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LtDan

Opinions on these "Dallas Wings".......

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Hello,

I need some help with these wings. I purchased them a few years ago and proudly posted them on this site:

Several of the comments at that time were positive regarding the wings and many of the comments were about cleaning the wings. See more pictures and comments at:

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/308527-finally-found-a-wwi-dallas-wing/

 

So I've been happy & proud of these wings until I saw the video on Dallas Wings, posted at this link:

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/340225-video-ww1-dallas-style-pilot-wings-by-bailey-banks-biddle/

 

I thought it was a well done and very informative video. Wish I had been aware of some of those details, such as counting the number of beads on various parts of the wing. As I learned, the BB&B Dallas Wing has 21 beads across the top of the shield, and 21 across the middle, and 54 along the top of each wing.

 

Well, since I have plenty of time for counting (thanks to the coronavirus shutting down everything else...) I counted the beads on my wing. There are 22 beads across the top; 18 across the middle of the shield; and the wings seem to have 53 on one and 52 on the other. Very disappointing. So I began looking for any wings with a similar pattern. After looking at many, I found these wings that appear identical to mine (same bead count in all locations):

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

 

So, my question is are these wings fake, or are they a period copy of the Dallas style wing? Thanks again for any comments/opinions.

 

Dan

 

 

 

 

post-172726-0-85293800-1585364462_thumb.jpg

post-172726-0-67886500-1585364850_thumb.jpg

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I would suspect that BB&B had more than one set of dies for making these wings which could account for a diff in the number of beads. They also could be from another company, we know for sure that there are two more companies that made the "Dallas" wing that are unidentified. I personally don't have any issue with your set, every thing looks period to me. But I am not an expert, just my humble opinion.

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I would buy these in a second. I have no doubts on this wing being original.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

donation2007.gif

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I would suspect that BB&B had more than one set of dies for making these wings which could account for a diff in the number of beads. They also could be from another company, we know for sure that there are two more companies that made the "Dallas" wing that are unidentified. I personally don't have any issue with your set, every thing looks period to me. But I am not an expert, just my humble opinion.

 

Thank you. Good to know there were other companies making that style wing. I had not considered BB&B may have had other die sets as well. Either way, I feel better about these wings. I always appreciate your opinion. Your book is always the first reference I go to. Thanks again.

 

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I would buy these in a second. I have no doubts on this wing being original.

 

Allan

 

Thank you Allan. I appreciate your comment and confidence that those wings are right. It's great to have access to all the knowledge on this Forum.

Thanks,

Dan

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I would buy these in a second. I have no doubts on this wing being original.

 

Allan

 

X2

 

LtDan,

 

There are some errors, and some bad information in that video. For example, the bead counting presented in the video is only accurate for one variation. You have another variation. It's fine. Take that video as a glossy primer on WW1 wings in general aimed at non-collectors.

 

Chris


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

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Dan,

 

Even the video doesn't say your badge is incorrect, it simply calls it; "Unknown Maker 2." Here is a screen capture:

 

post-594-0-10273000-1585410937_thumb.jpeg

Note the bead counts and elongated topmost outer feather on each shoulder.

So even the video agrees your badge is good one.

 

Now this does bring up another question in my mind. Are these two badges simply die variations made by BB&B or does this badge represent a different manufacturer?

 

Patrick tells me that he is a "lumper" and I am a "splitter" in that his tendency is to lump similar things together where my tendency is to separate things by their differences. In the spirit of being a splitter, I am reevaluating my assessment and now believe there is yet another manufacturer of "Dallas-type" wings. Perhaps its only a question of BB&B having two different dies. I honestly don't know which answer is correct. I will have to do some more research into this specific question before I settle on a theory.

 

Regardless, LtDan, your badge is just fine.

 

Best wishes!

 

Chris


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

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Chris!

 

I busted out laughing when I read that Patrick is a Lumper and you are a splitter! Now I can see us at shows- "Great to meet you Joe, but before we become friends, I gotta ask, are you a lumper or a splitter?" :lol:

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

donation2007.gif

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Chris!

 

I busted out laughing when I read that Patrick is a Lumper and you are a splitter! Now I can see us at shows- "Great to meet you Joe, but before we become friends, I gotta ask, are you a lumper or a splitter?" :lol:

 

Allan

 

Team Splitter all the way!


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

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But Chris is right, there are many "collector romance" and "dealer lore" surrounding wing collecting. We all assume that these pilots saw themselves as dashing knights of the sky (and that may have been true early in the war with the French, British, and Germans), but in fact, early flying (even when not in combat) was brutally uncomfortable, dangerous and scary as hell. And by 1917-1918, any youthful romantic ideas about the nobility of the war had all been burnt away by the trench warfare horrors.

