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Unknown cuff patch on CWU-27/p Lt. Colonel USAF flight suit


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Hello friends.

 

Picked up some uniform items from a USAF Lt. Colonel. What is this sew-on patch of 4 little silver thread stars and 1 gold thread star, located on the right sleeve cuff of his CWU-27p flight suit?

 

Photos below, I'd be grateful for any help.

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I may be way off, but I think that might be a rank insignia for one of our allies.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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I may be way off, but I think that might be a rank insignia for one of our allies.

 

I, at first considered the same, however the suit does have clear vinyl covered Lt Colonel silver oak leaves sewn on to the shoulder straps.

 

I've never seen such a patch, the stars are fine metallic threads, 4 silver stars and 1 gold.

 

I'm stumped and definitely need the forum's expert help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Could it be possible that it's a non-regulation mission tally? Just a crazy idea...

Will Twomey

In Honor of:

USA General John Wickham (1928-)

USAF Colonel Bernie Fisher MOH (1927-2014)

USMC Sergeant Al De Vito (Chosin Reservoir Survivor) (1926-)

USA Cpl. Macedonio Leyba (Bataan Death March survivor) (1917-2007)

 

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Could it be possible that it's a non-regulation mission tally? Just a crazy idea...

 

I've looked into that, but have found nothing.

 

Does anyone know anything about USAF personnel assigned to the Air Force Space Command or US Space Command?

 

I wonder if this Lt Colonel may have been attached to them and this patch represents something in the Space Command?

 

Still searching here....I've never seen it before and it must mean something if he had it on his sleeve cuff.

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I asked my Dad, a fighter pilot and Brig. General in the USAF, and he replied with the following-

 

"My best guess is each stat represents a mig kill and that could only belong to an Air Force WSO (back seater that got the same credit as the frontseater. The name that comes to mind is Feinstein or something like that. He was in F-4s and I did not know him."

 

hope it helps. toad

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Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions on what this sleeve cuff patch is.

 

I've been unable to ID it in almost a month, and since it has been stripped of all insignia other than the LT. Colonel ranks and this cuff patch, I am going to pass it on to a friend to sell for me. Perhaps the new owner will have better luck than I in answering this mystery.

 

Thanks again.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I came across a 1991 article from the Hampton Roads VA Daily Press. From the article:

 

"At Langley those who served in combat literally wear it on their sleeves. The visible sign of combat flight time is a gold star on the right sleeve cuff. Normally, Air Force pilots sport a silver star for every 500 hours of flying time. The Navy has no official outward sign for fliers on their flight suits [...]"

Justin B.

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Another reference from Google, an article about F-15's from Flying magazine, February 1988:

 

"At any rate, he's still not considered "experienced" in his fighter until he's logged 500 hours in it. (Each 500 hours he logs is indicated by a small silver star on the right sleeve of his flight suit. Combat time gets him a gold star, each 500 hours of combat time means another gold star.)"

Justin B.

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Very interesting! I love learning more about my services heritage! Great detective work fellas

Visit My 76th Division Collection Website!

http://76thdivisioncollection.blogspot.com/

Always looking for 76th Infantry Division Items and Information!!

385th, 304th, and 417th Infantry Regiments : 355th, 364th, 901st, 302nd Field Artillery Battalions

301st Medical and 301st Engineer Battalions


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I came across a 1991 article from the Hampton Roads VA Daily Press. From the article:

 

"At Langley those who served in combat literally wear it on their sleeves. The visible sign of combat flight time is a gold star on the right sleeve cuff. Normally, Air Force pilots sport a silver star for every 500 hours of flying time. The Navy has no official outward sign for fliers on their flight suits [...]"

Justin B.

 

 

 

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thank you a ton....I had given up hope of ever figuring this one out!

 

Thanks again.

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  • 11 months later...

Those stars were used by TAC (Tactical Air Command) in the late 1980's, they were discontinued following the first Gulf War mostly in part due to jealousy. Before the Gulf War, only the few Vietnam Veterans still on active duty had any gold stars, and also the F-111 guys who flew into Libya. After the Gulf War, there was the "Been there, done that pilots, and the "sorry, you missed out pilots". TAC discontinued the stars as a result of jealousy.

Only TAC used them, not PACAF or USAFE. They were for Fighter time only, not bomber or transport time. Each star represents 500 hours of actual fighter time. If you saw combat during that 500 hours, then the star was gold. If you had over 501 hours of combat time, you had 2 gold stars.

The flight suit you have indicates the pilot had between 2500-2999 total hours of fighter time, and between 1-499 hours of that was in combat.

If a TAC pilot had FAC (Forward Air Control) time, such as in an OV-10 or O-1, he would wear diamonds instead of stars. Diamonds were very rarely worn, mainly because most young FACs in the 1980's would just not wear them. They let that honor go only to the older Vietnam veteran pilots, who were considered "Career FAC's". In 1990, I had seen Career FACs who had 15-20 diamonds on their sleeves, many of them being gold.

 

Dave

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the great explanations! I got this flight suit from a retired Lt. General who had some 900 hours of combat time. I was at a loss about the stars, but sure enough a google search of the forum brought up this thread.

 

There was one of these flight hours patches loose with the grouping and that had me mystified even before I saw one on the flight suit.

 

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Those stars were used by TAC (Tactical Air Command) in the late 1980's...

Dave

 

The officer who wore the flight suit I posted was a Colonel from 1981 to 1989 before getting his first star. His Colonel time was filled with TAC assignments:

 

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  • 3 years later...
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