Jump to content
cwnorma

World War One Weekly Wing #14

Recommended Posts

Up to now, our WWOWW wings have all been Army Air Service. The story of WW1 wing badges however, just isn't complete without a discussion of Naval wings.

 

The wing below was made by the famous Philadelphia firm of Bailey Banks and Biddle. As we have already discussed with respect to BB&B's version of the so called "Dallas-type" wing, BB&B enjoyed a special relationship with the United States Government. Many official seals, military and honorary medals, and military and naval insignia were originally designed and manufactured by the firm. Likely because of this special relationship, BB&B designed the first official US Naval Aviator's badge and contracted with the Department of the Navy for their manufacture.

 

On 7 September, 1917, the Navy approved the design for the Naval Aviator. This classic design has only changed in detail in the days since its first adoption--attesting to the timeless nature of the original. There are a handful of semi-official badges that pre-date 7 September, 1917 known, those Badges are very, very rare indeed.

 

These original issue badges, are typically seen with the "jews harp" and "fluke" un voided. The badges were die struck in bronze and given a thin, gold-wash plating. This plating is frequently, in whole or part, worn away:

 

post-594-0-49537900-1585443145_thumb.jpeg

Note: Bronze showing through on shoulder and high-points of the shield.

The reverse and edges of these issue-type badges are typically rough, sometimes exhibiting visible file marks. The reverse bears simple hallmarks; B.B.&B. and "BRONZE." The findings of these issue-type badges are also typically a bronze pin and hinge with a fairly robust,nickel Blancard (so-called Tiffany-type) safety catch.

post-594-0-67492400-1585443163_thumb.jpeg

Reverse showing the large, robust Blancard clasp.

Bailey Banks and Biddle also sold these badges retail. Retail badges were available in gold plated bronze, 14k gold, and probably also gold-plated sterling silver. Badges sold through retail are also typically a bit more finely finished. Note also BB&B's proud pronouncement; "This Company is the official manufacturer of this insignia for the Navy Department."

 

post-594-0-00526500-1585445814_thumb.jpg

This particular badge belonged to a young Marine who earned his wings in November 1918 and was immediately mustered out--but not before being issued his "wings of gold"

 

I would love to see other examples of WW1 USN issue-type or private purchase Naval Aviator badges! What have you got?

 

Chris


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a huge fan of naval aviation wings I have to say that is a real beauty. Thank you Chris for taking the time to put such wonderful examples on the forum through your Weekly WW1 Wing posts. They are very informative and a ray of sunshine in these crazy days. Nice to be able to distract myself with something more positive than the news.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was unaware there was a Naval WWI wing. Great information, I learned something new today. What distinguises a WWI from a WWII. I see there is a lack of "berries".

 

Gerrad

 

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was unaware there was a Naval WWI wing. Great information, I learned something new today. What distinguises a WWI from a WWII. I see there is a lack of "berries".

 

Gerrad

 

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

That is not a quick answer, as there are a number of things that distinguish WWI era wings from later.

There is no silver bullet, like the handy dandy 1919 Adams Design for the Army to say...this is the date the design changed dramatically.

 

Naval Aviator wing badges were more subtle in evolution till 1942.

 

Even then, the pre 1942 design was still worn, unlike when the Army adopted the Adams Design.

 

Having said that, there are many gorgeous designs and learning the difference takes time with a lot of dedication.

 

Also, there is a fair amount of incorrect information that has been perpetuated by dealers that are not wing experts, as there are few dealers that are.

 

Much of this has been already discussed in numerous threads in the forum and there are some books on the subject.

 

ASMIC’s Best of the Best article in 2013 documents the Aviator wing evolution and most makers. ?

 

Here are a few incorrect myths-

 

1. WWI Aviator wings all have closed flukes...Wrong. I have some WWII wings with closed flukes and some WWI wings with open.

 

2. A Tiffany catch makes my wing WWI...Wrong, it was used will into the 1920’s.

 

3. A 2” Aviator wing is shirt size...Wrong, it is mess dress size. Naval Aviators generally wore their full size 2 3/4” wing on shirt or coat...1 1/2” wing is cap size...2” wing is mess dress ...2 3/4 is for shirt or coat.

