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Tougher Than You Thought! thread


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I wanted to start a thread focused on US wings that sound relatively common and benign but then end up being a real bear to find. Those ones that only after years do you realize the factory must have shut down that day cause there are just not that many examples to find. This is not your true rarities made by jewelers. On the face of it, these wings look positively ordinary...til you try to find them.

 

First up, Moody Bros. bombardier wing. Made by the Moody Bros of Los Angeles, CA, you can find many, many examples of the Moody air gunner wing but not much else. The only other one I have found is this bombardier. Looks like an AMICO or LGB. Easy to ignore. But maybe one for every couple hundred of gunner wings?

 

 

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Tod Rathbone
Rathbone Museum of WWII Aviation Uniforms and Insignia
http://www.rathbonemuseum.com
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Next up, the Walter Lampl/Juarez series. These are fairly common, especially for the pilot wing. You can even find a glider wing pretty easily. But when you try to add that air gunner to the set, good luck. You will have to hunt unless you want to pay a hefty premium!

 

Walter, what happened at the factory that day?

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Tod Rathbone
Rathbone Museum of WWII Aviation Uniforms and Insignia
http://www.rathbonemuseum.com
http://www.facebook.com/rathbonemuseum

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How many Josten pilot or even senior pilots do you see? Dozens? Not that hard. They come around. But then there are non-pilot wings. Where are they? Like this observer. Tougher than I thought!

 

Now let's see some other examples of seemingly common wing types that are tough to find!

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Tod Rathbone
Rathbone Museum of WWII Aviation Uniforms and Insignia
http://www.rathbonemuseum.com
http://www.facebook.com/rathbonemuseum

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I can't seem to find a USN flight surgeon wing or a nice CAP pilot wing, to save my life. For some reason, I almost never see them in the flea markets, and I have found some super rare stuff at the flea markets!

 

For the longest time, the Josten pilot wing eluded me, as has the AECO glider pilot wing. The AMCRAFT command pilot wing is another one that seems impossible for me to find.

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Amico is one of the most common wings available.

The Amico Aviator is very common and easy find for an affordable price.

They were produced in full size, mess dress and cap size, open and closed flukes.

However...just try and find a the FULL SIZE Amico Aviator CLOSED FLUKES!

They almost don't exist, whereas cap and mess dress in closed flukes are fairly easy, especially cap.

Personally, I have seen two in 20 years.

 

Nice thread idea Tod!

 

John

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

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Bell wings are very common, and Bell Aerial Gunner wings are among the most common. Less Common among the Bell Aerial Gunner wings are the two-piece wings with the winged bullet attached to an Observer wing. Even less common are the Bell Aerial Gunner wings made with the winged bullet attached to an Observer wing where the Observer wing has an incised Sterling mark rather than the raised Sterling mark in the center disc. What I have yet to find is a Bell Observer wing with the incised Sterling mark, and have wondered if there might be Bell Observer wings made from Coin Silver out there somewhere.

 

A wing that I think should be included in this thread (but I don't have) is the LGB "dazzler" pattern bombardier wing. I didn't realize they were uncommon until a friend told me he had gotten one earlier this year.

 

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I can't seem to find a USN flight surgeon wing or a nice CAP pilot wing, to save my life. For some reason, I almost never see them in the flea markets, and I have found some super rare stuff at the flea markets!

 

For the longest time, the Josten pilot wing eluded me, as has the AECO glider pilot wing. The AMCRAFT command pilot wing is another one that seems impossible for me to find.

 

 

@pfrost,

Are you talking any standard sized USN flight surgeon, any maker?

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Tod Rathbone
Rathbone Museum of WWII Aviation Uniforms and Insignia
http://www.rathbonemuseum.com
http://www.facebook.com/rathbonemuseum

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Fun thread! Great stuff and very informative with great photos.

 

JD

AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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So, AE&Co (American Emblem) is another one that had tons of wings.

Most types of wing badge and fairly average quality.

But, did you know that they also made an Airship Pilot Wing Badge?

Great quality and exceedingly rare.

 

John

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe it was just me, but here is one that was harder to find than I thought it would be, a Lampl/Juarez Observer wing. Bombardier wings from Lampl are pretty easy to find in both Sterling and Coin Silver, and I was able to get an Aerial Gunner some time ago, but struggled to find an authentic, affordable, un-altered Observer. I thought I had one a couple years ago but it turned out to be a cast fake (curse you JoeW and your ilk).

 

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This is hardly a biggie compared to most of the stuff listed, actually more of a *cheapie* but have you seen any around? 1.5" H&H Pilot

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"Leave the gun - take the cannoli" - Peter Clemenza

War Is The Only Organized Activity Men Participate In That Women Don't Laugh At

Yes, That Is Me In The Profile Picture Ready To Climb Down the Cargo Net A Long Time Ago In A Place Far Away

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