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"early" Amcraft-type one triplets


pfrost
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Adding to the triplet theme, this was one of the first "sets" that I acquired. As I have said before, sometime in the late 1990's/early 2000's a dealer in Hawaii (IIRC) found a stash of NOS AMCRAFT wings. He showed up at the LA ASMIC show a few days before one of the last Great Western shows and was selling them out of a box for $9.99 each! I bought as many as I could (about 10). Then a few ways later at the GW, I found someone selling a senior pilot AMCRAFT wing (I think for 35$). I managed to talk him down a bit because of all the other AMCRAFT pilot wings that were now circulating. Then I spent a world wind tour of the GW looking for the command pilot wing. Back in the day, the GW filled 7-8 large hanger-like buildings and I finally found the command pilot wing in the case of a guy selling pistols and other firearms. Success!

 

I have always loved this pattern of wing. Most people will say this is always a pre-war/30's vintage pattern, but the command pilot wing wouldn't have been authorized until 1940 or so. Still, probably an early pattern. The senior pilot (1940) could also be thought of as a military airplane pilot rating (1936) if you wanted. I am not sure how one would differentiate between the two, outside of an autobiographical wing.

 

Mostly they are silver plated brass or silver plated pot metal. They show up in a variety of catches, including a barrel catch, "C" catch, and the "undercatch" style. They also sometimes come in sterling silver.

 

This pattern seems to share some similarities with the W Link style wings (as the starburst/snowflake back), and I believe that perhaps AMCRAFT bought Link's dies sometime in the 30's.

post-1519-0-18129100-1536523695_thumb.jpg

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Balloon pilot, senior balloon pilot, balloon observer and observer wings are all in this pattern (and with starburst backs). Not sure if any were actually hallmarked with AMCRAFT, but I think at least a few were.

 

There is also an Airship pilot wing with the starburst pattern, but with a different feather pattern. I suspect that the airship was actually made by Link rather than by AMCRAFT.

 

During WWII (or at least by 1942) AMCRAFT seemed to have switched to the second pattern. That pattern has all the traditional WWII ratings.

 

I suspect that both pattern 1 and pattern 2 were worn throughout the war.

 

LGB has a similar pattern 1 and pattern 2 wing that I think are very similar to AMCRAFT.

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