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Is this wing good? Post you advice requests here!


John Cooper
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Thrifter_01

Hey folks, I found these 2 inch pilot wings in a small grab-bag filled with a few other ww2 era pins. Put this in a few other threads and I was recommended to put them here for a final verdict. Was told the "SILVER" stamp and British looking pin combo are generally fake, but would like to hear y'alls thoughts if this is what that is.

 

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Your two-inch shirt-size pilot wing appears to be CBI theater made... and was most likely produced in India during WWII. In my opinion, it's an authentic and desirable piece.   

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Yes, and I think the manufacturer of these wings can also be found.  I just don't recall what it was.

 

CBI wings were (apparently) marked SILVER because they didn't have the strict metal assay rules that they had in England.  English made wings in Sterling Silver (like Ludlow, Guant or Firmen) would have been marked using very specific assay hallmarks -- or in some cases STERLING SILVER.  Silver smiths in the UK had proscribed assay marks showing the metal content, date and city of manufacture.  The use of SILVER hallmarks on those wings would have been incorrect and meaningless.  Its hard to know if there were any exceptions (but there are always exceptions) but that is pretty good rule of thumb.  In general though, I would argue that a SILVER marked wing from England is likely mucked with

 

On the other hand, CBI marked wings... well they can go just about in any direction you want.  Perhaps wings made in the commonwealth colony like India may have had some metal assay restrictions similar to what you see in the UK silver market --also think about Australia and New Zealand which used Stg Sil or STERLING Silver (not just the silver), but I think China may have been more a "wild west" type outfit when it came to obscure metal marking rules for stuff sold to GIs.  I suspect in China (and to a lesser extent in India) they would mark it anyway they wanted.  At the time, I don't think it really would have actually impacted on the price asked... maybe penny or two more for a pure silver piece vs a "silver" colored item.  

 

All that being said, I believe that these are a highly collectible Indian-made wing, as said by Russ.

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That is a gorgeous CBI piece.  Congratulations.  Anyone would be proud to have that in their collection.  I've always loved the CBI made pieces.  

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Thanks pfrost. Is there a way to know these are CBI-made? I thought I had just read about that British-style pin and the mark "silver" and the questionable authenticity of such wings. Is that suspicion then only when hallmarked by a known British maker?

I have just the jungle jacket for those!

Thanks,

Dave

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rathbonemuseum.com

My opinion is these were made in India. Yes, they are authentic. Yes, british style pin and marked silver is correct. 

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18 hours ago, dmar836 said:

Thanks pfrost. Is there a way to know these are CBI-made? I thought I had just read about that British-style pin and the mark "silver" and the questionable authenticity of such wings. Is that suspicion then only when hallmarked by a known British maker?

I have just the jungle jacket for those!

Thanks,

Dave

You will get a feel for placing the wings the longer you study them. Although I like to remind people that there were many other theaters of operation other than the ETO and CBI.  There are many wing patterns that probaly hail from South America (ie. Panama) that are often mistaken.  A well as Egypt and other parts of the middle east.  Still, I wouldn't quibble to strongly that these are likely CBI (in particular India) made wings.

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These are on an unnamed Troop Carrier B-13 jacket. Lot's of scratched info (much to unreadable to be faked but who knows?). Says "B-17s", "Mar '43", "Germ 'POW'", and "8AF". Some stuff in the middle I can't make out. Anyway, the maker is one I hadn't seen. Weird grind mark right near center was concerning but appears to have been done prior to hallmark. VN war era?

 

1/20 SILVERFILLED

      KREW G-I

 

 

Dave

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Dave, unfortunately, that specific feather design and alpha-numeric hallmark "Krew G-1" is indicative of a 1960's made wing... so any scratched "B-17" and "Mar 43" inscriptions on the back are highly suspect.

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Agreed. Thanks for the info. Just going through uniforms I have checking the wings. Bought it for the B-13 and patch so...

I'll have more to show.

Thank so much,

Dave

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So Donald, are you just buying up anything and everything wing-related that you can without confidence of authenticity or are you reviewing all the items you already have?

Not sure I'm gonna get into wings if I have to compete with this!

Dave

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39 minutes ago, dmar836 said:

So Donald, are you just buying up anything and everything wing-related that you can without confidence of authenticity or are you reviewing all the items you already have?

