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WW1 Bullion Wing Variations


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Hello Charles,

 

The small grouping I bought associated with Lt. William W. Mathews many years ago included his identification (as illustrated above in post #86, 87 & 88); his bullion pilot wings (as illustrated in post #91, 92, 93 & 94); and a pair of WWI era prop/wing collar brass representing the U.S. Army Air Service (not previously illustrated). Unfortunately, there were no other documents or photographs included in that particular grouping.

 

Russ

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Russ,

 

I truly appreciate you getting back to me. Perhaps the wing collar brass was the piece on this picture of him?

 

So far I have found he was attached to 18 Squadron. Now I am in the process of finding any books on can on or about the 18 Squadron or it's members. Ultimately, I'd like to find a specific aircraft attached to him, as I am an avid modeler.

 

Thanks again,

Charles

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

In this day and age of multi-pixel and high-definition imagery, the photographers efforts almost a century ago certainly produced photos with

wonderful clarity! Terrific studio photograph Cliff! These WWI era photos are a nice addition to this thread...

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Bullion EM aviator wings?

Note also the Aviation electrician Sgt. rank being worn below the wings...

(image courtesy of the San Diego Air & Space Museum)

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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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Cliff -

That is indeed a great portrait! Did anyone else notice the embroidered 'U.S.' insignia on Capt. Parris's collar?

 

I have one of my own Balloon Corps portrait to share (click on the blue hyperlink to see Hall's headstone):

 

Hall, John R. 2nd Lt. (Balloon Lic#109)

-DOB: 1891

-DOD: 1922 (see gravestone in Missouri cemetery)

-43rd BC from 3-3-18/8-18-18

The 43rd Balloon Company was formally organized at Camp John Wise on March 23, 1918 and was commanded by Lt. Hall

-69th BC from 8-18-18/Armistice

 

 

Regards,

Chuck

 

 

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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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From L to R:

 

Sam Kay, Joe Dawson & Bob Donaldson ca. April 1919.

Note the uncommon design of Donaldson's wings

 

-Chuck

post-518-0-13886700-1426867321.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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From L to R:

 

Sam Kay, Joe Dawson & Bob Donaldson ca. April 1919.

Note the uncommon design of Donaldson's wings

 

-Chuck

 

Chuck,

 

The fellow standing on the far right is not Robert O. W. Donaldson of the 94th Aero Squadron, it's William W. Palmer who was from Bennettsville, SC. He was killed while in South America during the 1930s and in WWII a primary flight training base named after him was built just west of the town.

 

Cliff

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Cliff -

I stand corrected! Of course that's Lt. Palmer. Thanks for the fantastic image of Palmer in front of the 94th AS Spads.

 

I got lazy last night and did not catch the error in my post. All I did was read off the period news caption that came with the photo. And I see here in my notes that Alan Toelle gave me the proper ID previously.

Thanks again for refreshing my memory!

 

-Chuck

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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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This is a new addition to the collection. I believe that this is an English-made US Air Service observer wing. In period photos, you see a fair amount of variation in the observer wings being worn, especially in the first groups of American aviators who were coming into France.

 

This wing is on a dark blue backing. The reverse shows a red cloth base material. I suspect that the red cloth was the same material that the British was using for their red uniforms, which is why I believe the wings were made in England (as opposed to the US or France).

 

 

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Thanks Cliff.

 

For some reason, I really find the "flying A-hole" style observer wings to be very interesting pattern :D . I also think that these wings are underappreciated (in general) by the collecting community, which makes them less copied and less expensive. On top of that, I really like WWI bullion wings. I had been looking for a bullion observer wing for some time now.

 

What is very interesting is that in period photographs, you frequently see American observers wearing clearly RFC style observer wings in white silk thread as well guys who are wearing the bullion wings. What seems to be especially rare are the metal observer wings.

 

But it is nice to post a wing on the forum again.

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I picked up this WWI pilot wing last weekend at the Baltimore show.

A bit worse for wear, but a pattern I have not seen and was thrilled to find.

Appears US made.

 

John

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

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A couple of nice additions to this informative thread! Thank you Patrick...Thank you John.

 

Here's an early image of Captain Reuben Hollis Fleet, future founder of Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego. Check out the unusual placement of his wings upon his uniform.

Reuben Fleet, Consolidated Aircraft founder.jpg

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Maybe the breast pocket was poorly placed.... it's all in one's prespective.

 

Hey B-17 John, does that wing have sequines? It is a kind of neat pattern. Good deal!

 

Thanks Russ and Patrick...yes those are what you see.

Here is a better angle to see the sequins that were placed

below the silver bullion.

 

John

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

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Another addition from off of ebay.

 

A rather grubby wing, but I like the general workmanship and quality. Also, I have noticed that most of the vintage WWI bullion wings tend to have a nice "pillow" or "padded" effect on the shield. You can see it in the next photo. That isn't to say that all the wings you see should have this padded effect, as I have found good wings that were more flat in profile.

 

This wing also illustrates some of the "natural" aging that you see with old bullion. First, the silver wire is nicely and evenly tarnished. It is hard to see, but there is also some dirt and grunge that has accumulated along the edge of the wing where the bullion threads and fabric meet on the frong of the wing.

On the back of the wing, the backing material has some nice age yellowing, but is rather clean. Also, the back edge of the black fabric is a slightly darker collor than the front edge, probably because the back was not exposed to the elements (either on a uniform or when it was in storage in someone's riker mount.

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