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Here's a photograph of Flying Cadets graduating from Hancock College of Aeronautics in 1943. Quite a contrast from the 1930 graduation photo posted above...

 

And another image from the publication depicting Civilian Flight Instructors...

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So... I now think the "HF" wings are much older and more scarce than we originally thought. They were likely presented to graduates from 1928 until the flight school dropped the word "Foundation" from their name. Yes, before WWII, but when exactly? I don't know?

 

We also know the J.A. Meyers & Co. in Los Angeles produced these "Hancock Foundation" wings as well as a unique style US Army Air Corps full-size Pilot wing during the 1920's, but were out of business well before WWII.

 

I don't know what the Flight Instructor's wore during the early years at Hancock Foundation College of Aeronautics... But I have to assume if the civilian graduates were all wearing full USAAC-style uniforms, Sam-Browne's, cap pieces and wings, it stands to reason the Flight Instructors and Staff must have worn equally impressive uniforms and insignia prior to being subjected to the uniform and insignia regulations of the CAA/WTS beginning in 1940. Is it possible the Instructors wore the same "HF" wings as the graduates? I hope someone can grab the ball and run with it!

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Just to add to some of the great information that Russ provided. J A Meyers & CO was founded in 1912 and was located in the jewelry district in downtown LA and was primarily involved in making wedding rings. I believe that around 1950, Francis Meyers (the son) took over the company and ran it until the mid 1970's. Francis Meyers was involved with UCLA adult education and tragically was killed in an automobile accident in the late 1990's (well into this 80's).

 

I don't know if they made wings during WWII. They may have, but just didn't hallmark them. But most of the wings I have seen that have their hallmark "seem" to be from the pre-war period. This HF wing suggests that they are from the 30's or so.

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It seems that after WWI there was a lot of public interest in flying and flight training. The old barnstormers were WWI trained pilots but there was very little regulation or oversight of aviation until the late 1920's. In this enviroment a number of flight schools were established and developed in the post WWI-1920's that sprouted up around the country. S ome were very small, mom and pop, type outfits. Others, like the Cal-Aero, Riddle, and Hancock were much larger and professional. However, these flight schools were probably not at all associated with the US military (either USAAC or USN/USMC/USCC pilot training), although I suspect a fair number of young men got their first taste of flying from taking a few flights or classes at these civilian schools. During the Depression, the FDR Administration was again focused on developing non-military civilian aviation and aeronautics in the US. They goal was to establish local airports, civilian aviation companies and schools, and civilian airlines. Again, these were not under military control or oversight, so the use of uniforms, ranks, insignia, equipment and even flight standards were more or less left up to the individuals involved. Mostly, the Government was probably more focused on public safety, more than anything else.

By the time WWII was starting in Europe, the US was beginning to recognize how far behind it was in its military aviation infrastructure and started to build up its capabilities to train pilots. However, they soon realized that without the assistance of civilian aviation, they were dangerously behind the axis powers. That is when you see the first Contract Flight Schools.

 

If you look at those year books of those schools, you can frequently follow the development of a more "uniform" civilian instructor uniform. From about 1940-1942, much of the insignia and gear worn by the instructors was determined by the local school. But by about late 1942-1944, they started to standardize and use the "eagle-headed" instructor insignia. By late 1944-1945, the schools were no longer needed as the military had picked up all the slack and you see the number of civilian pilot instructors dropping. After the war, many of the airports and flight schools eventually went out of business.

 

Here is a very good book that talks about the development of the CAA leading up to and during WWII. I recommend you read it if you are interested:

 

https://www.amazon.com/PUTT-PUTT-AIR-FORCE-Civilian-1939-1944/dp/B000X1X3BY

 

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It seems that after WWI there was a lot of public interest in flying and flight training. The old barnstormers were WWI trained pilots but there was very little regulation or oversight of aviation until the late 1920's. In this enviroment a number of flight schools were established and developed in the post WWI-1920's that sprouted up around the country. S ome were very small, mom and pop, type outfits. Others, like the Cal-Aero, Riddle, and Hancock were much larger and professional. However, these flight schools were probably not at all associated with the US military (either USAAC or USN/USMC/USCC pilot training), although I suspect a fair number of young men got their first taste of flying from taking a few flights or classes at these civilian schools. During the Depression, the FDR Administration was again focused on developing non-military civilian aviation and aeronautics in the US. They goal was to establish local airports, civilian aviation companies and schools, and civilian airlines. Again, these were not under military control or oversight, so the use of uniforms, ranks, insignia, equipment and even flight standards were more or less left up to the individuals involved. Mostly, the Government was probably more focused on public safety, more than anything else.

By the time WWII was starting in Europe, the US was beginning to recognize how far behind it was in its military aviation infrastructure and started to build up its capabilities to train pilots. However, they soon realized that without the assistance of civilian aviation, they were dangerously behind the axis powers. That is when you see the first Contract Flight Schools.

