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Post-WWII 1950's & 1960's US Air Force uniform photos


Bob Hudson
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Colonel Edwin Doss wearing the U.S., Philippine and Korean Presidential Unit Citations over his right pocket sometime in the 1950's (He was promoted to the permanent rank of Colonel on July 2, 1954). Note that the unit awards are worn in the worn order.

Air Force.Edwin Doss.jpg

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On 9/24/2020 at 7:03 PM, patches said:

Hi @Patches  --Another still from the movie showing the M/Sgt's sleeve, and examples of the service stripes.

 

 

s-l1600 (4) - Copy.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Gen. Thomas D. White with Gen. Curtis Le May, who is new Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, most likely June 30, 1961. Note the senior NCO's wearing khaki uniforms.

Air Force.Curtis Lemay.NCO's.Khaki.jpg

 

Generals George Kenney and Curtis Le May, former and current commanders of Strategic Air Command, in 1949. Note General Le May is wearing the Army Air Forces SSI with a STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND tab.

Army Air Forces.Strategic Air Command Tab.George Kenney & Curtis Le May.1.jpg

Army Air Forces.Strategic Air Command Tab.George Kenney & Curtis Le May.2.jpg

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easterneagle87
On 12/22/2020 at 7:52 AM, seanmc1114 said:

Gen. Thomas D. White with Gen. Curtis Le May, who is new Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, most likely June 30, 1961. Note the senior NCO's wearing khaki uniforms.

Air Force.Curtis Lemay.NCO's.Khaki.jpg


note that they are also “belted”

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easterneagle87
35 minutes ago, astra44 said:

@easterneagle87  
I think they are the USAF "bush jackets" that were worn with shorts and sun/pith helmets?


That’s what I was thinking too. But since I couldn’t see the shorts, I wasn’t sure. makes total sense. Interesting they mixed and matched. 

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  • 1 month later...

In a photo identified as Luke AFB, Arizona in 1952, we see officers wearing pith blue helmets and service caps including both with silver clouds and lightning bolts.

Air Force.Pith Helmet.Luke AFB.1952.png

Air Force.Pith Helmet.Luke AFB.1952.2.jpg

 

The is identified as being located at Luke AFB, Arizona. The source dates this photo as 1951, but the description doesn't match what's in the picture, so I don't know for sure. I assume the white service caps and gloves identify the wearers as members of an honor guard. But notice also that the general is wearing khaki pants that are pleated and have much larger belt loops than the colonel behind him. I assume they are private purchase. 

Air Force.Service Caps.White.1.jpg

 

The same colonel and lieutenant general shown two posts back. Note the difference in the pants.

Air Force.Pith Helmet.Luke AFB.1952.3.png

 

Air Force ROTC cadets in a 1952 photo

Air Force.ROTC.1952.png

Air Force.ROTC.Patch.jpg

 

Lieutenant General Robert W. Harper at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona - 1954. Note the bullion insignia and foreign ribbons.

 

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/106862/lieutenant-general-robert-wells-harper/

Air Force.General Harper.2.jpg

Air Force.General Harper.jpg

 

Airmen playing baseball at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in 1951. The sergeant appears to be wearing subdued chevrons that may be iron-on.

Air Force.Luke AFB.1951.jpg

 

A Colonel Chapman wearing the bush jacket with ribbons and name plate. The photo credit says this is Arizona Governor Paul Fannin cutting a cake, probably during a ceremony, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona - 1959. Note that the colonel has Command Pilot wings and two Distinguished Flying Crosses, ribbons for all three World War II theaters and for service in Korea as well, but no Air Medal ribbon. 

Air Force.Bush Jacket.1959.png

Air Force.Bush Jacket.1959.2.jpg

 

Another view of the blue pith helmet being worn by an officer at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona - 1951 

Air Force.Pith Helmet.Luke AFB.1951.png

 

A couple of officers at Luke Air Force, Arizona in 1951. The lieutenant on the right appears to be wearing Senior Pilot wings. Wouldn't it be a little unusual for someone of that rank to have earned that badge? I believe the requirements for that rating are ten years of service with 1,800 hours of flight time.

Air Force.Senior Pilot.Lieutenant.png

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On 2/3/2021 at 2:01 PM, seanmc1114 said:

Airmen playing baseball at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in 1951. The sergeant appears to be wearing subdued chevrons that may be iron-on.

Air Force.Luke AFB.1951.jpg

Stencled or expertly drawn on would be my guess Sean.

 

Great group of recent photos by the way, love that Blue Pith Helmet.

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I was thinking the same as @patches , that it looks like  a stencil?  

Were subdued chevrons first seen in Vietnam era? I have an early theater-made example. (See pic.)

Agreed, a great group of photos recently posted by  @seanmc1114 !

chevron USAF USAAF rank Variations - Copy.JPG

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On 2/3/2021 at 4:52 PM, astra44 said:

I was thinking the same as @patches , that it looks like  a stencil?  

Were subdued chevrons first seen in Vietnam era? I have an early theater-made example. (See pic.)