 

I have yet to see anything from the time period that says that the BB&B Dallas wings were the preferred badges of US aviators. Sure, there are a lot of photos of them being worn, but there are also a lot of photos of the US-made bullion wings being worn as well. On the other hand, I have no doubt that collectors prefer Dallas wings, but too often, I hear or read those types of things being touted as truths and dogma. I do know that when I talked to a WWII pilot, he told me that the LAST thing he cared about was the "quality" of his wings. He was pretty proud of his leather flying jacket, but couldn't recall even considering the wings insignia. As for picking up girls in England, he told me that it was his experience that the best way to catch her eye was to have chocolate, canned milk, and cigerets.

 

As for lumping or splitting, outside of hallmarks or other proof, I have always felt that if the wing pattern variations looked similar, then they were probably from the same company. It is hard for me to see that two companies made a Dallas wing that only varied in the number of little dots outlining the shield. I suspect that there were two dies carved by the same guy. But as a wing collector there is frankly nothing more enjoyable then spending a few hours arguing esoteric "facts" with my good buddies on this forum.

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AND, there are more than just 4 Dallas wing patterns.

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But Chris is right, there are many "collector romance" and "dealer lore" surrounding wing collecting. We all assume that these pilots saw themselves as dashing knights of the sky (and that may have been true early in the war with the French, British, and Germans), but in fact, early flying (even when not in combat) was brutally uncomfortable, dangerous and scary as hell. And by 1917-1918, any youthful romantic ideas about the nobility of the war had all been burnt away by the trench warfare horrors.

 

I have yet to see anything from the time period that says that the BB&B Dallas wings were the preferred badges of US aviators. Sure, there are a lot of photos of them being worn, but there are also a lot of photos of the US-made bullion wings being worn as well. On the other hand, I have no doubt that collectors prefer Dallas wings, but too often, I hear or read those types of things being touted as truths and dogma. I do know that when I talked to a WWII pilot, he told me that the LAST thing he cared about was the "quality" of his wings. He was pretty proud of his leather flying jacket, but couldn't recall even considering the wings insignia. As for picking up girls in England, he told me that it was his experience that the best way to catch her eye was to have chocolate, canned milk, and cigerets.

 

As for lumping or splitting, outside of hallmarks or other proof, I have always felt that if the wing pattern variations looked similar, then they were probably from the same company. It is hard for me to see that two companies made a Dallas wing that only varied in the number of little dots outlining the shield. I suspect that there were two dies carved by the same guy. But as a wing collector there is frankly nothing more enjoyable then spending a few hours arguing esoteric "facts" with my good buddies on this forum.

 

Patrick,

I had the honor of talking with several WW1 Aviators prior to their passing and one in particular made mention of

a very interesting tid bit of info. He stated that when he graduated from initial flight training each pilot in his class was issued a metal reserve military aviator wing in the Haltom style. He added that immediately after the ceremony the majority of the pilots put the metal wings away and sewed the bullion wings to their tunic. The reason was that they considered an aviator with a metal wing as being a "Newby" and all the older pilots wore the bullion which was the only authorized pattern at the time and they didn't want to look like brand new pilots. I also heard Duncan recant stories of this nature regarding the metal wings which I suspect accounts for the low numbers of period metal wings that are on the collector market compared to the bullion examples.

Terry

 

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Dan,

 

Even the video doesn't say your badge is incorrect, it simply calls it; "Unknown Maker 2." Here is a screen capture:

 

attachicon.gifUnknown - 1 (1).jpeg

Note the bead counts and elongated topmost outer feather on each shoulder.

So even the video agrees your badge is good one.

 

Now this does bring up another question in my mind. Are these two badges simply die variations made by BB&B or does this badge represent a different manufacturer?

 

Patrick tells me that he is a "lumper" and I am a "splitter" in that his tendency is to lump similar things together where my tendency is to separate things by their differences. In the spirit of being a splitter, I am reevaluating my assessment and now believe there is yet another manufacturer of "Dallas-type" wings. Perhaps its only a question of BB&B having two different dies. I honestly don't know which answer is correct. I will have to do some more research into this specific question before I settle on a theory.

 

Regardless, LtDan, your badge is just fine.

 

Best wishes!

 

Chris

 

 

Chris & Patrick,

 

Thank you both for your comments and observations. Chris, I appreciate you posting the picture of "Unknown Maker #2". I guess I was so focused on the BB&B Dallas Wing that I blew right by those "Unknowns" in the video.

I hope that someday we will know if these are from a different manufacturer or just different BB&B dies. Until then, I'm happy to own an authentic "Unknown Maker #2" !

 

I want to again thank all who replied and shared their insight. I'm still new to collecting WWI aviator wings and sincerely appreciate all the help I have found on this forum.

 

Dan

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