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A comparison of WWI wings


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Finally, here is a much clearer picture of a more traditional Dallas wing. Happily this picture is much clearer (you can in fact see the actual beading extending past the edge of the wings in this photo), of what a vintage Dallas wing looks like. In this photograph at least, the curve in the shield is rather pronounced.

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This is the whole picture of the WWI pilot. Nice studio shot, but sadly not ID'd.

 

While I know these photos won't likely sway the undecided. Myself, I am convinced that these straight sided Dallas wings are vintage to WWI. So, the search still goes on for definitive photographic proof....

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Patrick-

 

I think I have another straight sider for you to compare & this time it's ID'd! The aviator is identified as 2nd Lt. C.H. Utley. The portrait is a small cropped section of a much larger aviator group photo taken at Post Field (probably shortly after the war). You want to talk about some strange variants. This photo has some weird ones. What does that one right above his head look like to you? It looks bullion to me but not clear enough to be sure if the edge is straight or curved.

 

 

-Chuck

post-518-1285117856.jpg

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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On second thought, I believe I see a little bit of a curve as the wing wraps around the bottom right of the shield. Shadows? Or does it look legitimately curved to you?

 

Got one more pic of another ID'd pilot with the straight edge shield. This time, there's no disputing it.

 

-Chuck

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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The photo I was talking about....

 

This one is identified as Robert Overton Black, native of Greencastle, Indiana. Here's some genealogical information I found on the web:

 

...The oldest of four children born to Robert Miller Black and his second wife,

Laura Catherine Moore, Robert was born 30 Aug 1890 in Greencastle, Putnam

County, Indiana. He lost his father at the age of nine years. While his

father and his family were from Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana the

family lived in Douglas County, Illinois (about 100 miles due west) where

Laura Moore's family had migrated from Parke County, Indiana to Coles (later

Douglas) County Illinois.

 

Highly intelligent, Robert was sent as a teenager to Todd Seminary for Boys

in Woodstock, Illinois (Grad. 1906) and later to the University of Illinois.

At Todd Seminary he won the Prize Speaking Contest (Henry V at Agincourt),

Sr. Class Oration ("A New World's Power"), and the Roll of Honor.

 

He joined the Army and was stationed at Park Field (Aviation Field, Park

Field, Memphis, Tennessee) as an aviator where he met his future wife,

Margaret.

 

(Naval Support Activity Mid-South has a long and rich history, one which can

be traced to the birth of military aviation itself and to our country's

proudest moments. This site was originally established in November 1917 as

Park Field, an Army Signal Corps Aviation School used to train pilots for

service with the Allied Forces during World War I. By February 1918, flight

operations were in full swing, but only until November of that year when the

Armistice was signed. Two days after the signing, training operations were

ceased. http://www.nsamidsouth.navy.mil/cmd-history.htm). Airplanes were

part of the Signal Corp because aircraft were primarily used for observation

of enemy positions as hot air balloons were part of the Signal Corp in the

Civil War. Signal Corp Park Field later became the Naval Air Station of

Memphis.)

 

He married Margaret Fleda Hinson (22 Aug 1897 Memphis, Shelby Co., TN - 18

Dec 1987 Memphis, TN) while stationed at Park Field on 23 Mar 1918 and had

one child, Robert O. Black, Jr., DDS (13 May 1920 in Oakland, Coles Co., IL

- 12 Jun 1964 in Memphis, TN ). Robert, Jr, married Harriet Howe (7 Mar 1924

in Memphis, TN - 19 Feb 1999 in Memphis, TN) in 1943 and had three

daughters, Diane Ardenne, Brenda Lynn, and Margaret Warner.

 

Robert, Sr. had the wanderlust and moved the family frequently as explored

"the next possibility." They divorced after 12 years of marriage. Margaret

and her son moved back to Memphis and lived with her father, Shelton Hinson,

Jr., and her sister, Dr. (Mary) Ardenne Hinson. Robert, Sr. continued to

work at various endeavors around the country but visited his "Memphis

family" until his death. He maintained his residences at the Soldier's Homes

in Boise, Idaho and Wood, Wisconsin where he died 7 Jan 1970.

 

I also found a picture of him taken in 1950. Take a look:

 

Robert O. Black

 

-Chuck

post-518-1285122555.jpg

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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...and a cropped scan of the wings. No idea on the ribbon bar.

 

-Chuck

post-518-1285123245.jpg

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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Patrick & Chuck - those are some wonderful photos I wish I had your luck or is it skill a picking these up. I am a fan of period photos!

 

Cheers

John

Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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John-

 

I call it dumb luck. I nearly had forgotten about the R.O. Black image until I read this thread.

 

I'm glad to see we have the same passion for period photos. I love them too!!!

 

In regards to that first pic I posted of C.H. Utley (post #28), I think the shield actually rests upon the wing (or at least the uniform fold makes it appear that way), giving it a false impression the wing might be curved along that inside edge. To me, it looks like he removed the wing backing & mounted it directly to the uniform. Got pictures of such a thing being done, too (wink...wink...)

 

I'm off to bed. I hope all is well out West with you, John. I look forward to picking this up tomorrow.

 

-C

WANTED!

WWI Aero Squadron items such as insignia, uniforms & my favorite- PHOTOS! Will purchase or work out a possible trade

HIGHLY SOUGHT- Anything related to the AEF Photo Sections or 85th,258th & 278th Aero Squadrons.

To be alone, to have your life in your own hands, to use your own skill, single-handed, against the enemy. It was like the lists of the Middle Ages, the only sphere in modern warfare where a man saw his adversary and faced him in mortal combat, the only sphere where there was still chivalry and honour. If you won, it was your own bravery and skill; if you lost, it was because you had met a better man
-Cecil Lewis


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I need some dumb luck!

 

As for #28 it does appear that the backing is gone... all you see is the shadow. The shield is hard to tell. Look at the right side and see the space or is that something else?

 

Cheers

John

 

BTW not to bad out here unless you take into account the state goverment then thats another story :)

Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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Any idea what the total population of WWI vintage wings might be? Seems I read that about 20,000 pilots were trained for service, then quickly mustered out after Armistice. Would a reasonable estimate be something on the order of 1X or 2X that number?

 

Also, it seems that both the variety of makers and the quality of their product varied pretty substantially even within a given maker's work...something I would expect in something that was substantially hand-made. Is it a fair statement that specific makers such as Haltom, Linz, Shreve, and others probably served a demand that was located close to their businesses rather than the wings being widely distributed for resale through retailers distant from their shops?

 

For instance it would seem logical to me that Haltom would have supplied wings for training fields near Ft. Worth; Linz to Love Field adjacent to Dallas, and Shreve for SFO area training bases. If so, then the expected population of certain wings would be tied to some extent to the numbers of pilots trained in those areas.

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  • 8 years later...

I recently found this photo of a WWI RMA/JMA. And while its not 100% clear to me, this does look like the "spade-style" shield Dallas wing.

 

I'm not going to say that they couldn't also be a bullion wing, to be sure, so the search goes on for 100% photographic proof that this pattern of wings were worn.

 

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Great post Patrick! Ive been wondering what is under the fabric on those! Thank you for showing that.

I totally see what youare saying about all the flaws in the faker. The real ones are well made. And it looks like some of

that painted on patina on the half wing, got brushed onto the fabric?

Thank you Patrick great learning tool for us beginners!!!

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