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U.S. Gunner's Wings question


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What were the regulations concerning the wearing of wings after one has been grounded for wounds but returned to the Army as a Maint. tech? Would they still be allowed to wear their wings when they were with the AAF?

 

Thanks,

USAF70

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Once wings are "earned", they can always be worn unless revoked for punishment or a higher wing awarded. For example, if you your gunner were to go to flight school and became an aviator, he would then be able to wear the pilot wings, but would no longer be allowed the gunner wings. Or, if the guy did something that caused punitive punishment, the wings could be removed by order. Hope that helps.


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The glider badge still appears in the badge listings, however, the gunner's do not. Since the gunner wings are an Army promulgated wing, I doubt that the Air Force would issue them to someone after the Air Force cut off from the AAF. Therefore, the only reason the guy would be authorized to wear the wings is that he was an original gunner issued the wings. Say he was 20 in 1945, that would make him 85ish now. Doubtful that he is authorized to wear the wings. But, as is always on this board, someone will dig out and obscure reg or picture proving my answer wrong. I wont say "no way" but "no way".


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Then I am sure I am mis-remembering and that he was likely Army. He wasnt any more than 50 and he is on active duty now. I guess I just had Air Force as my assumption.

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Still not likely that he should be wearing gunner wings. The army quit using them after WWII, they went to an aircrew wing. If he is wearing the wings, it may be that no one wants to confront him about it.

Maybe someone else can weigh in.

 

What year did Air Gunner get dropped? I know there were tail gunners in B-52s until the 1980s (?) since I have met some older NCOs who had the AFSC.

 

As for age, you never know, I had a group of CWOs come in to Ft Richardson Alaska on an FTX from the Guard, they all had 173rd Combat Patches. I asked of course if the herd patches were for OIF. They cracked up laughing at me and gave me a friendly "hell no, those are from Vietnam!". The whole bunch had flown together for years (several hundred years according to one of their 20-something crew chiefs). They were prepping to return to Afghanistan and were brushing up in the mountains of the north.

 

I tried to be real cool, but they knew I was a little bit awestruck ;)

 

T-Bone

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Here is what I dug up:

 

• Aerial Gunner (Established 29 April 1943. Discontinued 26 July 1949) - Upon authorization by his Commanding Officer, a regularly assigned aerial gunner member of an aircrew, who had demonstrated his proficiency as such, could wear the badge during such time that he was assigned to such duties. Graduates of an AAF flexible gunnery school, or of an AAF instructor's school (flexible gunnery) could wear the badge during such time as they were assigned as a regular gunner member of an aircrew, or were awaiting assignment to such duties, or were performing duties as an instructor in flexible gunnery.

 

Individuals authorized to wear the Aerial Gunner or Aircrew Member badges could continue to wear such badges, when no longer so assigned, if they met one of the following three requirements:

 

1. 150 hours flying duty as regularly assigned aerial gunners or aircrew members

 

2. Participation as regularly assigned aerial gunner or aircrew member in 10 combat missions during which time exposure to enemy fire was probable and expected.

 

3. Physically incapacitated through enemy action or while discharging duties as a member of an aircrew.


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Here is what I dug up:

 

• Aerial Gunner (Established 29 April 1943. Discontinued 26 July 1949) - Upon authorization by his Commanding Officer, a regularly assigned aerial gunner member of an aircrew, who had demonstrated his proficiency as such, could wear the badge during such time that he was assigned to such duties. Graduates of an AAF flexible gunnery school, or of an AAF instructor's school (flexible gunnery) could wear the badge during such time as they were assigned as a regular gunner member of an aircrew, or were awaiting assignment to such duties, or were performing duties as an instructor in flexible gunnery.

 

Individuals authorized to wear the Aerial Gunner or Aircrew Member badges could continue to wear such badges, when no longer so assigned, if they met one of the following three requirements:

 

1. 150 hours flying duty as regularly assigned aerial gunners or aircrew members

 

2. Participation as regularly assigned aerial gunner or aircrew member in 10 combat missions during which time exposure to enemy fire was probable and expected.

 

3. Physically incapacitated through enemy action or while discharging duties as a member of an aircrew.

 

Hawk, thanks that is very interesting. If i see him again, i'll see if i can get the rest of the story then.

danshanower.jpg

R.I.P. Commander Dan Shanower, KIA 9/11/01

"Freedom Isn't Free" US Naval Institute, Proceedings, 1997

 

 

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What year did Air Gunner get dropped? I know there were tail gunners in B-52s until the 1980s (?) since I have met some older NCOs who had the AFSC.

 

T-Bone

B-52 gunners wore enlisted aircrew wings. I knew several when I was on active duty who had been gunners during WWII and would have originally qualified for the old Aerial Gunners wings, but wore the Aircrew wings instead. Remember: B-52 gunners were in SAC and you wore regulation stuff in SAC. (Well, most of the time. :lol: )

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If he was in his 50's maybe his dad was an Aerial Gunner in WWII and he is wearing them in his honor even if he is not allowed to do so. The odds are he would not be wearing then in his official photo.

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Sky Cops tend to be VERY observant and cranky (regardless of one's rank) about matters such as this, so... to say I'm skeptical would be an understatement.

 

There has got to be some other and an unusual explanation for this phenomenon.

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Oh I forgot he is Army and not Air Force. The USAF has so many different wings no one would have noticed and having spent 30 years with them no one would have cared.

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Sounds like someone that was a door gunner on a helo that thought it would be cool to wear old gunner wings after he left aviation and no one was smart enough to question him about it. I can't think of any reason that this individual would legally be wearing a wing that was removed from service 60 years ago, he would have to be a minimum 77 years old if he was issued them on the last day of authorization.


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Sky Cops tend to be VERY observant and cranky (regardless of one's rank) about matters such as this, so... to say I'm skeptical would be an understatement.

 

There has got to be some other and an unusual explanation for this phenomenon.

 

Talked to our old MSG commander, he remembers seening them worn by qualified Aerial Gunners in the 1970's even though they were supposed to be wearing the enlisted aircrew wings. It was not regulation but was tolerated.

He only griped because he was an enlisted Flight Engineer.

 

 

T-Bone

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