 

If you look at those year books of those schools, you can frequently follow the development of a more "uniform" civilian instructor uniform. From about 1940-1942, much of the insignia and gear worn by the instructors was determined by the local school. But by about late 1942-1944, they started to standardize and use the "eagle-headed" instructor insignia. By late 1944-1945, the schools were no longer needed as the military had picked up all the slack and you see the number of civilian pilot instructors dropping. After the war, many of the airports and flight schools eventually went out of business.

 

Here is a very good book that talks about the development of the CAA leading up to and during WWII. I recommend you read it if you are interested:

 

https://www.amazon.com/PUTT-PUTT-AIR-FORCE-Civilian-1939-1944/dp/B000X1X3BY

 

 

Excellent follow-up info! Thank you Patrick...

 

There's a definite early connection between the Hancock College of Aeronautics and the University of Southern California, but I don't yet fully understand the relationship between the two schools? In that same publication I've been referring to, there's an aerial view of the large crowd that showed up at Hancock Field on opening day in 1928 to watch a combined Army/Navy Air Show. There's also a reference about USC President Rufus Von Kleinsmid being present as a guest of honor? I wonder if Hancock College was considered a satellite-campus for aeronautics?

 

Apparently USC took over once Hancock Field shut down and the War was over. Here's a post-war (1948) A-2 style patch from the same field.

 

 

 

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For the Hancock Airfield here is your answer. http://www.hancockcollege.edu/public_affairs/capt-hancock.php

 

Capt. G. Allan Hancock was a sea captain, oilman, explorer, developer, banker, aviator, scientist, businessman, farmer, railroad engineer, musician, and philanthropist.

He is perhaps best known in the Santa Maria Valley for the college that bears his name. Allan Hancock College stands on the site of the former Hancock College of Aeronautics founded by Capt. Hancock, where thousands of pilots trained for service during World War II.

Capt. Hancock's involvement with the Santa Maria Valley began in earnest in the 1920s when he started an experimental crop irrigation program on a 400-acre farm, raising corn and alfalfa as feed for cattle. The farm was eventually expanded to more than 5,000 acres.

Capt. Hancock also bought and expanded the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, which was originally constructed in 1911 for transport of asphalt from a refinery at Betteravia to Guadalupe, connecting there to the main railroad line. Hancock developed a 29-mile system of railroad right-of-way and tracks and turned the Santa Maria Valley Railroad into the busiest short line railroad system in the country. The railroad still operates between Santa Maria and Guadalupe, and is used for transportation of feed to Rosemary Farm, Hancock's egg-production facility that lies just east of Santa Maria, which Hancock founded in 1925 and named for his daughter.

His passion for aviation developed while he still lived in Los Angeles. That led to the founding of the Hancock College of Aeronautics--not long after he financed the 1928 flight of the "Southern Cross," which made the first historic non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean. Hancock built the aviation school and private airport on 200 acres within Santa Maria's city limits, opening it in 1929.

In 1939, Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold, chief of the Army Air Corps, requested that Hancock's school be used to train pilots for the Army. Germany's Luftwaffe then ruled the skies over Europe, and the U. S. had few pilots and no aviation training facilities. Between July 1, 1939, and June 30, 1944, more than 8,400 aviation cadets and student officers were trained at the Hancock College of Aeronautics.

After the war ended, the school was rented for $1 per year to the University of Southern California (USC), which then offered a four-year degree in aeronautical engineering at Hancock's aviation school.

In 1954, Hancock leased the aviation school site to Santa Maria Junior College for $1 per year. Before then, the college, founded in 1920, had conducted cramped classes at Santa Maria High School. Four years later, voters approved a bond measure that financed the purchase of the land and facilities, and construction of the first new buildings at the college campus, which was renamed Allan Hancock College.

 

 

http://www.militarymuseum.org/HancockField.html

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For the Hancock Airfield here is your answer. http://www.hancockcollege.edu/public_affairs/capt-hancock.php

 

Capt. G. Allan Hancock was a sea captain, oilman, explorer, developer, banker, aviator, scientist, businessman, farmer, railroad engineer, musician, and philanthropist.

He is perhaps best known in the Santa Maria Valley for the college that bears his name. Allan Hancock College stands on the site of the former Hancock College of Aeronautics founded by Capt. Hancock, where thousands of pilots trained for service during World War II.

Capt. Hancock's involvement with the Santa Maria Valley began in earnest in the 1920s when he started an experimental crop irrigation program on a 400-acre farm, raising corn and alfalfa as feed for cattle. The farm was eventually expanded to more than 5,000 acres.

