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Black Leatherette Backing for USAF Flight Suit Patches - 1980's

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Some time back I acquired a CWU-27 nomex flightsuit that had belonged to a USAF fighter pilot. IT has a 1980 contact date in the label. What was unique is that all the patches and rank have a black leatherette backing. The material was cut a little larger than the patch to give it a black edgingh and was sew to the patch and then sewn to the flight suit. The only velcro is for the name/wing block. I have attached a picture of the left shoulder which has a USAF Fighter School Graduate patch, plus the colonel's rank (encased in clear plastic) also has the leatherette backing.


I had come across this before with some US Air Force Europe (USAFE) patches. Does anyone know if this practice was Air Force wide at one time or limited to USAFE? Thank you.



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I remember seeing the officer rank on black leather but the image was embossed and no clear plastic covering. This was in the late 60's and that was stateside.. I do not recall ever seeing any unit patches done the way they are on your flight suit.




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Goes back to the 1950s. Here's a 4520 CCTW patch from the air to ground portion of William Tell 1958. Sewn on to leather with metal snaps on the reverse for removal in the pre-Velcro days. Leather (or an equivalent) behind patches was used AF wide at many bases, and is still seen today.




MSgt USAF (Ret)

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