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Little Aeronaut Wing


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This one came in the other day. It is well made, definitely die struck but no hallmark or metal mark. Its only 1-1/2" wide so I am guessing sweetheart or an instructor cap piece.

 

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Thanks for the comment. I should have noted that the little wing is actually gold finished. This is not just a case of my poor photography skills making a silver wing look gold.

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Your miniature 1919-1921 gold finished Balloon Pilot wing badge could be very special.

 

Back in 1985 I was fortunate to receive a similar size gold finish Airship Pilot wing badge from Colonel Angier H. Foster (1896 - 1989). He was stationed at Fort Omaha, Nebraska between 1919 - 1921 and received free balloon pilot training there. In 1922 he attended the B & AS school at Langley Field, Virginia. Later that same year when the B & AS school was transferred to Scott Field, Illinois he was an Airship Pilot instructor and ground course director... until he transferring to heavier-than-air in 1925.

 

Colonel Foster was not married during his light-than-air service with the USAAS between 1919 - 1925 but during our first conversation in 1985 could not remember why or how he happened to have a miniature gold finished Airship Pilot badge. However, during a later conversation he did say he may have worn it on his service cap while at Scott Field.

 

Congratulations, you could very well have a 1919 - 1921 Balloon Pilot instructor wing badge.

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Wow, thanks Cliff. My wing had no useful history to validate it, it just had the look of something that wasn't a cereal box prize. Comparing with yours they look like they could have come from the same maker. I wish something interesting from Scott would show up around here but I haven't seen anything from there on the MO side of the river. A friend's daughter is stationed there so I need to see if she can find any historical archives there with any photos or interesting records.

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Comparing with yours they look like they could have come from the same maker. .

 

Marty, I haven't a clue who may have made the Balloon Pilot badge but could make a strong case that the Airship Pilot badge was made by Kinney & Company.

 

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I have a couple of little Kinney Pilot wings to compare directly to. Here are a coup of side by side shots with a pilot wing of the same size. The overall feather details are very similar, but the details in the shoulder feathers differ. The catches are the same but the Pilot has a slightly heavier cammed pin.

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And one more that might show the feather details better. Not close enough in the shoulders to definitely say its a Kinney, but in comparing to your Airship the shoulder feather pattern is also completely different than my 1.5" Kinney Pilot.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here's a another small AIrship Pilot wing. It looks like the same one Cliff posted, but has the Kinney & Company hallmark.

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Thanks for adding photos of your hallmarked Airship.  I think the only 1.5" Kinney wing not in this thread now is the Naval Aviator.

Since Kinney made full-sized Pilot, Airship, Aeronaut and Naval Aviator wings, and also made hallmarked and non-hallmarked 1.5" Pilot, Airship and Naval Aviator wings, and also made the Pilot and Airship wings with both gold and silver finishes, I think it is reasonable to assume that Kinney also made my 1.5" Aeronaut wing.

Marty

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