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WASP wings


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Paul or anyone: Is there any definitive way to tell whether or not a Josten wing is wartime or a later strike? I know someone who has a group including the "WASP" collar brass but never having handled a 100% iron clad WASP wing, I'm just not sure. The wing is clutch back but didn't Josten restrike more of those clutch back wings after the war? The price is right if the group is WW II vintage but I am fully aware of the problems in determining whether or not a WASP wing is of wartime production.

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Paul or anyone: Is there any definitive way to tell whether or not a Josten wing is wartime or a later strike? I know someone who has a group including the "WASP" collar brass but never having handled a 100% iron clad WASP wing, I'm just not sure. The wing is clutch back but didn't Josten restrike more of those clutch back wings after the war? The price is right if the group is WW II vintage but I am fully aware of the problems in determining whether or not a WASP wing is of wartime production.

The key difference between a (Josten) WWII piece and a post WWII reunion wing is that the WWII wings were all clutch backs, where the reunions were purposely made with pin backs. Of course, even at that, there have been other copies made of the clutch backs, but those I've seen tend to be fairly easy to tell apart from the originals...they look kind of clunky to my eye. The #3 wing above is a good one.

 

Paul

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No doubt about it, Patrick. My rather fuzzy point is that #2 & #4 are fakes that together have taken in over $1300 from someone for a couple of things of little or no value. I think #3 is O.K., but, for me, not at that price.

 

Further, as I've noted before, wings collecting is a very immature hobby otherwise the prices would tend to settle within a very narrow band. That's not the case with wings as the prices can go all over the map, depending on who lines up against one another for a particular sale. Remember, there were at least one or maybe two others willing to pay those prices for the fakes who ended up as underbidders. On the other hand an auction is about the purest way to set a price on something at a particular point in time.

 

Paul, one of the problems with pricing, IMHO, is that we don't really know how "rare" a wing is since the makers didn't publicize how many they made. With coins, we know exactly how many were minted and have an instant idea of how scarce it is. With wings, all we can do is guage how often we encounter a certain wing. There are some wings identified by the reference books as rare but I tend to encounter them more often than I would expect for a rare wing.

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Paul, one of the problems with pricing, IMHO, is that we don't really know how "rare" a wing is since the makers didn't publicize how many they made. With coins, we know exactly how many were minted and have an instant idea of how scarce it is. With wings, all we can do is guage how often we encounter a certain wing. There are some wings identified by the reference books as rare but I tend to encounter them more often than I would expect for a rare wing.

Mark,

I think the uncertainties are one of the charms that accompany this area of collecting. You may have studied certain elements of the WWII AAF history and noticed that some of the statistics tend to vary from source to source. For instance, within the 447th, there is no real consensus as to how many men were actually lost...accurate official records apparently don't exist. Of course, in many instances, they simply didn't know the precise fates of all those who did not return from a mission. At the end of the war, most of the original staff and crews were long gone, and those left there at the end broke camp quickly and got the heck out of there as fast as they could. Maybe better records were kept somewhere up in the command structure, but if so I haven't come across them.

 

As to the wings, I think close observation of eBay might be one of the best ways to get a feel for just how scarce a lot of the different wings really are. A knowledgeable collector shared with me some time ago that some of the graduation wings are among the rarest...I have no reason to doubt that. There are some that I've seen only once or twice in the 4-5 years I've been closely watching.

 

PS

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:think: Here is the first of several WASP wing files I've saved from various sources. What do you think?

Real or Fake #3?

 

 

#3 looks real Look at the length of the pins for the clutches. Very short, typical of 1940s wings.

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