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WW1 Observers Collar Insignia on E-bay


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Curious to see if this gets any bids. Item #170407719640. A complete fabrication of someones imagination.

 

Added pic of insignia and additional opinion.

To begin with Gold signal flags were not worn during WW1. The Gold collar insignia came back into being in 1919 and at that time the Air Service Wing and Prop was the collar insignia for Aviators. In addition the Half Wing with US was designated as an observers badge 27 Oct 1917 and two months later on 29 Dec 1917 the O Observers badge replaced it. There is no way this insignia could have or would have been worn during WW1.

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I noticed this same pair of collar insignia was sold through Cowan's Auction House on November 4th. They were part of a larger lot of insignia which sold for $977 bucks. They are still up for viewing on Cowan's website. See Auction lot #264.

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Added pic of insignia and additional opinion.

To begin with Gold signal flags were not worn during WW1. The Gold collar insignia came back into being in 1919 and at that time the Air Service Wing and Prop was the collar insignia for Aviators. In addition the Half Wing with US was designated as an observers badge 27 Oct 1917 and two months later on 29 Dec 1917 the O Observers badge replaced it. There is no way this insignia could have or would have been worn during WW1.

There you go trying to confuse everyone with facts! :lol:

Semper fi; Bill











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Thanks for posting this. I ran across this the other day and wanted to do the same... boy of boy they sure do look minty fresh! lol

 

John

Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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I noticed this same pair of collar insignia was sold through Cowan's Auction House on November 4th. They were part of a larger lot of insignia which sold for $977 bucks. They are still up for viewing on Cowan's website. See Auction lot #264.

 

Just pulled up the Cowan auction. I suspect that this set of insignia on e-bay is in fact the same that was just sold by Cowan. In looking at other wings in the auction it is my humble opinion that most of them are boggus. In particular #267, #269, #270. Item #267 is a Senior Aeronaut Badge, didn't exist during WW1 a completely made up piece of insignia as are the following. #269 JMA which sold for $1610, and #276 JMA which sold for $1035, both of these are complete fakes. Especially the JMA with the wing on the wrong side of the shield. Years ago a wing similar to this was listed in Manions (I believe it was Manions) the story that went with it was that the wing was on the left side of the shield because the pilot lost his left arm during the war so he couldn't wear his awards and wings on the left side of his tunic. And of course someone bought it as did they buy this one from Cowan. Looks like more people are falling off the turnip truck more recently that previously thought. This really concerns me as to the rest to the items that Cowans list in their auctions. It appears that they are not researching the items as to being original or not.

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Added pic of insignia and additional opinion.

To begin with Gold signal flags were not worn during WW1. The Gold collar insignia came back into being in 1919 and at that time the Air Service Wing and Prop was the collar insignia for Aviators. In addition the Half Wing with US was designated as an observers badge 27 Oct 1917 and two months later on 29 Dec 1917 the O Observers badge replaced it. There is no way this insignia could have or would have been worn during WW1.

 

According to Bill Emerson's Encyclopedia the Signal Corp collar Flags reverted to gilt in 1912 so it is very possible that these were worn in WWI. The Officers White uniform called for gold collars during the war. Don't forget until August 1917 no official insignia existed for collars for the Air Service.

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According to Bill Emerson's Encyclopedia the Signal Corp collar Flags reverted to gilt in 1912 so it is very possible that these were worn in WWI. The Officers White uniform called for gold collars during the war. Don't forget until August 1917 no official insignia existed for collars for the Air Service.

 

Actually no official inisgnia existed for collars for the Air Service until 17 July 1918, Change 5 to SR #41 prescribed the new Vertical Silver Propeller with Bronze Wings on either side one and three quarters inches tip to tip. Prior to 17 July 1918 the only recognized Air Service Collar insignia was the short lived Globe and wing on the Signal Flags authorized by General Pershing on 27 April 1918. This insignia was only in existance for two and one half months and only authorized for wear in Europe not stateside.

 

Prior to General Pershings authorization of the globe and wing on the signal flags the addition of any device on the signal flags was strictly forbidden. On 27 December 1917 the Air Service Journal published a statement "A recent order provides that all Officers and men of the Signal Corps, including the Aviation Section, will wear on the collar the crossed flags of the Signal Corps without addition thereto".

 

A number of years ago a bright metal signal flag with silver globe and wing appeared on the market. This was discussed by Duncan Campbell in his revised book. In his revision he states that "If genuine, these would have been appropriate only for the year 1919. When Reserve Military Aviators were seperated in 1919 all were given the opportunity to stay in the Aviation Section, Signal Corps Reserve. Some may have preferred to wear the branch insignia with globe attached." However keep in mind that were talking about 1919 and the Observer half wing was abolished in Dec 1917. I have in my possession a photo album from an Aviator who qualified as a RMA in 1918 and continued on in the Reserves after discharged. This album covers the period from 1918 to 1939 and contains numerous pictures and articles ref reserve aviation during that period. There are no pictures or mention of any collar insignia other than the wing and prop.

