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Early US Special Forces OEC “Fayetteville Rubbed” Basic Para Wing


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Although I have been a frequent visitor to the forum for many years I have only recently became a member to more fully research some US insignia in my collection. I have been advised by a longstanding forum member that this para wing is quite unusual and I have posted it for other members’ information and to see what discussion it generates.

 

I obtained this badge as part of a small USSF insignia collection I bought from a long time collector in the UK a good few years ago, which was gathered up through the 60’s and 70’s partially with the help of his brother-in-law who served with the USSF during that time. He had labelled the wing “Unauthorised Para Wing worn by 5th SFG”. I have since learnt that this is incorrect and the wing is more likely to have been a fantasy/novelty badge or a sweetheart type brooch. Unfortunately this collector has since died so I am unable to get any further information regarding provenance etc.

 

I have included a photo of the wing beside a full sized early "kissing skulls" SF DI for comparison.

 

I hope this badge is of interest to other members and look forward to hearing your comments.

UA_OEC_SFGA_Para_Wing.jpg

IMG_0324.JPG

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An interesting piece that I'm guessing was made during the time period (1960s) when the so called "kissing skull" enlisted unit crests were being worn.  The paratrooper wing is a very sought after variant slightly larger than your run of the mill size paratrooper wings of WW2 vintage.  It looks to me like this is more than a simple buffed wing where a trooper polished it to death over many years as the details (see photo) that was on the front look rather deeply sunken into the sterling sliver metal.  My guess is that this wing was first filed down, emery boarded, followed by polishing and in a way butchered a really sought after paratrooper wing.  Someone has the dies to this style wing as it has been copied.  However the rear pin back assembly and hallmark on your wing matches WW2 era pieces so in my opinion it is period.  I'm guessing the miniature "kissing skull" enlisted unit crest is also period and were made for either plaques or lighters.  I don't think you could get away with wearing this on a uniform but maybe on a baseball cap off duty or like others have mentioned a sweetheart piece.  There is someone on eBay who sells paratrooper wings with all manner of things attached to the front but your piece is much older and unique so very collectible.

 

 

 

 

OEC PB Not Sterling (2).jpg

OEC PB Not Sterling (3).jpg

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Thanks for your input so far.

 

Quote – “It looks to me like this is more than a simple buffed wing where a trooper polished it to death over many years as the details (see photo) that was on the front look rather deeply sunken into the sterling sliver metal.  My guess is that this wing was first filed down, emery boarded, followed by polishing and in a way butchered a really sought after paratrooper wing.”

 

This ties in with what Triple Canopy wrote in the Hallmark Reference Section of the forum regarding “Fayetteville Rubbed” OEC insignia:-

 

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I hadn't seen the posting by triplecanopy as I was wondering where you got the term "Fayetteville Rubbed" from.  I always thought this particular design was made during WW2 as the one in my collection (see below) is marked STERLING and came off of a moth eaten WW2 USMC enlisted uniform.  Now I'm not so sure that this is a WW2 era piece as there are senior and master versions of this wing which are clearly post war.  I have never come across a buffed version of this wing so triplecanopy could be correct in that they were made this way since the post war wings (first wing posted above) not marked STERLING seem to be made of copper with a silver coating.  If you tried to file off the details on the front of these post war wings the copper would probably show through.

 

 

OEC Oversized Sterling (3).JPG

OEC Oversized Sterling (1).JPG

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Looks like it was laid on a belt sander or ground flat.I see tool marks by the wings where attached to the chute body.The details were ground flat then buffed.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Just for the record, I did not coin the name "Fayetteville Rubbed". That name was told to me by another long time collector. I can visualize however that back in the 1950's when STRAC was the by word around Fort Bragg/Fayetteville, NC and soldiers had to look sharp, some over shined their badges to gleam in the sun. We have all seen filed and buffed wings over the years with little or no wing or canopy details remaining. It would not be too much of a stretch to figure some enterprising shop owner saw an opportunity and made pre-buffed out jump wings. If this happened or not, is just my speculation, but many novelty items show up out on Bragg Blvd. to sell to soldiers.

I do believe that the so called "Fayetteville Rubbed" wings were made that way by special order by a manufacturer.

I think the above wing is one of them with the added Special Forces crest. It is of course a fantasy or sweet heart pin, but is a really cool item. Again, this is just my opinion, so it is open for further discussion.

 

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WANTED- hallmarked US Army Jump wings:            WANTED -Combat Infantryman Badges:

 

Bell Trading Post Master (with star in wreath).      F.W. Assmann Germany full size marked 191

12C Coro Senior clutchback (with star).                            CREST CRAFT Sterling EIB & CIB

CrestCraft 14C Master w/bubble canopy CB.                    Denmark’s Sterling 2nd Award D22

Emblem Supply 1E Senior pinback                                      Wilbur Kiff Co Attleboro Ma. Sterling

GP General Products Master CB                                          D&H Manufacturing, provenance RI

Military Post Supply M21/MPS-21 Senior CB                 C.P. Company NYC 1P C. Polk New York

Robbins Senior pinback                                                       Gemsco Sterling 3rd award

Robbins Attleboro Mass. Basic pinback                              Simon Sterling 3rd Award

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I have a friend who was a sergeant in the 10th SF in the 50's. He has his original uniform and his jump wings have all the details buffed out. I had seen this before and asked him why? He said that they did that to their own wings because they thought it looked cool.

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