandy, right? I have just purchased a glider badge with 2 campaign stars a week ago, but now that I have received that wing and have seen it with my own eyes in real...I am pretty sure it's not a genuine wing from WW2. I won't even attach a picture of that glider badge, but it's a cool badge anyway.

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2 hours ago, 5thwingmarty said:

Gliders were used in the invasion of Sicily, but the only Americans I am aware of that arrived on Sicily via glider were a handful of glider pilots who volunteered to fly the British troops in.  The rest arrived via parachute or boats. 

 

Were the glider pilots awarded air medals to denote their combat landings? 

All of the American glider pilots flew as co-pilots and were paired with a British GP. They were awarded British GP wings for their service. I do not recall them receiving Air Medals, for Operation Ladbroke, but now that the award cards are available, it is possible that they may have been. I'll look.

 

In general, glider pilots that took part in the Normandy, Netherlands, Varsity, and other combat operations did receive an Air Medal for their participation. I know that glider supply missions and glider extract missions typically did not earn their pilots an award. Enlisted soldiers of the 1st Air Commando who took part in Operation Broadway also received Air Medals as well as awards of the aircrew wing.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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And for reference here are all of the gliders badges I've been able to find so far.  Sterling marks appear in different locations on the backs of the badges and seller names include JR Gaunt (×2), NS Meyer, Ludlow and Assman.  I thought the Gaunt at the bottom of the center column was an unmarked wing but was able to find very faint marks of Gaunt with a magnifying glass.  The clutches on the Assman are original and marked by the company as well.

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