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post WWII, 50's & 60's US Air Force uniform photos


Bob Hudson
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"President Truman shakes hands with Air Force Staff Sergeant Edward Williams, at a casual meeting in St. Louis during the President's morning walk..." Source: Harry S. Truman Library. (Note on dating: This would have been the morning of October 12, 1950. The president had spent the night before in St. Louis en route to his historic meeting with Gen. MacArthur on Wake Island.)

 

Sergeant Williams is wearing the WWII Far East Air Forces SSI on his left sleeve, which was the only approved position for wearing SSI from 1950 until USAF discontinued SSI wear ca. 1957.

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  • 2 weeks later...

WAF Private ca. 1948. Source: Forum member 1st Sgt CES (posted here with his permission. Thanks, Top!)

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The "WAF" (officially: Women in the Air Force) was established on June 12, 1948, when President Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Act (PL 625-80). Less than a month later, WAC Staff Sergeant Ester Blake became the first woman to enlist in the USAF, on July 8, 1948 (link here).

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Unidentified USAF Corporal (or Airman 2nd Class) wearing Aircrew wings. The location of Club Golden Bear is unknown (maybe in Northern California?) Date clue: Is that a ca. 1950 Oldsmobile?

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Other WAGs welcome.

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If anyone's interested, publication of the forthcoming Schiffer book "Into the blue" by Lance Young, which deals with this transitional era of USAF uniforms and insignia, has now been put back to January 2011...almost a year later than planned! I got this info direct from Schiffer yesterday.

 

Sabrejet :(

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Commanding Officer's orderlies? This group of NCO's and the Wing Adjutant were assembled for this photo op outside 67th Reconnaissance Wing headquarters at March Field, Calif., ca. mid-1948. The NCO's are wearing pre-voided enlisted hat and collar brass, which were supplanted by the voided style in August, 1948.

 

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When I first posted this picture of Brig. Gen George Goddard last year, I WAG-ed that he was wearing the Air Material Command SSI (link here).

 

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However, as shown by Gen. Goddard's official USAF portrait, he wore the Eighth Air Force SSI (representing his WWII overseas assignment) as authorized by USAF directives of the time when the picture was taken. Col. Goddard was promoted to Brigadier General in May 1952 and assigned to headquarters of the Allied Air Forces in Central Europe at Fontainebleau, France, for duty as director of reconnaissance, Operations Division. In July 1953, Gen. Goddard was reassigned to Headquarters, Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson AFB (which was the final assignment listed in his official biography).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Corporal Alvin Glasneck, 343rd Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group, Spokane AFB, Washington, ca. 1950, wearing a 15th Air Force SSI modified with hand stitched red braid.

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courtesy of DutchInfid31 ~~ thanks, Sarah (link

here).

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Commanding officer of 3084th Aviation Depot Group, Stony Brook Air Force Station, Mass., wearing the cotton summer service jacket (ca. 1957).

 

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  • 1 month later...

Unidentified Colonel ca. 1949/50, wearing the Military Air Transport Service SSI. This is one of the few pictures on this Forum showing a senior officer wearing SSI on the newly authorized USAF Blue uniform (link here to see another).

 

post-1963-1286592302.jpg

courtesy of DutchInfid31 ~~ thanks, Sarah (link

here).

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Great pic...... And in color! Thanks for posting

 

WAF Corporal ca. 1948 (link here for more on the early WAF):

 

post-1963-1286589694.jpg

courtesy of 1st Sgt CES ~~ thanks, Top (link

here).

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If anyone's interested, publication of the forthcoming Schiffer book "Into the blue" by Lance Young, which deals with this transitional era of USAF uniforms and insignia, has now been put back to January 2011...almost a year later than planned! I got this info direct from Schiffer yesterday.

 

Sabrejet :(

 

Thanks for the heads up. The book looks good, judging by the front cover (seen on Amazon).... pity it won't be out in time for Christmas!

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  • 1 month later...
SocietyBrandHatCo

I know this is going to sound stupid, but why were two jackets authorized for wear? The ike jacket and the 4 pocket tunic?

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...why were two jackets authorized for wear? The ike jacket and the 4 pocket tunic?

Inertia.

 

When the Air Force was separated from the Army in 1947, its members continued to wear Army uniforms during the transition to Air Force Blues (which it the subject of this long-running thread). In 1947, there was no four-button coat authorized for Army enlisted men, as were none for Air Force enlisted men after 1947. The "Ike jacket" officially described as "jacket, winter, serge, Army shade No. 33, as issued" was universally worn by Air Force enlisted men until the Air Force Blue 4-button coat and "Ike jacket" became available in 1949, after which Air Force enlisted men could optionally wear the OD Army "Ike jacket" (until July 1952) or the Air Force Blue coat or jacket. The Air Force solved its coat/jacket redundancy, probably as a matter of economy, by announcing in the mid-1950s that the jacket would be withdrawn, which eventually happened in 1964 (the Army did away with its "Ike jacket" in 1961).

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  • 1 month later...
I just think it's kind of funny the Air Force issued two jackets which fulfilled the same role.

 

IMHO, the (short) Jacket was more comfortable, but the 4 pocket coat was a bit more formal. So, if you could afford it, the short jacket might be preferred for daily wear and the full dress Service Coat worn when needed. Today there is still a short jacket, but it's a windbreaker style.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another period sighting of the rarely seen cut-out version of the USAF wing-and-prop collar insignia first authorized August 23, 1948 (AFL 39-25), which this PFC is wearing along with the former USAAF SSI and "Training Command" arc and the DI for the former USAAF Technical Training Command.

 

post-1963-1295047130.jpg

 

courtesy of DutchInfid31 ~~ thanks, Sarah (link

here).

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Graduation day for Class 57-6 of 3083rd Aviation Depot Group NCO Academy at Fairfield Air Force Station, Calif., on June 21, 1957. The "First Sergeant" pictured here (whose actual rank was Airman 1st Class) was the class Honor Graduate.

 

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RE: " 'Leatherwringer' Here are 2 jackets I have named to the same guy "

 

 

Goes without saying......but don't these look great compared to the modern USAF uniform?

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