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Help With WW I Air Service Skull & Cockade Insignia

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I’m seeking the identity of two separate pieces of AEF, Air Service insignia, both of which may or may not be related. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

 

Photo No. 01: The first insignia is this Air Service painted helmet which was recently sold by Bay State Militaria. I’m not positive, but I believe it was identified as a 147th Aero Squadron Helmet (if not that then a one-forty-something aero squadron helmet). It’s probably not a 147th Aero Squadron helmet because that squadron’s insignia was a rat terrier, i.e. a dog. To further complicate matters I could find no aero squadron whose insignia was comprised of playing cards.

 

Does anybody know what the insignia painted on this helmet represents?

 

Photos courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

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Photo No. 02: On the helmets left side is a winged cockade, which is vaguely similar to the 2nd Air Park insignia on the right.

 

Is the winged cockade connected in any way to the 2nd or any other AEF Air Park?

 

Left hand photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Right hand photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

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Photo No. 03: On the front of the helmet is a skull with blood red eye sockets over crossed cannon barrels. This brings us to the second unidentified Air Service insignia (left & right), which consists of a skull over a cockade. Note the blood red eye sockets on the left hand insignia.

 

Could there be a connection between the helmet & this insignia? Also, if not a fantasy piece, what organization does the skull & cockade insignia represent?

 

Center photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

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Photo No. 04: On the right hand side of the helmet are three playing cards in the suite of diamonds. The cars appear to denote the numerals ‘134’ or ‘144’. The only other AEF organization (that I’m aware of) to adopt playing cards (also diamonds) for its insignia was the 71st Artillery Regiment of the Coast Artillery Corps. That outfit’s logo, as painted on a steel helmet is shown on the right.

 

Could a connection between the Air Service & the Coast Artillery Corps be made based on the playing card symbols? If not, what do the playing cards on the helmet represent?

Left hand photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

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Photo No. 05: To further muddy the waters there is this image of a Doughboy wearing a helmet bearing a skull over crossed implements which can’t be positively identified – in addition, there were no identifying collar discs visible in the photograph.

 

Could there be a connection between this helmet & the Air Service helmet?

Left & right photos courtesy of Great War Images

Center photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

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Photo No. 06: Finally, for comparison, I’ve included two additional WW I era insignia, both bearing skulls: left, 20th Infantry Division; center, the above mentioned Air Service helmet insignia, and at left an unidentified insignia made up of a skull & a bomb. I doubt that the Air service insignia is connected to either of these … but you never know???

 

Center photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Right hand photo courtesy of the General Apathy collection

 

Thanks for looking & please post any thought you may have in regard to any of the insignia shown in this post … World War I Nerd

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The 64th CAC also used playing cards for their insignia.

 

I think the insignia in post #5 has a crossed pick and shovel underneath the skull, which might be Pioneer Infantry (or maybe just Engineers).

 

To further muddy the waters, the 147th Field Artillery Regiment also used a skull and crossbones insignia.

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I have seen 3 or 4 of these "skull and cross bone" helmets.... none with a known aero connection.

 

My recollection is that it had a regimental affiliation..... The above mentioned artillery regiment might be right, but I do not recall that with certainty.


donation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

 

 

Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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AEF1917, do you recall if the playing cards used on the 63rd Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps insignia were diamonds? I agree about the pick & shovel beneath the other skull helmet in the period photo. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to influence the opinion of others.

 

MAW, I didn't really think that the photo of the soldier wearing the skull helmet had anything to do with the posted Air Service lid, I mostly posted it because of the skull connection, and because when it comes to WW I, you just never know..

 

I was also pondering if the crossed cannon barrels under the skull as painted on the Air Service helmet might signify an affiliation with an anti-aircraft regiment?

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In my research for my ASMIC articles, I've found there are alot of previously unknown AERO insignia. I've been able to nail down a couple, but every skull one has proven difficult. There is the 13th Aero and the 31st aero which both used skulls. Then I have a photo of a plane with a skull and cross bone insignia that no one has been able to identify. The aircraft number doesn't show up in any records either. Additionally, another member on the forum located an A-1 flight jacket from the 1920s that had skull insignia that did not seem to make sense either. Worse there is a well documented an attributed flight helmet from a 1st aero vet there also has skull and cross bones.

The shooting start like insignia is reminiscent of the 22nd Aero.

Best ABN


California

 

"Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom."

 

-Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr.

USAF

 

''A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.'' Gerald Ford

 

"Those who melt their guns into plows will plow for those who don't." Thomas Jefferson

 

"I live in weirdville." Owen

 

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