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cthomas

WWI Pilot Wearing TWO Wings!

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The variations of bullion wings in this photograph is really something! All are wearing leather Sam-Browne's. All but one is wearing an overseas cap. (Although there is a wide variety of cap styles.)

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I wish I had the ability to share the incredible variety of bullion wings in this photograph...

 

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Russ,

 

You were very thoughtful to say what you did and it is very much appreciated.

Thank for being the friend that you are. . . and for the work you do to promote

this hobby.

 

My best to you and your family,

 

Cliff


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Russ -

 

Thanks for adding that classic image of pilots taken at the 2nd AIC (Tours). I though I had a clear, high resolution scan that I downloaded from the SDASM collection. But it wasn't a very big file after all & quickly lost definition when I tried to zoom in.

 

Here are my two exceptions to that bullion wing rule. Boy, did I have to search my collection hard just for these two pics:

 

1) Lt. R.D. Knapp, 92nd AS. Probably taken while he was training in England, ca. Summer 1918

 

2) Lt. Russel L. Maughan, 139th AS. Note the DSC ribbon bar below his metal wings.

 

 

 

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WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Here are my two exceptions to that bullion wing rule. Boy, did I have to search my collection hard just for these two pics:

 

1) Lt. R.D. Knapp, 92nd AS. Probably taken while he was training in England, ca. Summer 1918

 

2) Lt. Russel L. Maughan, 139th AS. Note the DSC ribbon bar below his metal wings.

 

Chuck, with regard to those two pictures.

 

To say they represent two exceptions to the bullion wing badge rule enforced by the U. S. Army while with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Europe during WWI give me pause to hesitate or except as fact.

 

The photo of Lt. Robert D. Knapp may have been taken while he was assigned to the 92nd Squadron at Ford Junction Airdrome, Sussex, England but nether he nor the 92nd never left England; therefore, Lt. Knapp was never stationed in Europe with the AEF during WWI.

 

The photo of Lt. Russell L. Maughan wearing a Distinguished Service Cross ribbon rather than the medal itself also suggests that the picture was actually taken AFTER he had returned to the United States. Note the two photos of Lt. Maughan below.

 

Cliff

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Great stuff guys!

 

This; "did they -- didn't they?" question is one of my favorite topics of discussion.

 

Thanks again for the scholarly discourse.

 

Chris


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Cliff -

I do realize that after I uploaded those two examples in the wee hours of the morning, I did not provide solid proof...ergo, I wasn't exactly standing on solid ground in my counter argument.

 

When the 92nd AS arrived in England, it was assigned to No.38 squadron (Night Bombardment) operating out of Dunkirk. However, it sounds like this was only on paper because there's no evidence in Gorrell's of any mission reports. In fact, the only thing stated in Gorrell's is the 92nd AS simply trained in bombardment operations.

 

As for my image of Lt. Maughan, I realized I didn't have a solid date or location of that portrait. It states only to credit the 15th Photo Section, Air Service. I'm embarrassed to admit I can't find the operational history of the 15th PS.

 

-Chuck


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Chris -

I meant to add that this discussion on metal vs. bullion wings in the AEF has been a learning experience for me as well. It has forced me to take a much closer look of my image collection than I have ever done before.

 

A special thanks to Cliff & Russ for bringing their experience to the table.

 

Cheers!

Chuck


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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More terrific images guys! Thank you Chuck. Thank you Cliff.

 

It appears Lt. Maughan might be wearing either a Tiffany or Johnson made Pilot badge?

 

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Tiffany vs Johnson.jpg


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When the 92nd AS arrived in England, it was assigned to No.38 squadron (Night Bombardment) operating out of Dunkirk. However, it sounds like this was only on paper because there's no evidence in Gorrell's of any mission reports. In fact, the only thing stated in Gorrell's is the 92nd AS simply trained in bombardment operations.

 

As for my image of Lt. Maughan, I didn't have a solid date or location of that portrait. It states only to credit the 15th Photo Section, Air Service. I'm embarrassed to admit I can't find the operational history of the 15th PS.

 

Hey Chuck,

 

Lt. Robert D. Knapp was assigned to the 92th Squadron in August 1918, but the 92nd never left England to join the No. 38 Squadron in Dunkirk due to a late shipment of propellers for the unit's Handley-Page 0/400 bombers.

 

Right after the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918 all U.S. personnel assigned to the 92nd Squadron in England returned to the United States for duty with the 1st Provincial Wing, Long Island, NY.

______________________________________________

 

With regard to the photo of Lt. Russell L. Maughan. The fact that the photo credits the 15th Photo Section Air Service gives an even better idea of when and where it was taken. Lt. Maughan was sent to Crissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco in 1921 to join the 91st Observation Squadron, 9th Corps. The 15th Photo Section was assigned to the 91st Observation Squadron.

 

Cliff


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Cliff -

Thanks on both accounts. I'll update my notes with this new information. I suppose that would date your Maughan studio portrait to the same time period?

If you guys will humor me a bit longer, I've got another metal wing/ Sam Browne belt wearing aviator portrait I need to dig up. I figured since we were on the topic...

 

- Chuck


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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An unidentified aviator wearing a variation of the English made JR Gaunt metal pilot wings. I always thought this was taken overseas because of how it was found among other such shots. Maybe not??? (ref - example WB-46, pg.26 of Terry Morris' US Air Service insignia book).