Not sure I'm gonna get into wings if I have to compete with this!

Dave

NOT i'm just having a little bit of fun, i have over 300 wings in my collection so far i have picked up one fake and sent a few back thats the chances you have to take

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No shame in asking questions.  when I first started collecting, I would have killed my own dog to have had access to the knowledge on this forum.

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So aerial gunners wings. This "2S" isn't the post war markings, right? I have seen such markings with the letter first such as "S-2" or similar. Ideas on the meaning of 2S on this one?

 

Dave

 

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5thwingmarty

2S was the assigned code for Silverman Brothers and these are from well after WWII.  Sorry I don't have the reference handy as to what years the number-letter codes were used before switching to the letter-number codes.  This pattern of wing is more commonly found with the Vanguard 1V mark but can also be found with no maker's mark.  This base wing with the three concentric rings was used to make aerial gunner, bombardier and flight engineer wings that can be found with both the 2S and 1V makers' marks.

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Thanks so much. Saw it on a well-respected dealer's site but it was assumed to be of WWII mfg. Raised a question to me.

 

Marty, I haven't seen this type of info anywhere else and have not invested in the recommended books. No offense to the author's and their great contributions but much appears to be vintage drawings. I guess memorizing the various die patterns is one thing. I collect only WWII era AAC/USAAF so my mental vault space is limited. I suppose much with wings is context and experience.

Appreciate the thread,

Dave

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Like Marty said, alpha numeric is well after WWII.

It seems nobody has ever been able to establish the exact date when the alpha numeric system was adopted, but it appears to be sometime in the late 1950’s.

Regarding dealers, very few of them are wing experts (Ron Burkey is one of the few). Many often mis ID wings, not deliberately, it’s just that most are not wing experts.

John

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5thwingmarty

I should have noted that the aerial gunner wing Dave posted about appears to have had the long nailhead type pins removed and a cammed pin installed.  As manufactured I believe all of these wings were clutchback with the nailhead type pins.  

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Sure seams like an awful lot of work. I suppose it was done as a "repair" while in service. I guess I just imagine that if I damaged the wings on my class A's I'd be more likely to buy a cheap replacement. If done for dubious reasons, at a $50 dealer resale price, it sure wouldn't be worth it.

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I once did a bunch of research and actually knew the exact dates were concerning the establishment of the alphanumeric numbering system, including some correspondence with one of the individuals at the Institute of heraldry.  But... I wrote it down, put that information into a place that I wouldn't lose it...and then lost it.


BUT, the best I can recall, in 1957 Congress passed a law establishing a centralized heraldic organization that would approve and standardize all the military unit insignia and devices (from about 1919 until that time, it seemed that there was some variations on how things were done and approved--but the specifics escape me).

 

The new law (again, best I can recall) allowed the IOH to standardize the production and approval of insignia designs and how it was to be marked by the various vendors.  Thus the first alpha-numeric system was established using a single letter and number (i.e. 9M for NS Meyers, 2S for Silverman Brothers... etc).

 

I suspect that in many cases WWII vintage dies and manufacturing processes (or perhaps even older) and old stock may have simply been modified with the addition of the new hallmarking system.  Then a few years later, sometime in the early-mid 1960's, the IOH revisited and again modified their alphanumeric system to include a 2 digit number and letter.  For example NS Meyer went from 9M to 22M.  I suspect that just reflected that they ran out of numbers to assign to specific companies and that there were probably a few years of overlap between the various numbering systems. 

 

Back in the day, I used to recall hearing some "dealer/collector lore" that WWII items could be differentiated from Korean War by the use of the first alphanumeric system and that Vietnam war/cold war stuff could be differentiated by the 2 digit system.  But in reality, I don't think that there is any really good way to accurately differentiate between WWII and Korean War insignia with any great deal of accuracy (there are some exceptions and caveats of course--but certainly not by the alpha/numeric hallmark).

 

Interestingly you sometimes find NS Meyer made badges with the company name spelled out (NS Meyer New York), the NS Meyer Shield with NS Meyer, New York inside, a 9M in a shield AND a 22M right next to it in another shield!  Date that one, baby!  LOL

 

 

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