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WW1 Bullion Wing Variations


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  • 4 months later...

The beautiful bullion wings of Lt. Slygh W. Brown. Lt. Brown didn't receive his commission until January 1921.

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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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  • 4 months later...

Here is one to add that I picked up about a month ago.

It is hard to tell for sure, but it looks pretty close to the wing in the post above.

John

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

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  • 2 months later...

John,

 

Thats a beauty!

 

Interestingly; it has a rollover, side-entry safety clasp. That characteristic likely dates it in the very last era that these wings were manufactured and worn (possibly late 1918 to early 1922 or so.)

 

Even though the Army changed the design in Feb 1919, I suspect there were more than a few pilots who continued to wear--and thus occasionally need replacements for--the WW1 style wings.

 

Chris

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I've posted these before but thought they would be useful here in the reference thread.

 

This seems to be the second-most common pattern of American-made WW1 era wings. According to Terry Morris, this pattern may be associated with aviators from New England:

 

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  • 2 months later...

This was a nice wing that came off eBay a few days ago. At first, I thought it was on an English made uniform (albeit one that was in terrible shape) but it turns out it was US-made (Chicago) uniform. Still, I really liked the "RFC-style" bullion observer wing--as this is a type of wing that you find on French-made uniforms. Although, I suspect that this is actually a US-made wing.

 

Frankly, I think that the observer wings are underappreciated and I have a soft spot in my head for the flying A-hole wings. I took it off the uniform as an act of preservation because the jacket is in really tough shape.

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This was a nice wing that came off eBay a few days ago. At first, I thought it was on an English made uniform (albeit one that was in terrible shape) but it turns out it was US-made (Chicago) uniform. Still, I really liked the "RFC-style" bullion observer wing--as this is a type of wing that you find on French-made uniforms. Although, I suspect that this is actually a US-made wing.

 

Frankly, I think that the observer wings are underappreciated and I have a soft spot in my head for the flying A-hole wings. I took it off the uniform as an act of preservation because the jacket is in really tough shape.

 

That's a nice addition to your collection Patrick! Man-o-man, you've got a wonderful collection of WWI US bullion wings!

 

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Patrick,

 

Here is mine. When I got it I too thought it was of English make, but it turned out my young Lieutenant Observer never served overseas. Perhaps they were imports? It would be interesting if they could be nailed down to a specific base or part of the country.

 

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There is also a very similar badge on Bob Schwartz's website here:

 

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/wwi/us/presleygilchrist.shtml

 

The badge linked above apparently belongs to Cliff and belonged to a vet in the 104th AS.

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I agree CW, it is hard to know where the bullion badges were made, I think. Some patterns are pretty obvious, of course, not by no means all. Even where the uniform may have been tailored can be misleading as I suspect badges or patches may have been added after the fact.

 

As for English made insignia, I always wonder how many WWI pilots actually were in England. Its not like WWII where most of the US servicemen who fought in France (especially before D-Day) went through England first. My sense is that in WWI, most of the aviation sections in the AEF went straight to France. In fact, I believe most of the AEF pilots/observers likely received advance training at Issoudun, Tours, and Avord Aerodromes. With maybe a few squadrons getting advanced training in Britain.

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Patrick

 

You are correct, between imports and the mobile nature of a lot of WW1 Airmen, it is often hard to pin these things down. I have a friend who has a lovely RCAF uniform made by a tailor in Fort Worth TX!

 

Here is another recent pick up. On the loose, I believe I would be fairly certain this was a French-made wing. The wing certainly has many of the characteristics we collectors associate with French wings; thin US, horizontal feathers, etc--but it is still sewn to the finely tailored PA-made uniform. The wing may have been made in France, but the pilot who wore it never got any further east than Long Island:

 

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Chris

 

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Cliff probably has some ideas, but he hasn't been very active on the forum for some time.

 

I agree, that does seem like what I would consider a "French-made" wing.

 

I guess it is possible that there was some importation of French made bullion insignia or that the wings were just copied from a French example in the US. We probably know much less than we think we do.

 

P

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  • 1 month later...

This is a new, rather nice bullion wing that I just added to the collection. This is a rather unique form for a bullion wing. However, I believe it was the type of bullion wing that was worn by a few of the 94th AS members. The shield has an interesting raised edge, and they incorporated a small sequin between the U and the S. Also, the stars and some of the details of the shield are made of a gold bullion wire that really makes the whole thing pop!

 

It is a tad smaller than my other bullion wings, but in hand, it is really something great.

 

Here is a picture of Lt Samuel Kaye, of the 94th AS. I found some other (sadly rather grainy) of other 94th pilots wearing what seems to be a similar wing.

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This is a new, rather nice bullion wing that I just added to the collection. This is a rather unique form for a bullion wing. However, I believe it was the type of bullion wing that was worn by a few of the 94th AS members. The shield has an interesting raised edge, and they incorporated a small sequin between the U and the S. Also, the stars and some of the details of the shield are made of a gold bullion wire that really makes the whole thing pop!

 

It is a tad smaller than my other bullion wings, but in hand, it is really something great.

 

Here is a picture of Lt Samuel Kaye, of the 94th AS. I found some other (sadly rather grainy) of other 94th pilots wearing what seems to be a similar wing.

 

Wow! I've never seen one with that unique bullion shield design. What a fabulous new addition to your collection! Where do you think it was made?

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Patrick -

I went through all of my portraits, other pics, and ref books from the 94th AS, and Kaye's wings seem to be quite unique; I could not find a similar wing amongst the lot.

 

Nice wing by the way ;)

 

-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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Thanks Russ, if I had to guess, I think this is a French-made badge. But that is just a guess

 

Hey Chuck, if you look in the Wings of Honor book in the section about the 94th AS, there are some blurry pictures of pilots, a few of whom seem to be wearing a wing similar to this one. Maybe only I see it because it is what I want to see?

 

P

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Patrick - please refresh my memory on which pages to look at in WoH (there are a lot of great images scattered throughout).

 

I used "The Hat In The Ring Gang" by Charles Woolley for my main source for comparing bullion wing variations of the 94th AS.

 

Here are a couple of pages to show you Sam Kaye might well have had a "unique" wing amongst his squadron mates (Kaye is the 1st portrait)

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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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One more:

 

For anyone who does not have this book, I highly recommend adding it to your library:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0764314270/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475701526&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=the+hat+in+the+ring+gang

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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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Hi chuck.

 

If you check out chapter VIII pages 113, 116, and 117 there appear to be a few pilots wearing this type of Wong. Jimmie Meissner and Rick Smyth on page 113, Edwin Green on page 116 and Meissner and Reed Chambers on page 117. All of the 94th if I am reading the captions correctly. To my eyes at least, it seems that adding in Keye, that makes about 4-5 guys wearing similar wings. Pretty cool, I yhink

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