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Finally for tonight, a pre-cadet squadron patch. I have only seen 4 of these. One in the Pinks and Greens book, and then I had 3 that came out of an estate. I have two, and the other one ended up in Russ' collection (IIRC).

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Good memory Gregg! Here's a close-up of a "Squadron 1 - War Eagle Field" Flight Instructor patch worn at "Polaris Flight Academy". These four inch wide patches were sewn to the front of the A-2's worn by civilian Flight Instructors during WWII. The cartoonish airplane depicted in the patch is holding a book that says, "How To Fly".

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Here's a group of Polaris Flight Academy, War Eagle Field, Squardon 3, Civilian Flight Instructors. I find it interesting that several instructors are wearing Polaris Flight Academy issued cap pieces, while others are wearing C.A.A. War Training Service issued eagle cap piece with upswept wings.

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I am not going to go down without a fight! This is P.T. Pete (the plane wrangler) from Stamford Flying School. This patch is embossed on a heavy cardboard or paper like material, Not sure how it would have survived for long if worn. It is in beautiful condition, and the colors are still as bright as day.

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and this is a drawing of P.T. Pete from the 42-G Plane Wrangler Class book from Stamford Flying School. I also have the cap badge for this school posted earlier.

 

Interestingly, looking through the book, I don't find any of the instructors wearing any school-specific insignia.

 

I'll try to keep up the good fight and post a couple more tomorrow. But I have to pace myself, as I have nothing in the league of Russ.

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I think this is a four-engine (B-29) flight instructor's patch. With the "lamp-of-knowledge" depicted in the patch, I assume it's a school patch. Please help me fully identify this one...

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Here are a couple of gunner school patches. The top one is more than likely a sweetheart-type patch that would have been glued on a woman's compact or purse, I believe. The bottom patch is rather common, as these things go.

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For these next few items, I will ask the moderators indulgence. At the start of WWII in 1939, the US was neutral, but many an American headed off to fight for the Allies (I suspect a few for the Axis, but we will not talk about them). China, of course, had the AVG Flying Tigers, and England had its Eagle Squadrons. Many pilots headed to Canada to train in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BACTP) (for a good intro, see this site: http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%...Air%20Force.htm ).

 

At one of the local flea markets I found this, a Canadian Memorial Cross (given to the families of Canadians who died in service). Interesting for a number of reasons, it is to an American. Second, although to a WWII casualty it is a George V obverse, which is the type issued during WWI. Next of Kin of early WWII casualties (approx the first 5,000) were given George V type crosses as the George VI issues were not ready until later in the war. So, he was likely one of the first casualties of WWII (and an American!). FInally, His service number is a low one, which makes sense considering he died in 1940.

 

SWANSON, Flying Officer, WILLIAM RUFUS, C/2409. Royal Canadian Air Force. 10th September 1940. Age 25. Son of Robert Clarence and Helen Swanson, of Long Beach; husband of Beatrice Arlene Swanson, of Long Beach. Myrtle Plot. Lot 109. Killed in 1940 at the Central Flying School, Trenton, Ontario. Fleet Fich Aircraft #1015 did not recover from an inverted spin and crashed 5 miles south of Belleville, Ontario,Canada.

 

I kind of thought that this fit in with the general theme of WWII civilian flight schools. I suspect at his age (25), he may have ended up returning to the US and acting as a flight instructor if he had survived longer?

 

Later, (again with the forbearance of the Mods), I would like to post a recent purchase, a set of flight instructor wings for the No. 19 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) that may have trained some American citizens prior to Pearl Harbor.

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Because of the US neutrality, it was hard for the Americans to directly support the Allies when the war first started. However, they did have the lend lease program that allowed the US to trade material and supplies for bases and such, and many Americans were able to (and did) go to Canada and get flight training. I met and talked to a man who was training British pilots when he was a civilian flight instructor before the war as part of the lend lease program. The RAF and RCAF established a large number of basic an primary flight schools all over Canada and I believe they trained some American pilots both before and likely just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 

From my reading, civilian flight instructors in the BCATP program were very much like the contract civilian flight instructors in the US. Civilian pilots associated with flying schools and flying clubs helped train many of the cadets in elementary flying (the EFTS schools) and in advanced flying (service flying training schools SFTS). I have some photos of an American class of cadets that had just been given RAF wings (and their US silver wings) that I will try to dig up.

 

These wings are civilian instructor wings of the No19 EFTS school that was located in Manitoba Canada. The metal one is screw back and marked J R Gaunt. The bullion one is on a white melton backing. the center device is the state seal for Manitoba. I am not sure if any American pilots were trained there, but it is likely some did go through that school.

 

In any case, I wont post anymore non-US instructor items, but I thought that this did go well with the memorial cross.

 

Patrick

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The commercial airlines, Southern Airways, has a loyal and incredible history of contracting with our government to train pilots for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force from 1941 through 1973.

In 1941, Southern Airways opened two flight schools to take on the task of training Flying Cadets for the Army. The two contract flight schools were named "Southern Aviation School" in Camden, South Carolina, and "Southern Aviation Training School" (S.A.T.C.) in Decatur, Alabama. Here's a Flight Instructor's wings and shoulder patch for S.A.T.C.

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The face page of a 1942 dated Southern Airways class book which ties the airlines to its "Primary" flight schools. SATC trained both British and American flying cadets.

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