Jump to content

Need Help with Early Lapel Pin

Recommended Posts

I began collecting “wings” about a year ago and shortly thereafter I became a Forum member. In that capacity I would probably be referred to as a lurker because I come to read in the hope of minimizing purchase mistakes.


I recently acquired the lapel pin below, and I would appreciate any insight regarding possible association with a military unit. It is approximately 3/4 inch in size from the wingtips.   I assume it is early and military based on the crud, wear and screw attachment. 


My simplistic and optimistic guess is that it could possibly be from the 1st Aero Squadron. For what it is worth, the acquisition goes back to someone’s relative who was in WWI.  I recognize the weakness of the provenance.  However, interestingly, if you do a Google search on badges for the 1st Reconaissance Squadron, which still exists, you will find modern fabric patches depicting a large number 1 with wings attached.


I’m not trying to induce a desired outcome, but I would like to know if anyone can provide insight regarding the potential origin/use of a piece like this.  Thanks




Link to post
Share on other sites
Basic Rifleman

I look forward to seeing what the experts here say on this one... My non expert opinion is that it's too small to be any official / non-official type of military insignia as it would barely be visible on a uniform or hat. Cool looking piece, though. I suppose it's also a possibility it could be a civilian employee service award / lapel pin. Good luck!


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am updating my original posting. I have since located a conceptually similar Air Service badge, also of ¾” dimension, and it is characterized as a badge for an overseas or garrison cap.  It appears I wrongly assumed it was a lapel pin.  I also found an article written by Dr. Howard Lanham regarding Distinctive Insignia. He stated “During the war (WW1) the unofficial use of smaller unit badges began with squadron pins in the Air Service”.

This new information is not definitive, but it increases the plausibility that the piece may be a garrison cap insignia for the First Aero Squadron.  I continue to welcome information regarding this matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very interesting piece. That fact that it is stamped STERLING would lead me to believe that it was manufactured in multiple quantities and was die struck, which would make me think less "unofficial", but this is just my initial thoughts on it. The design very closely resembles the Philippine made (in the same style as the belt buckles) Vietnam era wings.

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.