Jump to content
Paul S

Bracelets Made from Wings

Recommended Posts

A question. Bracelets made from WWII AAF wings are fairly common and seem to have been made using a wide variety of wings. Does anyone have any solid information that might show how they were sold? Were they made up in some quantity and put on jewelers shelves as spec inventory items or were they made up to order, one at a time?

 

The reason I ask is that I’ve seen them made from a wide variety of makers’ wings, i.e. AMICO, GEMSCO, even Luxenberg & Blackinton....I know, I know crying.gif. Most commonly see them made up from the simple GI sterling wings, yet they often use the same kinds of chains and catches.

 

Does anyone have any pictures showing guys wearing these bracelets? My father only wore his plain sterling ID bracelet engraved with his name and s/n.

 

Here is a picture of some of mine...show us some of yours.

 

Paul S :)

post-3515-1232819524.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that almost all the bracelets were "after market" modifications. Maybe a local jeweler would do things like this for a wife or mother who's son was in the service. I have seen items that were clearly made by the person themselves, and run the range of high quality workmanship to simple and basic.

 

This is one of my favorites. It is a Juarez wing with a gold star on it, and clearly made for a ladies wrist with a very fine sliver chain. I expect she was a gold star mother and this was her dead son's wings. sad.

post-1519-1232824773.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres mine, small wing just marked sterling on back with ID part reading Lt. Phil Williams and on back marked sterling and his # O-2484301 is there any way to find out about this officer from his # ?......mike

post-350-1232839542.jpg

post-350-1232839559.jpg


Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2017.gif

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick, that's a neat wing with the star and I tend to agree that it must have been more of a stateside fad rather than something the guys did overseas. That may explain the wide range of of wings makers represented on these pieces. The prevalent use of the lobster claw catch is what has had me thinking that they might have been commercially made and distributed through retail jewelers.

 

Mike, that's a beautiful little 2" Bell pilot's wing, one of the best in my opinion. You can try looking in the Army enlisted database for the pilot by using his name...most airmen started their AAF careers as enlisted men before they were commissioned.

 

Here's a link: AAF Enlistees

 

It's also possible that he may show up on one of the Bomb Group sites if you just Google his s/n and/or perhaps his name. A number of the WWII veterans and their offspring have done yeoman's work in producing some remarkably detailed websites.

 

Paul S

 

Here's a dainty old Navy sweetheart bracelet that may predate WWII. Don't see nearly as many Navy wings bracelets as you do the AAF wings.

post-3515-1232841915.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a set I picked up at a sale a couple of years ago. They are sized very small and are clutch back, marked sterling only.

post-3685-1232852018.jpg


donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2011.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen a bracelet like these in wear in the last few months, by a male F16 pilot (or A10?...don't remember which SQN he was with). Didn't ask for the really close view, but did comment on them, and he appreciated that I noticed. They're neat wings, regardless.

 

Thrasher


I remember:

Chris Ingrassia (9/11) CPT Tristan Aitken (OIF, 2003)

MAJ Paul Syverson (OIF, 2004) CPT Tom Miller (OIF, 2005)

SSG Scottie Bright (OIF, 2005) CPT Chris Petty (OIF, 2006)

MAJ Hurley Shields (OIF, 2008)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


donation2008.gifdonation2009.gif
donation2010.gifdonation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to bid on these bracelets now and then when the wings competition on eBay gets too hot. They can provide relief from hot and heavy competition while still satisfying the fun of the hunt.

 

Sometimes a wing bracelet can cause you to shake your head when youn see that a really nice wing was pressed into this service....take one nice wing--clip off the pin attachments--drill two holes near the tips--bend it into a semi-circle--attach a chain--and for good measure, let's just grind off the device in front and do a bad job of engraving some initials....and you have one like this.....

post-3515-1232920809.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always liked this one, a nice handmade and hand engraved USN combat aircrew wing made into a bracelet. This gentlemen was (best I can recall) flying anti-submarine patrols in the Atlantic.

post-1519-1232921321.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

This set is sized pretty big,I think it was definately worn by a man.It was pinback and marked sterling but no maker.I like all your variations Bill

post-5357-1233009921.jpg

post-5357-1233009964.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick,

 

Here is a pilot wing with the gold star similar to your bracelet...perhaps it signifies the same thing as you propose...the loss of a relative.

 

Paul S

 

post-3515-1233026459.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That LGB wing is a great looking piece. Here is one that is hallmarked Blackinton..... crybaby.gif

post-3515-1233334380.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All very nice!


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This Glider Infantry Bracelet is one of my favorites because of it's unique construction.

 

post-589-1233639476.jpg


donation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

donation2018.gif

donation2019.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Glider pilot wing bracelet is Killer!!......mike


Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2017.gif

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

even myself, a non-wing guy, can appreciate these very interesting pieces. I, too, would guess primarily sweetheart. Some very nice pieces here


-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Glider pilot and Glider infantry badges are wonderful mementos and very scarce, since the wings themselves are scarce. The Glider infantry bracelet has the added feature of the English coins fixed to the band leaving no doubt where it was made.

 

Shown below is another interesting form--a cuff bracelet with an English wing attached to it. These don't appear too often and to my mind represent the product of a "G-job" done on one of the WWII air bases.

 

The cuff material is .032" aluminum and this particular wing is attached with a beefy aluminum rivet, nicely bucked--see the inset. I believe that .032" aluminum is the predominant skin material used on B-17 and B-24 bombers. I like to think that this piece was made as a favor in the base sheet metal shop from aluminum scrap...maybe leftover from a patch on a shot-up bomber.

post-3515-1233714687.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-589-1233720483.jpg The aluminum on this example is .02" and the wing appears to be soldered in place. This example was probably made for a woman as

it is a tad over 2" wide.


donation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

donation2018.gif

donation2019.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wing bracelet is considerably more simple than the two that precede it. Like the ones on the first page, these were made by bending a pair of full-sized wings into a "C" shape, drilling a hole near the outer edge of the wingtips, and putting on a chain. This pair seemed to have started life either as aircrew or TO wings. The center was filed/buffed down and initials were stamped into the center.

 

This pair appear to never have had any sort of mounting device, either clutch- or pin-back attached to them before they were turned into a bracelet so I suspect the owner bought them new rather than bringing in a pair of his wings to be converted. Below it front and back of the bracelet.

 

post-1107-1234644877.jpg

 

post-1107-1234644951.jpg


Semper fi; Bill











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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are closer views of where the mounting devices would have been on each side.

 

post-1107-1234645121.jpg

 

post-1107-1234645126.jpg


Semper fi; Bill











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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all here is my ludlow parachute wing bracelet i also have a daily wear jump wing bracelet it is a sugerman hallmarked with the s in a shield brian

post-2718-1238654607.jpg


RIP Sgt Adam J. Ray 4th Bn, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division Feb 9, 2010 Southern Afghanistan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here is the back

post-2718-1238654682.jpg


RIP Sgt Adam J. Ray 4th Bn, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division Feb 9, 2010 Southern Afghanistan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a nice one and one of only a handful I've seen in this form. It has an excised A.E.Co. triangle mark on the reverse and an unusual piece that hooks onto the chain that is stamped with five symbols.

 

Anyone have any thoughts about what the symbols mean? Medical terms most likely, Greek perhaps, or Latin...but I haven't been able to find anything that looks like them. Any thoughts?

post-3515-1243129552.jpg

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.