 

This reminds me of something we were discussing earlier about foreign made metal pilot's wings...We can say with certainly at least the firm of JR Gaunt (London) made them...

 

-Chuck

post-518-0-51013100-1448641317.jpg


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Possibly a young Karl C. Payne posing in a French studio while wearing a metal pinback version of his aviator wing. In later pictures, such as the one in 'New England Aviators', shows Lt. Payne wearing a bullion version.

 

 

post-518-0-79161100-1448642507.jpg


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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One more overseas pilot breaking the rules...

post-518-0-41030100-1448642931.jpg


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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One more overseas pilot breaking the rules...

 

What proof do you have that the photo was taken overseas?

 


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Possibly a young Karl C. Payne posing in a French studio while wearing a metal pinback version of his aviator wing. In later pictures, such as the one in 'New England Aviators', shows Lt. Payne wearing a bullion version.

 

 

 

That is not Karl C. Payne; however, who ever it was you say the photo was possibly taken in a French studio. What proof do you have to substantiate that it was taken in France?

 

Cliff

 


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An unidentified aviator wearing a variation of the English made JR Gaunt metal pilot wings. I always thought this was taken overseas because of how it was found among other such shots. Maybe not??? (ref - example WB-46, pg.26 of Terry Morris' US Air Service insignia book).

 

This reminds me of something we were discussing earlier about foreign made metal pilot's wings...We can say with certainly at least the firm of JR Gaunt (London) made them...

 

-Chuck

 

You say we can say with certainty that the firm of JR Gaunt (London) made those wings.

 

That is not true. Several minor variations of that wing were produced by Robbins but it was never made by JR Gaunt.

 

Cliff


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cthomas, on 27 Nov 2015 - 11:42 AM, said:

 

Possibly a young Karl C. Payne posing in a French Studio while wearing a metal pinback version of his aviator wing. In later pictures, such as the one in 'New England Aviators', shows Lt. Payne wearing a bullion version.

 

 

That is not Karl C. Payne; however, who ever it was, you say the photo was possibly taken in a French studio. What proof do you have to substantiate that it was taken in France?

 

Cliff

 

Below is the photo of Karl C. Payne from 'New England Aviators' - Compare it to the inlarged photo of the 'unknown' observer. . . who incidentally is not holding an overseas hat (as seen in post #39) which would have been the case if the photo had been taken overseas.

 

Cliff

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What proof do you have that the photo was taken overseas?

 

 

I should have said, "What proof do you have that the photo was not taken in the US or in England?

Note that the pilot in the photo is holding an English style riding crop.

 

Cliff

 


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You say we can say with certainty that the firm of JR Gaunt (London) made those wings.

 

That is not true. Several minor variations of that wing were produced by Robbins but it was never made by JR Gaunt.

 

Cliff

 

Cliff -

I was implying that there are variations of the aviator wing manufactured by at least one overseas company (an earlier point of discussion in the post). The one seen in my photo resembles wing example WB-46, on pg.26 of Terry's book. He describes it as being a variant of another wing (example WB-45) believed to be made by JR Gaunt.

If we can say with certainty either of the above examples were not made by Gaunt, I'm fine with that; I can "adjust'...

-Chuck


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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I should have said, "What proof do you have that the photo was not taken in the US or in England?

Note that the pilot in the photo is holding an English style riding crop.

 

Cliff

 

 

Cliff -

Simply put, I have no concrete evidence... Just some minor details hinting at the possibilities.

-Chuck


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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This is a biographical wing (as Cliff likes to say) from Frances "Huckleberry Fin" Hughes that it similar to the one shown in post #38. Lt Hughes flew late in the war with the 99th Aerosquadron, seeing some combat just before the end of hostilities (he either got shot down or crashed in no-man's land and spent a few days dodging capture). I got some copies of photos of Hughes from the family and it seems that all his overseas pictures show him wearing bullion wings.

 

While these particular wings are very similar to the Robbin's-made wing in pattern, I've never been convinced that they were actually made by Robbins as opposed to an individual jeweler copying this example.These are hand made wings made of multiple pieces and originally were screw back. Many (including the ones that I have) were converted to pin back sometime in their lifetime. They have no hallmarks and are each individually a bit different (obviously because they were hand made).

 

I also had heard that these were "English-made" wings many years ago, but I am inclined to believe Cliff that these aren't English made. In fact, I'm not even sure that Hughes was in England during WWI, although he was stationed in England during WWII some 20 or so years later as CO of a supply/support squadron for the 8th AAF.

Patrick

 

 

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cthomas, on 27 Nov 2015 - 11:42 AM, said:

 

Possibly a young Karl C. Payne posing in a French Studio while wearing a metal pinback version of his aviator wing. In later pictures, such as the one in 'New England Aviators', shows Lt. Payne wearing a bullion version.

 

 

Below is the photo of Karl C. Payne from 'New England Aviators' - Compare it to the inlarged photo of the 'unknown' observer. . . who incidentally is not holding an overseas hat (as seen in post #39) which would have been the case if the photo had been taken overseas.

 

Cliff

 

 

This portrait of mine was definitely taken overseas as evidence by the French photo paper (Carte Postale). My apologies for not including this crucial detail...

It is an early one, by the fact he's still posing with a campaign hat as opposed to the overseas cap.

-Chuck


WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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BTW if I had to guess, I have always felt that these wings are US made. I suspect he got them before he left the States.

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