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I think they are likely both good. NS Meyer wings are always a mine field, but nothing jumps out at me that would give me to much pause. But, for every thumbsup.gif someone will argue thumbdown.gif

 

Still, I wouldn't kick them out of bed for eating crackers, as the saying goes.

 

Patrick

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  • 2 weeks later...
I agree with Patrick. These look original to me as well. I know some people hate this pattern but I've alwasy kind of liked it. Just my two cents.

 

 

Hi Bob - is it the pattern or all the restrikes that keep folks away? Just a thought... I have seem mnay wings I think are good go cheap or not at all because of all the second guessing... :unsure:

 

John

Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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It's definitely the restrikes that keeps the cost down but I know a lot of collectors who don't think this is an attractive pattern. Granted it's no Blackinton but I see it as the McDonald's of wings. They were plentiful and for that reason alone worn by a lot of guys so that always holds some extra value for me. A lot of the vets I've talked to have had this pattern wing and almost all of them have seen it before. It's not in my top ten patterns but I still like it and picked up most of mine relatively cheap thanks to the restrikes holding the market prices down.

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It's definitely the restrikes that keeps the cost down but I know a lot of collectors who don't think this is an attractive pattern. Granted it's no Blackinton but I see it as the McDonald's of wings. They were plentiful and for that reason alone worn by a lot of guys so that always holds some extra value for me. A lot of the vets I've talked to have had this pattern wing and almost all of them have seen it before. It's not in my top ten patterns but I still like it and picked up most of mine relatively cheap thanks to the restrikes holding the market prices down.

 

I do almost all my wing hunting in flea markets in California, and rarely ever go to the militaria shows any more (or ebay for that matter). I have found that WWII vintage NS Meyer wings show up in flea markets (jewelry dealers, estate liquidators, and general run of the mill collectable dealers) at about the same rate as some of the other big WWII manufacturers, such as AMICO, AMCRAFT, AECO, GEMSCO, and LGB. I also find that the frequency of the wings if find correlates exactly to how common the ratings are (aircrew>pilot>gunner>bombardier>navigator....etc). By far and away, the most frequent wings I see are the plain old graduation/issue wings. What I rarely see (unless it is in the space of a dedicated militaria dealer) are the NS Meyer restrikes in any great frequency. They show up periodically, but again, usually in the stuff of dealers who actually sell militaria related items. In general, I see about 1 or 2 good WWII wings at each flea market, and I buy about 1 or 2 new wings a month. Not a huge rate of accumulation, but most of the stuff I get is both cheap and vintage.

 

In contrast, when I go to the militaria shows, I tend to see much greater frequency of N S Meyer wings and restrikes than any other type of hallmarked wing. I suspect that part of this is due to the fact that most of the other hallmarked wings are usually the first to be sold in a show, leaving behind the "dregs" as it were. So, I have always felt that this gives an artificially inflated impression, both in the relative scarcity of NS Meyer wings compared to other common makers AND the number of restrikes available in the market. Basically, since the NS Meyers wings and restrikes tend not to be sold as fast as, say an AECO wing, they tend to accumulate in the dealers stock. Thus, they only appear to be more common, when in fact, I think they are likely no more common in the "general population" as other big insignia manufacturers.

 

But Bob is correct, you can frequently find a good NS Meyer wing being sold a less than an equivalent wing of another maker, because most people don't really find the pattern that appealing, are worried about the fakes, and believe that the wings are rather common.

 

Patrick

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Perhaps an unanswerable opinion, but do we know (1) the volume of Meyer wings produced during the war, and (2) the volume of restrikes made? I was wondering if there is a ratio, which I realize would be somewhat-unhelpful as applied to a military show, given the dynamic Patrick just explained, but I'm curious.

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Excellent points Patrick. If you ever run for office you've got my vote! thumbsup.gif But I am still amazed at how many vets I've seen with Meyer wings. I agree the graduation pattern is more prevalent but Meyer is right up there. I haven't seen a lot of Blackintons or Luxs in the wild. Probably had more to do where people trained and shipped out from.

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Thanks Bob, I'll let you know when I run for office! But here in California....who would want to thumbdown.gif

 

It is very strange what shows up in the flea markets out here. For example, I have never found a 3 inch Luxenberg or Blackinton pilot wing, but have found 2 WWI pilot wings (and both for less than 50$! w00t.gif ). I went through a time where I found 3 or 4 USAAF flight surgeon wings (including a couple of named groupings), but have never found a USN flight surgeon wing. I have a couple of CNAC wings and some rare early commercial aviation wings (also all found at less than 50$), but have never once found a liaison pilot wing (I only have one in my collection and I bought it at a gun show). I have only found 2 glider pilot wings in all the years I have been looking, and only one service pilot wing, but have one of the rarest BB&B paratrooper jump wings around (that was a 10$ steal). I seem to find 3 or 4 PT boat pins and 2-3 submarine combat patrol pins a year, and for awhile there, some nice civilian pilot instructor wings, but I almost never find USN flight observer wings.

 

It sure is a mixed bag, but it never gets boring. Also, nothing more enjoyable than spending a warm spring sunday in Southern California looking through other people's old stuff (that and all the scantily clad ladies enjoying the sun!)

 

I think that NS Meyer was a general uniform supply company, supplying both insignia and uniforms (hats, belts shoes, etc). I suspect that a lot of guys went into the base PX or uniform supply shop and got fitted out with the whole deal all at once (including insignia). I think GEMSCO was another one of those companies (especially with USN uniforms). Companies like Blackinton or LGB may have relied more on catalog sales or wholesale supply to retail companies (like Luxenberg). Of course, that is just my opinion.

 

Patrick

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