 

4. Enlisted Aviators wore silver wings...Wrong, all Naval Aviators wore the same wings of gold, as did USMC and Coast Guard.

 

 

That’s the first few that come to mind, I’ll post some images of my WWI Aviators wings this week.

 

John


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres my only WW1 era Naval Aviator Wings. No markings and simple no lock fastener. 2 3/4 wide.

post-1848-0-45950900-1585516180_thumb.jpeg

post-1848-0-79441600-1585516231_thumb.jpeg


Steve B in Alabama.....Roll Tide


donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice wing Steve, that wing is by Blackinton.

 

John


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is not a quick answer, as there are a number of things that distinguish WWI era wings from later.

There is no silver bullet, like the handy dandy 1919 Adams Design for the Army to say...this is the date the design changed dramatically.

 

Naval Aviator wing badges were more subtle in evolution till 1942.

 

Even then, the pre 1942 design was still worn, unlike when the Army adopted the Adams Design.

 

Having said that, there are many gorgeous designs and learning the difference takes time with a lot of dedication.

 

Also, there is a fair amount of incorrect information that has been perpetuated by dealers that are not wing experts, as there are few dealers that are. 

 

Much of this has been already discussed in numerous threads in the forum and there are some books on the subject.

 

ASMIC’s Best of the Best article in 2013 documents the Aviator wing evolution and most makers.

 

Here are a few incorrect myths-

 

1. WWI Aviator wings all have closed flukes...Wrong. I have some WWII wings with closed flukes and some WWI wings with open.

 

2. A Tiffany catch makes my wing WWI...Wrong, it was used will into the 1920’s.

 

3. A 2” Aviator wing is shirt size...Wrong, it is mess dress size. Naval Aviators generally wore their full size 2 3/4” wing on shirt or coat...1 1/2” wing is cap size...2” wing is mess dress ...2 3/4 is for shirt or coat.

 

4. Enlisted Aviators wore silver wings...Wrong, all Naval Aviators wore the same wings of gold, as did USMC and Coast Guard.

 

 

That’s the first few that come to mind, I’ll post some images of my WWI Aviators wings this week.

 

John

I appreciate the quick education and look forward to seeing your wings. I would love to learn more about them, and one day own some.

 

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ASMIC’s Best of the Best article in 2013 documents the Aviator wing evolution and most makers. ?

 

That article is worth looking up if you have ASMIC access! ;)

 

By the way, I'll relate a story about me and ASMIC. Years ago, Garth Thompson and Marvin Brenner tried to get me to join. I told them then that I would when the Trading Post was accessible on line. Now it is! If you are not a member, it is totally worth joining just for all of that research material.

 

Chris


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being a huge fan of naval aviation wings I have to say that is a real beauty. Thank you Chris for taking the time to put such wonderful examples on the forum through your Weekly WW1 Wing posts. They are very informative and a ray of sunshine in these crazy days. Nice to be able to distract myself with something more positive than the news.

 

Bob,

 

All of us in the hobby owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you for all you do.

 

Chris


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B-17 guy: Thank you for the Info that Blackington made my WW1 era Naval Aviator Wings. The finish on my wing is more an Antique Gold over bronze than the typical bright gold finish. Do you have any idea why? I wondered if it would match the Naval Officer buttons on the Forest Green Uniform!


Steve B in Alabama.....Roll Tide


donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres one made by Jessop of San Diego, California.

 

Pete

post-12287-0-29734500-1585620472_thumb.jpeg

post-12287-0-23917900-1585620516_thumb.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a rare treat to see a WW1 era Jessop Naval Aviator wing!

 

Thanks Pete!


767409605_sigcustom3.png.e95257302e2a500ba241cd8cdc44ff0c.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres one made by Jessop of San Diego, California.

 

Pete

Beautiful wing!

 

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful Aviator badge Pete! Thank you for the peek! Your example and John's (B-17 GUY) are the only two Jessop made aviator badges I've had the pleasure of viewing! They certainly are exceeding rare WWI USN Aviator wings!


post-2-0-10415400-1477335312.jpg



donation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Russ, Chris, and Gerradtgrant. I am pleased you enjoyed it.

 

Pete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.