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BLUE BACKING


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Hello all. I'm sorry I found this topic so late, I can try to clear up any questions about the 11th AF uniform that I can. I suspect that the owner used the blue backed wings simply because they looked good. This uniform has all of the patches cross-stitched, the collar insignia are screw-back with a slight dome to them. The US disc still shows the marks where they were hit with a hammer to "dome" them. This was all done by hand and not produced this way. The buttons are Meyers Metal from NY, not British made. In general, I think the owner of this jacket just wanted to look good. After all Alaska was not known for being a shining star when it came to following regulations during WWII. If anyone has any more questions about this jacket, please feel free to ask.

Levi

Thanks for getting back on the coat, we see there is no ribbons, were there ribbons? strange they were removed before you aquired this coat giving that all the other pin on insignias are still present, especialy those nice DIs on the lower lapels.

 

The main reason why I ask this, is one of the plausible aforementioned ideas that this guy was previously in England, ie the 8th or 9th AF, sent home after doing his 25 misions or whatever, maybe even being badly wounded, sent on to Alaska after a spell (if Wounded, then fully recovered) and this would account for the Blue backing, him having earned the blue Backing as it were, and kept it on his uniforms, here we would be able to concretely see if an EAME ribbon with Campaign Stars was there among the ribbons in the rack, though in my estimation would still not explain why a 1st type Alaska Defense Command shoulder patch is worn as a combat patch rather than a 8th or 9th AF one.

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Unfortunately, there were no ribbons with the uniform when I purchased it. I am pretty sure from the laundry markings that it belonged to a Mr. Samuel Schleger. I have not sent away for any information from NARA. I personally doubt that he was in Europe prior to his Alaskan service. I couldn't see anyone who had service with the 8th or 9th not showing that on their uniform, while being proud of the 11th Air Force. After all, the Alaskan campaign was not very well known, and in fact kept a secret for years after the war. The 8th on the other hand was getting a lot of publicity. I suppose anything is possible, but I don't see anything to make me believe he served anywhere but in Alaska.

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Unfortunately, there were no ribbons with the uniform when I purchased it. I am pretty sure from the laundry markings that it belonged to a Mr. Samuel Schleger. I have not sent away for any information from NARA. I personally doubt that he was in Europe prior to his Alaskan service. I couldn't see anyone who had service with the 8th or 9th not showing that on their uniform, while being proud of the 11th Air Force. After all, the Alaskan campaign was not very well known, and in fact kept a secret for years after the war. The 8th on the other hand was getting a lot of publicity. I suppose anything is possible, but I don't see anything to make me believe he served anywhere but in Alaska.

Thank You.

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Unfortunately, there were no ribbons with the uniform when I purchased it. I am pretty sure from the laundry markings that it belonged to a Mr. Samuel Schleger. I have not sent away for any information from NARA. I personally doubt that he was in Europe prior to his Alaskan service. I couldn't see anyone who had service with the 8th or 9th not showing that on their uniform, while being proud of the 11th Air Force. After all, the Alaskan campaign was not very well known, and in fact kept a secret for years after the war. The 8th on the other hand was getting a lot of publicity. I suppose anything is possible, but I don't see anything to make me believe he served anywhere but in Alaska.

Thanks for posting more details on the coat. I agree it seems unlikely that a veteran of the 8th or 9th would choose not to wear the patch of his previous unit, but as always there were no doubt exceptions.

 

With regard to the wings, I have yet to see a U.S. made bullion example on a blue backing, if the wings on this coat are British made I wonder how a guy in Alaska got hold of them?.

 

Matt.

Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

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I appreciate the interest you guys have in this uniform. I was extremely excited when I purchased it as well. I do not want to hijack this thread, but I was looking at the NARA page I printed out on Mr. Schleger, and found the following:

1. He enlisted on July 12, 1940

2. He enlisted "for Alaska"

 

As the uniform only shows one year of over seas service, I am guessing that after one year he was shipped back state-side for the remainder of his enlistment. Having previous experience in auto manufacturing, coupled with flight experience in Alaska, I can see where he could have been useful in the states preparing for the war. This is however all just guessing. Hopefully some day I will get the chance to do some real research on Mr. Schleger. As to whether the wings are US or British made, I will leave that up to the experts. If anyone wants better shots of anything, let me know.

