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USN wearing Aerial Gunner wings


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Good link RD.

 

RC

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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The Navy did have aerial gunners on the PBY Catalinas (see photo). I don't know if the Navy had an Aerial Gunner School like the AAC, or sent some of their aircrews to the AAC School. If they went to the Army school, they may have been awarded the Army wing upon graduation. The fellow pictured at the top of this thread was an Aviation Machinist Mate, which could have served as crew chief/flight engineer on an aircraft like the Catalina, filling in as an Aerial Gunner when the need arose. BUT, as a qualified USN Aerial Gunner, he would have eventually worn the sleeve rating shown below (right). So, I would have to guess he was either prior AAC service (most likely), or a B.S.er. I would love to see the sleeves on that uniform jacket to see if he had the USN Aerial Gunner rate on his cuff.

 

Mark

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Baseball legend Ted Williams put it well when asked which was the best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, “The United States Marine Corps.”

Always looking for any early Utah National Guard especially Spanish-American War Utah Light Artillery, and Utah City/ County World War One medals.

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Could it be he didn't have a set of Naval Air Crew wings but was able to get a hold of a set of Army wings for his photo? I'm leaning more on the side of a simplistic explanation.

Looking for any WWII 104th "Timberwolf" Division items.

Including items from the 413th, 414th, and 415th Infantry Regiments 104th Recon Troop, 329th Engineer Battalion, 329th Medical Battalion

385th, 386th, 387th, and 929th Field Artillery Battalions 804th Ordnance Company 104th Quartermaster Company 104th Signal Company

555th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, 750th Tank Battalion 692nd Tank Destroyer Battalion 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion

 

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  • 3 years later...

The Navy did have aerial gunners on the PBY Catalinas (see photo). I don't know if the Navy had an Aerial Gunner School like the AAC, or sent some of their aircrews to the AAC School. If they went to the Army school, they may have been awarded the Army wing upon graduation. The fellow pictured at the top of this thread was an Aviation Machinist Mate, which could have served as crew chief/flight engineer on an aircraft like the Catalina, filling in as an Aerial Gunner when the need arose. BUT, as a qualified USN Aerial Gunner, he would have eventually worn the sleeve rating shown below (right). So, I would have to guess he was either prior AAC service (most likely), or a B.S.er. I would love to see the sleeves on that uniform jacket to see if he had the USN Aerial Gunner rate on his cuff.

 

Mark

My father was an aviation ordinanceman assigned to PATSU 1-1 which serviced the PBYs of VP-54 (Guadalcanal) and later VP-81 (Bouganville). He sometimes flew as a volunteer waist gunner when needed. How and where he recieved training in aerial gunnery I do not know but after returning to the States in late 1944 he was assigned to OTU-1 (Operational Training Unit) in Jacksonville where he taught aerial gunnery. Perhaps he learned on the job. He also manned a deck gun on board the PT boats that were stationed there.

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  • 1 year later...

I think it was just a guy who was proud of all the awards he earned and wanted to have a nice picture done. Believe it or not I have seen this same thing in much more recent times, I believe it was in 2006 when I just got back from Iraq. I was at the Naval Reserve center when I saw an ex soldier who later joined the Navy . On his dress white NAVAL uniform he wore his Combat Infantry Badge, his army service ribbons and his Army marksmanship pins. Was it correct wear for a Naval uniform... No. But, it wasn’t a PX hero case either. He did earn all those awards, Just an honest mistake of the improper display of certain awards when switching from one service to the next.

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I would go with Timberwolf . Lincoln, Nebraska, the middle of nowhere. Sailor shows up to get a photo of the new girlfriend. He may have just been wearing his blues, no ribbons etc... They may be insignia the photographer had available.

 

The placement of the individual ribbons, below the pocket is a bit off. A PO2 may or may not have been aware of the correct placement..

The photo is of his port side. USN Aerial gunner and sharpshooter distinguishing marks would have been sewn on the right sleeve, hidden by the babe.

The photographer has the Army insignia available and pins them on for the photo..

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