Agreed, a great group of photos recently posted by  @seanmc1114 !

chevron USAF USAAF rank Variations - Copy.JPG

Yes that one you posted above is a Vietnam War example, and would not be worn in the 50s, no insignia of this subdued type were worn then. This Air Force NCOs rank has to be either a stencil or drawn on. The Air Force being a new branch, and with new rank insignia, is in this case,  just following the fashion of the day where some Marines and to a lesser extant, the Army, and stenciling or drawing on rank insignia on their HBT items.

 

Here's an example of an Army Man, Master Sergeant Fastner 9th Inf, 2nd Inf Div as he embarking for Korea in July 1950 stenciled in the 1948 Regs chevron style.

19500720-FastnerMil-Com.jpg

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59 minutes ago, patches said:

Yes that one you posted above is a Vietnam War example, and would not be worn in the 50s, no insignia of this subdued type were worn then. This Air Force NCOs rank has to be either a stencil or drawn on. The Air Force being a new branch, and with new rank insignia, is in this case,  just following the fashion of the day where some Marines and to a lesser extant, the Army, and stenciling or drawing on rank insignia on their HBT items.

 

Here's an example of an Army Man, Master Sergeant Fastner 9th Inf, 2nd Inf Div as he embarking for Korea in July 1950 stenciled in the 1948 Regs chevron style.

19500720-FastnerMil-Com.jpg

@patches Thanks for the response, and the info.
Looking at the pic, is the other M/Sgt wearing those "mini" chevrons that I believe the Army used for a while? (I know very little about Army insignia.)
 

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3 hours ago, astra44 said:

@patches Thanks for the response, and the info.
Looking at the pic, is the other M/Sgt wearing those "mini" chevrons that I believe the Army used for a while? (I know very little about Army insignia.)
 

Yes, he's wearing the Non Combat branch Chevrons.

 

For your Reference, here's Theee Topic on the Army's 1948 Reg Chevrons.

 

 

 

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Great pic (post#972)  @seanmc1114.  Don't see many photos of that transitional period in color. I am sure you are correct about the collar brass. Attached a couple of pics of my dad with that open-cut US and prop/wing insignia on his shirt collars, and his jacket lapels. (Celle, Germany, during Berlin Airlift period, 1949)
----
[Apologies if I have posted these pics before, elsewhere in this thread]
 

Celle Germany July 1949.JPG

1949  may end of ailift.JPG

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5 hours ago, astra44 said:

Great pic (post#972)  @seanmc1114.  Don't see many photos of that transitional period in color. I am sure you are correct about the collar brass. Attached a couple of pics of my dad with that open-cut US and prop/wing insignia on his shirt collars, and his jacket lapels. (Celle, Germany, during Berlin Airlift period, 1949)
----
[Apologies if I have posted these pics before, elsewhere in this thread]
 

Celle Germany July 1949.JPG

1949  may end of ailift.JPG

Great photos. Any idea on the shoulder patches? Hard to tell.

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1 hour ago, patches said:

Great photos. Any idea on the shoulder patches? Hard to tell.

@patches I know from other photos that the right shoulder patch is the USSTAF shield.  Left, I don't know. He was with the (317th Maintenance Squadron) 317th Troop Carrier Wing, during the Airlift. I've attached an early version graphic of the insignia for the 317th, but is that what he's wearing? It doesn't look like it to me.
----------------------------
Another pic of my old man just a few months later, in that same khaki uniform with the transitional collar brass.  (Biggs Filed, El Paso, January,1950.)

unnamed (1) - Copy.png

Biggs Field - El Paso -January 1950.JPG

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3 hours ago, astra44 said:

@patches I know from other photos that the right shoulder patch is the USSTAF shield.  Left, I don't know. He was with the (317th Maintenance Squadron) 317th Troop Carrier Wing, during the Airlift. I've attached an early version graphic of the insignia for the 317th, but is that what he's wearing? It doesn't look like it to me.
----------------------------
Another pic of my old man just a few months later, in that same khaki uniform with the transitional collar brass.  (Biggs Filed, El Paso, January,1950.)

unnamed (1) - Copy.png

Biggs Field - El Paso -January 1950.JPG

USSTAF Patch check. Maybe the other is U.S.  Army Air Force Europe??

wk.jpg622p3.jpg

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1 hour ago, patches said:

USSTAF Patch check. Maybe the other is U.S.  Army Air Force Europe??

wk.jpg622p3.jpg

@patches Possibly. But would both of those be worn on same uniform?

I do have an example of an AAF Europe patch on a transition period Ike, with the brass cut-out collar brass. But no patch at all on right shoulder!

Berlin Airlift era transitional Ike USAFE.JPG

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Lieutenant General Lauris Norstad, USAF on the front cover of Life Magazine dated November 1, 1948. Upon close examination of the photo ones can see his is wearing his transitional US Army officer uniform with the new gold USAF buttons.

 

The photo and description come from the following site: https://usafflagranks.com/usaf_transitional_period_uniform.html

Air Force.Norstad.1.jpg

Air Force.Norstad.2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
easterneagle87

Jacket offered this past weekend at the Sacramento Antique St Fair, WW2 overcoat with AAF patch and Airmen First Class (is that designation correct?) chevrons. 

FDE954BF-B86A-4B7A-B505-FAB816FA46BD.jpeg

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