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WWII Flight Nurse Wings (WWII First and Second Types)


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As a general rule, I don't care for jewelers made wings as there is no real way of knowing when

a particular item was made. Nevertheless, there appeared on Ebay a pair of flight nurse wings

with discharge papers and miscellaneous unrelated items as part of a grouping. The Balfour wing

was in sharp focus; however, it was the gold washed (ie first pattern) flight nurse wing that

really caught my attention. Unfortunately it wasn't in sharp focus in the photos. That is not

to say that it was deliberately blurred, but the details weren't sharp enough to authenticate

it by photos only. The price asked was quite high, as one might have expected; yet, the auction

ran its course and closed without bidders. It was susequently reposted for a couple hundred less

which was sufficient to once again beg my attention. Since Ebay has made it much easier to

put the squeeze on sellers offering phony wares, I figured that the most I'd risk would be a

couple weeks delay getting my money back, as well as registered return shipping fees.

 

When the package arrived, I examined the wings and confirmed they were indeed the real deal.

While the Balfour wing might have been made at any time, the nurse's discharge papers indicated

she was relieved from duty in December of 1945, but there was no doubt as to the period and

authenticity of the first pattern (gold washed) wing.

 

I already had a second pattern (sterling silver) wing.

 

Both first and second pattern wings are clutch back types. They are not composite wings like

the jeweler assembeled types; they're single strike wings. Each is 2" in length. Flight nurse

wings were not issued/ presented in larger sizes unlike pilot's wings for which there are 3"

uniforms sizes. The silver wing is reverse marked "Acid Test" and "Sterling". The gold washed

wing is only marked "Acid Test".

 

The Flight Nurse who owned the wings I recently acquired was assigned to the 809th Med. Air Evac

Squadron [APO 953]. She served in New Guinea, Southern Philippines, Luzon, and Ryukyus (Okinawa).

According to her discharge papers, she was awarded Asiatic-Pacific Thea Rib w/4 Brz Bat Strs,

3 O/S Ser Bar, and Air Medal.

 

The K-1 Uniforms (and hat) to which these wings are attached are not hers, but this is the exact

type of uniform she would have worn in tropical climates and at low altitude flying.

 

A woolen L-1 uniform would have been worn in the ETO and cooler climes.

 

 

On the below listed web site, my wings are identical to Numbers 1, 6, and 7.

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/usaaf/usaafflightnurse.shtml

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  • 3 years later...

Hi may I ask who the flight nurse was you are referring to. I have several photos and a dress uniform for a flight nurse who also served in the 809th. Her name was rose miller (Landsman).

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