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WWI Lafayette Escadrille Lapel Pin


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Here's a neat lapel pin showing a WW1 French Pilot wing badge awarded to Americans who received their training in France. The wings/star are gilt & the wreath/pin are silver. Rare?

post-518-1232756607.jpg

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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And a view of the reverse...

post-518-1232756793.jpg

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Here's a neat lapel pin showing a WW1 French Pilot wing badge awarded to Americans who received their training in France. The wings/star are gilt & the wreath/pin are silver. Rare?

As far as I'm concerned it's rare, yes.

 

Unusual, at least.

 

And really really nice too.

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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As far as I'm concerned it's rare, yes.

 

Unusual, at least.

 

And really really nice too.

 

 

Thanks 'Bluehawk' thumbsup.gif

 

I forgot to add a few specifics....

 

The overall length measures about 3" long. Top part (wing tip to wing tip) measures about an inch.

In the view of the reverse, the 'black' you see there is not corrosion per say, but tarnished silver.

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Very nice pin. I've only seen these types of stickpins in German items before. The French used this pattern for their pilot wings in WW2 as well so dating the item could be difficult. Here's are some French pilot wings of WW2 vintage:

 

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/france/francepilot.shtml

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Very nice pin. I've only seen these types of stickpins in German items before. The French used this pattern for their pilot wings in WW2 as well so dating the item could be difficult. Here's are some French pilot wings of WW2 vintage:

 

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/france/francepilot.shtml

 

Very interesting. Thank you for that link.

 

I agree...it could be difficult to date this piece after viewing the images in the link above.

 

I look forward to more input from the rest of you guys ;)

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Nice piece - you have an old one there! The construction is similar to other WW1 period (and "soon there-after") French lapel pins. There is a "fine-scale" (some say "carefully crafted") construction to early pieces such as this. There are also lapel pins of French observer wings. Some of these pieces have the long, vertical pin as per yours, others have a horizontal pin as per a squadron pin or sweetheart pin. One encounters these items with other French pilot memorabilia. Construction appears to vary with age. More recent ones (meaning as far back as WW2) are made of different materials (gold, silver, plastic....), have gilt finishes, etc. Many are of solid construction (vs stamped).

 

The French are still using this same pilot badge design today. This design was first issued during fall, 1916 when it replaced sleeve wings. Don Chalif's book on wings has all the details. Philip Bartlett's book has illustrations of various wings, pins, etc.

 

I'm not aware of these being used exclusively to represent the Lafayette Escadrille, however many vets of the Lafayette Flying Corps (most likely including Escadrille survivors) wore these types of pins.

 

It is representative of a piece of insignia worn by Americans flying for the French during WW1. Anything related to the Lafayette Escadrille or the Lafayette Flying Corps is exciting stuff! Thanks for the posting!

 

Charlie W.

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Nice piece - you have an old one there! The construction is similar to other WW1 period (and "soon there-after") French lapel pins. There is a "fine-scale" (some say "carefully crafted") construction to early pieces such as this. There are also lapel pins of French observer wings. Some of these pieces have the long, vertical pin as per yours, others have a horizontal pin as per a squadron pin or sweetheart pin. One encounters these items with other French pilot memorabilia. Construction appears to vary with age. More recent ones (meaning as far back as WW2) are made of different materials (gold, silver, plastic....), have gilt finishes, etc. Many are of solid construction (vs stamped).

 

The French are still using this same pilot badge design today. This design was first issued during fall, 1916 when it replaced sleeve wings. Don Chalif's book on wings has all the details. Philip Bartlett's book has illustrations of various wings, pins, etc.

 

I'm not aware of these being used exclusively to represent the Lafayette Escadrille, however many vets of the Lafayette Flying Corps (most likely including Escadrille survivors) wore these types of pins.

 

It is representative of a piece of insignia worn by Americans flying for the French during WW1. Anything related to the Lafayette Escadrille or the Lafayette Flying Corps is exciting stuff! Thanks for the posting!

 

Charlie W.

 

Charlie-

My pleasure.

Thank you for another detailed reply. They're always very informative & well thought out.

I'm pleased to see this pin excites you as much as it does me. I had it in a case with other unknowns for a while. I figure I'd give it a go at identifying them (more or less) while I had some downtime as I sort through the Williams grouping. I've been trying to find a period photo of either a French aviator or an American pilot wearing one of these pins. No luck just yet.

-Chuck

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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  • 1 month later...

Along a similar line of thought as Charlie above...

 

This is a fabulous pin, and one to be proud to own Chuck, and it does look very old. Although I can't offer any input on dating the piece based on the actual badge portion, the answer might lie in the pin itself. If you are able to find a source that has many different types of military related stick pins that give some idea of manufacture period, that may be at least a start.

 

Aside from manufacturing variants, you can also take into account the length of the pin in comparison to other dated similar styles and also if they feature a 'knurled' or rolled pattern mid-way between the bottom and top of the pin to get a rough idea of years of manufacture where this was incorporated. Again, these elements could fall under the manufacturers variant category, but it may get you close to determining a period of manufacture if you encounter many similar styles of the same...make any sense??? Unfortunately, the French were not considerate enough to make those subtle changes to their flight badge that would help collectors in determining dat of production. :lol:

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Thanks Steve. Much obliged.

 

I did some snooping on "Der Rittmeister" & his Imperial stick pins are of similar design & manufacture. He has both variants- the knurled lower portion & the smooth finish you see here.

 

If someone's seen a similar WWI French piece, please direct me to it. Thanks!

 

-Chuck

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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This pin appears to be old, but they are still selling them in France of modern manufacture. So it would be hard to tell if WWI or later. Stick pins such as these and the German ones were worn by vets to show their service after the war. They never were official.

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This pin appears to be old, but they are still selling them in France of modern manufacture. So it would be hard to tell if WWI or later. Stick pins such as these and the German ones were worn by vets to show their service after the war. They never were official.

 

I appreciate your comments as well. My guess is post WWI, but no later than WWII.

 

Thanks for your input!

-Chuck

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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