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Bracelets Made from Wings


Paul S
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Very Nice Paul! I've always enjoyed buying these named bracelets and researching them. They can still normally be had for pretty low prices.

JD

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Here's a WWII era USMC Aviator bracelet which is also illustrated in the "grouping" section.

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Thanks for your comments. I like researching them too, but my discoveries seem to lead more often than not to a sad story. I'm getting a little reticent to dig too deeply. This man lived a long life, but his aviation career was cut short by an accident that no one living today knows, but apparently left him partially disabled. This bracelet and a few of his wings were found where they had been packed away for decades, leaving everything still in pristine condition.

 

That leads me to a question...it would seem impossible for a wing to attain such a worn state through the normal course of wear that you frequently see offered for sale. Would you agree that most of the wear and tear you see on a beat-up wing occurred from careless handling during the decades following the war? Maybe they've been tossed into a hardware can or some such?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Here is a recent pick up. Engraved on the reverse "Solo 8-3-39" and similar to the bracelet John posted in #65. This guy flew with the ATC before the WASP's were formed and had accumulated enough flight time to be rated a senior pilot by 1942-43! Seems to have been a lot of flying in a short period of time.

This is another piece from this same pilot (See Post #79 previous page). Within about 2-3 years after his first solo which is engraved on the bracelet, this officer had built up enough time to qualify for the Senior Pilot rating about 1941-42...I suppose that the fact that he was commissioned several years before joining the Air Corps gave him enough time in service, if not enough time as a rated pilot to qualify for the rating. I don't recall seeing a picture of a pilot wearing a separate star to denote his Sr. status, other than I seem to recall that during or after WWI some did. The star is brass while the wing is marked sterling but does have a slight yellow cast to it.

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Paul, that's a very nice pre-war solo bracelet!

Russ (or others that might know),

 

Were solo bracelets a formalized gift from the flight school or were they just a personal purchase choice that was popular at the time? The civilian flight school I attended marked the event with a colorful and humorous certificate signed by the flight instructor.

 

Later, I had the experience of releasing my own students for their first solo and know that once completed (safely) there is a great deal of relief on both parties' part. The student is conquering his fear and the instructor is risking his hard-won FI ticket--two entirely different points of view.

 

Paul

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Paul,

I don't know of any contract flight schools who formally issued solo bracelets to their flying cadets. My guess would be they were awarded some kind of paper documentation, similar to what you received after your first solo.

 

I bet you've got stories to tell with your flight instructor experiences. I can't imagine the stress level of letting your students go skyward on their own for the first time!

 

If you still have your solo certificate, feel free to post an image of it in our new pinned CAA/WTS/CPT/FLIGHT SCHOOL thread.

 

Russ

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I think Russ is right. I've never heard of a flight school that awarded bracelets. I imagine the cost would have been to great. I do however have a couple documents in groupings for accomplishing the feat.

JD

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I bet you've got stories to tell with your flight instructor experiences. I can't imagine the stress level of letting your students go skyward on their own for the first time!

Russ

 

Thanks for your responses. First solos were not too stressful since it was just tacked on to the end of a lesson where the budding pilot had been hauling me around the patch, landing on his own for a couple of hours...the only difference was that the FI got out and told him to do it again a couple of more times. :thumbsup:

 

However, over a period of time I became convinced that a certain percentage of primary students carried a death wish with them that might also take me out some time down the line. So I limited my practice to commercial and instrument students who had already shown themselves to be competent primary pilots. Maybe that's one of the reasons the Army turned over most of its primary flight training to civilian flight schools....h-m-m. :lol:

 

PS

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My computer got constipated last night and caused me to miss this one. I'm pretty sure it was another pre-war solo bracelet and what the seller thought read, "Lola" was in fact, "Solo". Probably just as well, though. Kellogg C. Manchee was a Texas boy that graduated from a Dallas high school in 1934, soloed in March 1941 and was killed about October 1941, I think in an air crash. Interesting to think that he was training for the coming WWII, but never knew of Pearl Harbor. Some of these things seem to come along with spirits still attached to them...

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John Cooper

Don't feel bad Paul I missed this as well... too busy lately so I have missed a number of things... well except a sleeper I hope to share in the near future.

 

John

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Here is one I forgot about having. There must be millions of Ruptured Ducks around...I think most of them were thrown in the misc. stuff box and forgotten. Since I think they were only authorized for wear 30-days following a soldier's discharge, it's somewhat surprising to find some of them in 14 K, others in sterling, and then there is this beauty...it's like new. Must have been a real celebration on someone's part.

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the pins could be worn forever...they were meant for the lapel of civilian suits to show service during WWII. the patches were 30 days, on the uniform

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bracelet of Gemsco wings named to a John M Knight, with a service or social number. unfortunately missing the clasp

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  • 2 months later...

I have around 15 Navy pilot bracelet with wings in my collection.
Here is the latest one:

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Unusual because it has the full length Navy wings soldered onto it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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