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CATERPILLAR CLUB , GOLDFISH CLUB , SEA SQUATTERS CLUB


KASTAUFFER
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Lastly a picture of the front of the A-2 jacket depicting 1st pattern 86th Squadron patch, 47th BG, gunners wings and self-designed 12th AF patch (cant be seen in pictures but the scroll has 86th Sqdrn, 47th BG).

 

3 of these identical A-2 jackets were painted by my father for other gunners. One was cut up by the vet and the back panel (A-20) was placed in a frame with his medals/wings. No idea where the other jacket is, or if it survived.

 

Gary B

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  • 2 months later...

Here is a Capterpillar Club certificate and a photo of the man wearing the pin. He was a P-51 pilot from the 354th Fighter Group who was shot down Feb. 3, 1944 and spent the rest of the war as a guest of Hitler in Stalag Luft 1 located at Barth Germany.

 

 

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Very Nice:

 

My mother's cousin (Jack Yarborough) was a WWII fighter pilot stationed in England. They joked about his being a "German ace" because he was shot down six times. Since he bailed out several times and twice into the English Channel, I can only assume that Jack had both the Caterpillar and Goldfish Club pins. The only picture I ever saw of him in uniform he was standing in front of his Mustang.

 

The only person I've ever seen wearing a Caterpillar was a Dr. Gus Agnostitas. Gus was a fellow skydiver and was also in the airborne with 3 combat jump stars on his Master Jump Wings. He used to wear a cap that had his jump wings and Caterpillar pin on it. I'm not sure he was really authorized the caterpillar. A jump plane he was in was shot down and most escaped by jumping into the Channel. I know in my skydiving days I applied for a Caterpillar Pin because several of us had to jump out of a Cessna 190 while returning from a parachute meet. The Cessna blew a jug and all but the pilot had to jump so the pilot could try to safely land it. I was told I was not eligible because the intention originally was to make a jump from the plane. Since Gus' had intended to jump into Belgium, I'm not sure the caterpillar was authentic.

 

Again...great pix.

 

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Here is a Capterpillar Club certificate and a photo of the man wearing the pin. He was a P-51 pilot from the 354th Fighter Group who was shot down Feb. 3, 1944 and spent the rest of the war as a guest of Hitler in Stalag Luft 1 located at Barth Germany.

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Hi Kurt,

 

Nice items! Unusual to see a pin awarded to an officer. The ones you do see, rarely, are for EMs and NCOs.

 

Gary B

Very interesting. I would have thought that the majority would have been awarded to officers, but the fact more were awarded to EMs and NCOs is reasonable since a huge number of bombers were shot down and their crews were comprised of fewer officers than EMs and NCOs.

 

I wonder if Swetlic(sp) and the other parachute manufacturers have records of all of the awards. :thumbsup:

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Here is a Capterpillar Club certificate and a photo of the man wearing the pin. He was a P-51 pilot from the 354th Fighter Group who was shot down Feb. 3, 1944 and spent the rest of the war as a guest of Hitler in Stalag Luft 1 located at Barth Germany.

 

Kurt, I finally looked him up on my list and found a couple of notes on him though you may already have this. He was one of the "Little Wheels" on the group staff as the North 1 Librarian Officer, in Block 11. Middle name is Harding.

 

MarkD

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Very interesting. I would have thought that the majority would have been awarded to officers, but the fact more were awarded to EMs and NCOs is reasonable since a huge number of bombers were shot down and their crews were comprised of fewer officers than EMs and NCOs.

 

I wonder if Swetlic(sp) and the other parachute manufacturers have records of all of the awards. :thumbsup:

 

 

There were generally more enlisted men than officers on a bomber, so maybe that is why you tend to see more to EM. In my collection, almost all the ones I have are to officers.

 

Kurt

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Very interesting. I would have thought that the majority would have been awarded to officers, but the fact more were awarded to EMs and NCOs is reasonable since a huge number of bombers were shot down and their crews were comprised of fewer officers than EMs and NCOs.

 

I wonder if Swetlic(sp) and the other parachute manufacturers have records of all of the awards. :thumbsup:

 

Switlik does have records of awards, but they will not provide them to the public. If you want to find out if a certain name received a Caterpillar Club pin, you can contact them, but they will only give you a no, or a yes, with the date of the action that warranted an award. They also cannot tell you how many awards have been made, nor can they give you a breakdown by branch of the armed service, or era of awards (though most will have been from WWII).

 

 

Allan

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I just added a Caterpillar Club card variety I didnt have to my collection. Ive been looking for one for a while. The vet served with the 96th BG, 8th AAF .



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  • 3 weeks later...

A friend flew P-47s in Italy. Earlier in the war, he was forced to bail from a P-39 over the Mediterranean and has a caterpillar pin to show for it. He said he knew from childhood from cereal boxes and other kids booklets that he needed to hang onto his D-ring to receive the pin so he wrapped it around his belt and kept it safe. Have you guys heard that this was required at any time? His is a Switlik pin.

Dave

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Here is an Caterpillar Club Pin "earned" by a Marine! This belonged to Lt. Van W. Smith who was a member of VMB 413. I had posted this earlier and it was requested I put it in this pinned thread for future reference. If you have any addition information on this particular type of pin, or, if you know of other USMC pilots with one, let me know. Thank you, pat

 

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  • 1 month later...

YANK in the RAF / Caterpillar club & Goldfish club member!

 

Anyone see this one, it was over my budget but I was watching it, WOW! Unfortunatly he pulled it so maybe one of you guys snagged it?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Orig-WW2-RAF-...=true&rt=nc

 

 

 

Here is a “Cut & Paste” right from the auction for when the link is no good.

 

 

Rare Orig WW2 RAF GOLDFish CLUB Card~Member~Pilot Log Book~Spitfire~Hurricane

 

WWII Lot Lot includes:

THE GOLDFISH CLUB CARD MEMBERSHIP WITH A NOTE ON GOLDFISH LETTERHEAD This is in excellent condition with amazing artwork on the front.

 

PILOT'S CERTIFICATE

 

ROYAL AIR FORCE IDENTITY CARD

 

PILOT LOG BOOK

 

All of these are from the same pilot Glenn Smart. He flew Spitfires, Hurricanes, Master, P-47, P51

The log book explains the day, March 29, 1944 in detail that he became a Goldfish and Caterpillar member. I do not have the Caterpillar card. There are also other certificates pasted in the log book, Certificate of Proficiency, Instrument Flying test. I don't know how detailed these books are but this one seems very detailed. The log book is from Jan 1942 to April 1944

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  • 5 weeks later...

dmar836, somehow keeping your static line D ring to become a caterpillar club member had become urban legend. I have a group to a British pilot who got one and he wrote from prison camp to his wife to send in the paperwork. He told her he could not hold on to the D ring and hoped it would not disqualify him. He got the caterpillar anyway.

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  • 6 months later...
CampSutton

Thought I would post the pair I just aquired. I like the little lapel pin. These are identified to the vet.

 

 

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Very nice set Camp!

 

 

I added a some goldfish material earlier this year that I haven't posted.

 

Lt. Whorton was lead pilot of the B-17 "Sweaty Betty" with the 94th Bomb Group. They were hit by flak while on a mission over Berlin. Whorton was able to nurse his B-17 back to the North Sea were he ditched their plane. The crew survived and thus qualified for the Goldfish Club.

 

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