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Now for something a little bit different

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These are a couple of Chinese National Aviation Corp. wings that I have picked up over the years. The small 2 inch wing is one of the more common CNAC wings to be found (if any CNAC items can be considered common). It is marked sterling on the back. I bought this wing at a small flea market from a lady who was selling Beanie babies, Barbie Dolls and GI Joe Action Figures. It was pinned on the uniform of a GI Joe. I argued with her for some time before she agreed to sell me the wing and not the GI Joe!

 

The larger wing is hand carved out of a very thick piece of metal (perhaps silver, but it isn't marked). The scan does not show the detail and craftsmanship of this wing. For some reason, the hinge and catch have been broken off and it looks like someone put some old lead solder on the back, likely to try to repair the wing. I have seen one other example of this wing, but it was in gold. I got this out of a small sandwich baggie of "stuff" that was offered to me by a junk/costume jewelry dealer.

 

Some small damage to the enamel work, but still very nice and worn examples of rare wings

 

CNAC was active (IIRC) during WWII and well into the 50's. CNAC had both American and Chinese pilots and crew members. I think CNAC stuff sort of falls into that Flying Tigers/CBI/CNAC collectables arena.

 

The hat badge is another Chinese related insignia--I believe it to be a cap badge for an enlisted man. It is not necessarily related to CNAC, but it is a nice addition to the grouping.

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These are something else. Thanks for sharing!

 

Beau


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Collecting 29th Division and Virginia-Related Items!

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Those are two very nice CNAC wing badges. thumbsup.gif

 

 

Here are two more slightly different full size variations. The one on top is made

of embrodered silver wire with a paper backing while the other is 9-karat gold.

 

The interesting 1 and 1/6 inch wide badge on the bottom was worn by personnel

on the ground. Made of black & white baked enamel on silver.

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In an attempt to scan the back of the gold CNAC wing badge the image came out very poor;

however, note that the device the wire pin pivots from (1) and the lock fastener (2) are also

made of gold. Also note a gold wire loop (3) open at the top which is attached to the back

of the center shield.

 

It would be only speculation as to were the badge was made but if pressed, a reasonable

guess would be Shanghai which is was the home base for CNAC.

 

The China National Aviation Corporation, also known as CNAC, which began operations in

1929, ended all operations on December 31, 1949.

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Nice wings Cliff,

 

My top wing is massive. It is almost 3.75 inches long, and very thick. Not sure if it is sterling silver, but my gut is that it isn't.

 

Patrick

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My top wing is massive. It is almost 3.75 inches long, and very thick.

Not sure if it is sterling silver, but my gut is that it isn't.

 

Both of those wing badges would be welcome additions to any collection. thumbsup.gif

 

1. CNAC was founded in 1929 and the size of your top badge suggests that it could be a pre-1940 example.

 

2. While it's full-size big brother may turn-up on occasion, your 2-inch example is e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y rare.

 

-cp ;)


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Both of those wing badges would be welcome additions to any collection. thumbsup.gif

 

1. CNAC was founded in 1929 and the size of your top badge suggests that it could be a pre-1940 example.

 

2. While it's full-size big brother may turn-up on occasion, your 2-inch example is e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y rare.

 

-cp ;)

Thanks for the nice words Cliff,

 

It is interesting, I had always thought the "big boy" was the rarer of the two wings. I have seen multiple examples of the smaller one, here and there. Of course, nothing is especially common, but I know a few people who have the smaller 2 inch wing in their collection. But outside of your example (and one posted under one of the CNAC pilots listed on www.cnac.org), this was the only one I have ever seen.

 

Patrick

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Both of those wing badges would be welcome additions to any collection. thumbsup.gif

 

1. CNAC was founded in 1929 and the size of your top badge suggests that it could be a pre-1940 example.

 

2. While it's full-size big brother may turn-up on occasion, your 2-inch example is e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y rare.

Thanks for the nice words Cliff,

 

It is interesting, I had always thought the "big boy" was the rarer of the two wings. I have seen multiple examples of the smaller one, here and there. Of course, nothing is especially common, but I know a few people who have the smaller 2 inch wing in their collection. But outside of your example (and one posted under one of the CNAC pilots listed on www.cnac.org), this was the only one I have ever seen.

 

Patrick

 

;)

Oh yes Patrick your CNAC “big boy” wing badge must be much, much rarer than the 2-inch badge … and when I spoke about it I should have said, “While it’s full-size (3 1/8-inch) big brother may turn-up on occasion, your 2-inch example is extremely rare.” Patrick, I’ve never seen a 2-inch CNAC badge in that pattern but 3 1/8-inch examples do turn up.

 

What is also interesting to me about that same pattern is that it also shows up for the USAAF pilot, gunner, air crew badge, etc … and with a recessed SILVER backmark. So, for the sake of trying to determine were they were made, with CNAC having been based in Shanghai, China is it unreasonable to assume that is where they were all made?

 

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This is a 2 inch aircrew wing that is the mate to the CNAC wing. Just the center is different between the two. But the pattern, markings, hardware, etc are all pretty much the same. For myself, I have always leaned toward these being made in India based on the more traditional commonwealth style pin, while the "big fella" seeming more of a Chinese-style workmanship and design.

 

Patrick

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For myself, I have always leaned toward these being made in India based on the more traditional commonwealth style pin, while the "big fella" seeming more of a Chinese-style workmanship and design.

 

... and CNAC had an operations office in both Calcutta and Dinjan, India.


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... and CNAC had an operations office in both Calcutta and Dinjan, India.

 

I no longer collect wings or CBI stuff (except patches), but at one time I had 10-12 CNAC wings of varying sizes and materials. What I was surprised to learn was that the Chinese characters of the shield are not always the same. Now, I never bothered to seek out someone who could read Chinese to tell me the difference, but there is the possibility that one version was for Pilots and the other for Navigators (?) or ????. Regardless, always check the characters to look for differences.

 

Good luck on your collection.

 

Patch Johnson

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