Levi

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Hi Levi,

 

Thanks for the additional info, and I don't think you are hijacking the thread at all. If possible please could you post a clear close up picture of the wings?.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt.

Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

 

 

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Here is a set that I have on an ID'd 9th AF jacket that is part of a larger group. I just received his records from NPRC, and will start a separate thread on the entire group. One point of interest, he didn't arrive overseas until 1944.

 

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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Notinfringed, Thanks for posting the pic. I can't say it's a pattern I've seen before, but IMO it's a British made wing. Researching the guy's service is probably the only way the mystery might be solved.

 

Beast, nice example of the wing backing. The fact he went overseas in 44 would fit perfectly with the dates the backing was in use, at least with the Eighth, I'm still looking into getting uniform regs for the Ninth.

 

Matt.

Collecting WWII and pre-war Air Corps items-Unit Histories,Uniforms,Medals and Groupings.

*Seeking Pre-WWII Air Corps Officers and Enlisted Dress Uniform items!*

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

 

 

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I kinda have to go with Dave hypothesis on the Blue Backed wing on the 11th AF coat, see his post # 33, I say this as notinfringed stated this guy apparently never served anywhere but Alaska, it's possible like Dave said that he aquired it as he was leaving the service from one of a couple or more sources, maybe traded by a ETO vet that had extras, maybe just plain discarded by a ETO vet, etc

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Notinfringed, Thanks for posting the pic. I can't say it's a pattern I've seen before, but IMO it's a British made wing. Researching the guy's service is probably the only way the mystery might be solved.

 

Beast, nice example of the wing backing. The fact he went overseas in 44 would fit perfectly with the dates the backing was in use, at least with the Eighth, I'm still looking into getting uniform regs for the Ninth.

 

Matt.

 

Matt,

 

Thanks for the info! I hope you are able to find info on the wearing of these boxes by the 9th AF.

 

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I will bring this back up - this guys appears to be enlisted. And also what is directly under that wing??!!

 

blue back.jpg

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

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And also here...some have blue backed Sterling wings...some have no backing and some have embroidered wings on felt back?!?!?! This appears to be all one crew..

 

http://www.381st.org/Gallery/tabid/334/AlbumID/1031-138/Default.aspx#SimpleGallery-1031

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifmsg-24355-0-77312200-1449362814.gif

 

USMF's custom photo resize tool:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/




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Those are superb studio portraits! They are relaxed and smiling in them...but I wonder what kind of hell they had to go through to earn those DFCs?! Brave boys!

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Ian I was wondering the same thing...they dont even have their GC medals yet...they just straight up got the DFC! Must have been something spectacular

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifmsg-24355-0-77312200-1449362814.gif

 

USMF's custom photo resize tool:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/




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I will bring this back up - this guys appears to be enlisted. And also what is directly under that wing??!!

 

 

Nice photo! If your asking about the ribbon below the Aircrew wings, it appears to me to be an Air Medal ribbon with three oak leaf clusters.

 

 

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donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif



" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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Yep thats it - you cant tell from the original what it is. I couldnt even tell it was a ribbon! But with the blown up version you can. Thanks!!

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifmsg-24355-0-77312200-1449362814.gif

 

USMF's custom photo resize tool:http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/




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  • 2 years later...

I discovered this fascinating and educational thread while doing some research on a newly acquired Wing with the blue Combat backing.I'll post the sellers pics.Interestingly,I believe I found it's match in post # 46 of this very thread!

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High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Gunslinger,

 

Welcome to the Forum and thank you for taking the time to share your solid collection of blue background embroidered wings. The British also produced this blue felt style wing for Glider Pilots and Liaison Pilots.

 

Although I've not seen one, I wouldn't be surprised they may have also produce a similar rate for Service Pilot since they did make the other two ratings with letters?

photo (19).JPG

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  • 3 years later...

There have been some great examples posted so far, perhaps we might see some original photos of the wing backing being worn? even better if they are ID'd and dated.

 

Matt.

 

S/Sgt Maurice M. Friedman, Left Waist Gunner, 614th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 401st Bombardment Group (Heavy).. Photo dated 21 AUG 44.

 

Shade Ruff

 

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