Capt. Hancock also bought and expanded the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, which was originally constructed in 1911 for transport of asphalt from a refinery at Betteravia to Guadalupe, connecting there to the main railroad line. Hancock developed a 29-mile system of railroad right-of-way and tracks and turned the Santa Maria Valley Railroad into the busiest short line railroad system in the country. The railroad still operates between Santa Maria and Guadalupe, and is used for transportation of feed to Rosemary Farm, Hancock's egg-production facility that lies just east of Santa Maria, which Hancock founded in 1925 and named for his daughter.

His passion for aviation developed while he still lived in Los Angeles. That led to the founding of the Hancock College of Aeronautics--not long after he financed the 1928 flight of the "Southern Cross," which made the first historic non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean. Hancock built the aviation school and private airport on 200 acres within Santa Maria's city limits, opening it in 1929.

In 1939, Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold, chief of the Army Air Corps, requested that Hancock's school be used to train pilots for the Army. Germany's Luftwaffe then ruled the skies over Europe, and the U. S. had few pilots and no aviation training facilities. Between July 1, 1939, and June 30, 1944, more than 8,400 aviation cadets and student officers were trained at the Hancock College of Aeronautics.

After the war ended, the school was rented for $1 per year to the University of Southern California (USC), which then offered a four-year degree in aeronautical engineering at Hancock's aviation school.

In 1954, Hancock leased the aviation school site to Santa Maria Junior College for $1 per year. Before then, the college, founded in 1920, had conducted cramped classes at Santa Maria High School. Four years later, voters approved a bond measure that financed the purchase of the land and facilities, and construction of the first new buildings at the college campus, which was renamed Allan Hancock College.

 

 

http://www.militarymuseum.org/HancockField.html

 

Steve, thank you for providing another piece to the puzzle!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks very much for posting the added and updated information on the "HF" wing.

I have been the steward of this wing for a number years now and it is great to see the previous information

corrected by unearthing previously unseen material.

 

Best, John

...and on the eighth day, God created the radial engine...

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  • 1 month later...

Here is my S wing. This was for an Instructor pilot that flew for Shaw Aircraft Company out of Iowa City during WWII. I got this one from his Grandson.

Here's one of Shaw's aircraft with that fancy S on the fuselage.

 

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'Just one more wing' away from true happiness...

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I picked these items up back in 2012 directly from the son of Major Twyman. I also sold some of his wings and other items on ebay at the time and it looks like B-17guy must have gotten the wings. Major Twyman was in the 479th Fighter Squadron and getting ready to go overseas when he was killed in a P-38 accident in CA. According to his son, his plane suffered a catastrophic failure and he bailed out but was killed when the plane hit his head.

 

 

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LOOKING FOR ANY AND ALL ITEMS RELATED TO
THE 305TH BOMB GROUP FROM WWII.

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  • 4 weeks later...

40312 P-38J 42-67639 434FS 479FG Lomita Field 4 KBOF 5 Twyman, Robert C USA CA 5 Mi NE Lonita Field

 

Appears he was bailing out due to fire, "KBOF".

Lomita Field is Torrance Airport today, Zamperini Field.

...and on the eighth day, God created the radial engine...

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Here's a link to a video I recorded of the Hancock College of Aeronautics on photo bucket. It's of a graduation, possibly the only 16MM film to have survived all these years inside an Excel "prep" P-41 toy projector box, from the same era.

 

I estimate the date to be around March 1942. The Army Service Forces patch activated 9 March 1942, and the AF GHQ patch (Air Force General Head Quarters) de-activated 19 March 1942, of which, both are in the movie. Also, the Army started using Kodak Kodachrome film exclusively March 1942.

 

Allan Hancock is passing out the diplomas.

 

http://vid1381.photobucket.com/albums/ah227/gadgetworks1/Hancock%20College%20of%20Aeronautics%20March%201942_zpsn12kkbaw.mp4

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a rare one. The only one that I could find online.



Ashcraft Bros Flying Service (Lawrence, Kansas). They were apart of the CAA Civil Aeronautics Administration.



The wing is on original card and is marked sterling. Green Jewelry Co Manufacturers K.C., Mo.



Patch has merrowed edge. From what I have read this could date from 1939-1942.



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Here is a rare one. The only one that I could find online.

Ashcraft Bros Flying Service (Lawrence, Kansas). They were apart of the CAA Civil Aeronautics Administration.

The wing is on original card and is marked sterling. Green Jewelry Co Manufacturers K.C., Mo.

Patch has merrowed edge. From what I have read this could date from 1939-1942.

post-122868-0-14737100-1496886059_thumb.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

This one came in today. Instructor wing in blue in the center. First one of this that I have seen.



US Air Force Training Detachment Victory Field (Vernon, Texas)


17th Flying Training Detachment


Operated by: Hunter Flying Service and Richey Flying Service


Opened: December 1941, Closed: August 1944



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