 

I suspose anything is possible, however the Officer corps during this period was extremely regimented and I doubt that a young officer would risk the rath of his superiors by wearing such a device. To date I know of no documented evidence or pictures of any officer wearing this insignia and until that comes to light I would place these in a seperate case labeled "questionable".

 

Terry

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Actually no official inisgnia existed for collars for the Air Service until 17 July 1918, Change 5 to SR #41 prescribed the new Vertical Silver Propeller with Bronze Wings on either side one and three quarters inches tip to tip. Prior to 17 July 1918 the only recognized Air Service Collar insignia was the short lived Globe and wing on the Signal Flags authorized by General Pershing on 27 April 1918. This insignia was only in existance for two and one half months and only authorized for wear in Europe not stateside.

 

Prior to General Pershings authorization of the globe and wing on the signal flags the addition of any device on the signal flags was strictly forbidden. On 27 December 1917 the Air Service Journal published a statement "A recent order provides that all Officers and men of the Signal Corps, including the Aviation Section, will wear on the collar the crossed flags of the Signal Corps without addition thereto".

 

A number of years ago a bright metal signal flag with silver globe and wing appeared on the market. This was discussed by Duncan Campbell in his revised book. In his revision he states that "If genuine, these would have been appropriate only for the year 1919. When Reserve Military Aviators were seperated in 1919 all were given the opportunity to stay in the Aviation Section, Signal Corps Reserve. Some may have preferred to wear the branch insignia with globe attached." However keep in mind that were talking about 1919 and the Observer half wing was abolished in Dec 1917. I have in my possession a photo album from an Aviator who qualified as a RMA in 1918 and continued on in the Reserves after discharged. This album covers the period from 1918 to 1939 and contains numerous pictures and articles ref reserve aviation during that period. There are no pictures or mention of any collar insignia other than the wing and prop.

 

I suspose anything is possible, however the Officer corps during this period was extremely regimented and I doubt that a young officer would risk the rath of his superiors by wearing such a device. To date I know of no documented evidence or pictures of any officer wearing this insignia and until that comes to light I would place these in a seperate case labeled "questionable".

 

Terry

 

 

 

Hello Terry,

 

I've attached a couple of images of the gilt collar piece which I believe you are referencing. I picked this piece up in the early 1970's. I recall showing it to Duncan shortly after buying it and receiving pretty much the same response you are reciting. He could neither endorse it, nor dismiss it as authentic.

 

Russ

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A similar collar insignia...

 

Yes the bright metal signal wings with globe and wing are the insignia that Duncan was discussing in his revised edition book. The signal flags with silver wing worn by the enlisted man on his tunic were the Officers unofficial insignia that popped up at the same time as the wing and globe that was authorized in Europe. This insignia with wing only and no globe was only found stateside, totally unauthorized, and like the european style only lasted a couple months.

 

An additional opinion as to the bright signal flags with half wing. When I was researching my book I sent out over 9000 letters to suspected WW1 Aviators or their next of kin inquiring about uniforms wings and insignia. I received several hundred replys. I looked at hundreds of period pictures of early aviators in uniform. In all those contacts and all those pictures I never ran across any collar insignia other than the standard wing and prop, signal flags with globed wing and signal flags with small silver wing without globe.

 

In addition those early aviation authorities such as Cliff, Duncan, Dr. Parks etc who have been collecting WW1 Aviation since WW2 or before never encountered any of these "unique" signal flag collar insignia with such devices as tiny pilots wings, half wings, wing and props etc attached to them. I find it hard to believe that all of a sudden in the past couple years a number of these odd insignia have shown up usually in manions or on e-bay. and once one set shows up within a couple months several more pop up. Lets wait and see if any more of these bright signal flags with half wings show up in the near future. Until provanance can be established or a picture of such devices being worn appears I will hold them as suspect.

 

Terry

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FYI...The pair of questionable officer's collar insignia depicted in Post #1, sold on ebay a couple of days ago for $406.00 bucks!

 

 

Thanks, I missed the closing of the auction and was wondering how much they went for.

 

My personal thoughts are that if "Original" then these would be the rarest of all WW1 Aviation collar insignia and would certainly be worth much more than $406.00. Those with considerable knowledge in the area would have jumped all over these and driven the price sky high, but that doesn't appear to be the case. With that being said $406 is a sizeable sum for a piece of insignia that cannot be authenicated (at this time). So I guess everyone comes out happy, the buyer thinks he got a good deal, the seller is happy knowing what he had and what it went for, and those that passed on these are pleased that they can spend their funds on some other piece of memoribilia. And so it goes on E-Bay.

 

Terry

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