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Cairo Command ATC North African Wing - Named

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Alfred Berkowitz took off in early 1942 on a Pan AM flight to the Congo to begin a 2 1/2 year journey of adventures stretching from Morocco to Karachi. It eventually was established that the main hub of his group of crews would be crew be in Cairo Egypt, N African Wing, then N African Division ATC - Air Transport Command. I had seen ONE of these wings in my early days of collecting and being as ignorant as I was, I was not able to act fast enough to snatch it up and it was gone before I could begin to understand the high speed research I tried to do on the net. The 1/2 wing is for the Navigator role Al played in the ATC Cairo Command of the N. African Wing of the ATC.

The N African route became the PRIMARY route by which supplies flowed to Britain in the winter months, the Middle East, Italy, India and on to China to support operations of ground and air units; eventually supporting the new B-29's of the 20th AF. Al was there for the vast majority of the war. Al told his good friend John who he worked with in NY after the war (where Al moved from PA post war) that these UNOFFICIAL (like Radio Operator Wing for example) wings were specially made for those ATC Crews stationed out of the Cairo Command of the N African Wing/Division. It is an extremely rare and beautiful piece of ATC history. These were cast and the detailed and very well executed enameling done in one of the little metal smith shops in Cairo for the select aircrew out of the Cairo Command as Al confirmed with his buddy, which helped me understand what I was looking at when I first saw this wing type years ago. The enameling is done in a hat shaped piece with cupped edges to hold the enameling and then the enameled piece was attached to the base wing. It was a detailed and multifaceted procedure in which the metal smith did a great job, considering the primitive tools they used.

 

The wing had been noted as the "Camel" or "Cairo" Command when I first encountered it as they were not sure of the C C meaning. Well that is all confirmed now.

If you look at the wing, you will see the little Egyptian cylindrical red hat with the black tassel which the Mascot Camel on the Red carpet wore in the Emblem of the N Africa Wing (Division post 6/1944) of the ATC.

Below is the Red Carpet riding Camel with the trademark Egyptian hat with black tassel to give you context...

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Cairo Command Half Wing with the Star above the hat, an addition simply used as part of the distinctive design...

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Uniform with Name and serial # sown in collar.....

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see enamel cup attached to base wing with braze...

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Well that's something I'd never heard about before. Thanks for sharing and great uniform!

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Great stuff, thanks for sharing!


WANT TO BUY:



Titled case set "U.S. Typhus Commission";


Titled case "Medal for Merit";



ASMIC: 1677


OMSA: 6045



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Soooooo....youre the one who got this?! ;)

 

Thanks for keeping it safe and for the write-up!

 

Daniel


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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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 get some more information on about the history of the North African wing of the ATC later to give more context to the wing. As always gentlemen and lady collectors,your encouragement and edification regarding these items that we work so hard to bring under diligent stewardship, that they not be lost and scattered to time and space,is greatly appreciated ...

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Very cool! Love it! Thanks for all the great info.

 

JD


AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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Very interesting and unique wing. I have never heard of this ATC command. Thanks for posting.

 

...Kat


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How many times do you get to see a Fez on a wing? That alone is awesome. For those of you who are into Doctor Who you can't help but appreciate that item. Very cool piece. I've never seen anything like it.

 

We are on the same page Bob, "Fez' are cool"....nice to see a fellow Whovian!

 

Mel, beautiful wing with a fantastic piece of history and a rich story.

 

Best, John


...and on the eighth day, God created the radial engine...

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I recently had the pleasure of seeing first hand Mel's unique badge and what a pleasure it was.

 

Frankly I had never even heard of the Cairo Command of the North African Wing of the ATC until he wrote about it in this thread - and just like Bob, John and most of the other forum members it marked the first time I'd ever seen one these very desirable wings worn by some of its crew members.

 

A great acquisition Mel, and thanks for the history lesson.

 

Cliff


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Thanks Cliff, because without the Blessing of your kind and patient stewardship over my ability to pursue collecting US Military Aviation Insignia, in the formative early years to today, this thread and none other of substance from me, would be extant. You were destined to be a great positive influence in my Life My Friend, granting me illumination unto making right decisions by quieting my fleshly, impatient passions and trusting the Wisdom I had been granted by you and the activities I undertook through exercising that Wisdom. Thank You My Friend, for I am truly thankful to God for your generosity with the great acumen you have been granted to possess, the fruits of the unyielding dedication of your most excellent God-given attributes, to the preservation of US Military Aviation History.....

 

Mel

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We are on the same page Bob, "Fez' are cool"....nice to see a fellow Whovian!

 

Mel, beautiful wing with a fantastic piece of history and a rich story.

 

Best, John

Ha! Both Whovians and Shriners are fond of fezzes. Sweet group!

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