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Pilot' Wings part II


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Here's the second group of my rather paltry collection of pilot's wings. about half of this group are Navy wings.

 

The first one (below) came directly from the vet. He flew F4U-4 Corsairs with VF-32 from the USS Leyte. He was part of the flight on which ENS Jesse Brown was shot down at the Chosin Reservoir on 4 Dec 50. When Brown, who was notable himself as the first African-american Naval Aviator, went pull him from the cockpit but his legs were pinned in the buckled fuselage and he died before he could be extrivated. Brown was awarded a posthumous DFC and the wingman was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

The first picture shows front and back. The second is a closeup of the markings. It has a H-H and 1/20 KGF. I assume this is Hilbourn-Hamburger but the H-H looks like the letters are inside the outline of a rabbit; I've never seen that sort of mark before.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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Here's the secong pair of wings in this batch. These are also Navy pilot's wings and, I believe they may be from the late 1920s. they do not have the "berries" on the shoulders of the wings but the pin on the back does have a roller catch.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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Number 4 of this group is an Army Air Force pilot's wing. It's rather plain and average-looking, all told but I did get it directly from the vet about 10-15 years ago. I was told by the owner that he wore these in WW-II but they have clutch-back mounting devices (w/sterling clutches) and I've been told that the clutch-back wings were post war. I don't know enough to make any judgement beyond what the vet told me.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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This pair I know quite a lot about. They are aerial gunner's wings. These belonged to my wife's uncle. He was in the 100th Bomb Group and he was shot down on the 10 Oct 43 raid on Munster. My wife’s father (Wes’ brother) was also in the 8th AF in England (a B-24 Group) and spent all of his free time after the shoot-down searching for info on his brother, including talking with the crew of the only 100BG B-17 that made it back from that Munster mission.

 

Wes was listed as MIA until some time in 1946 when his mother (my wife's grandmother) got a letter from a minister in the town of Ost Bevern on the German-Dutch border. He told her he believed her son was buried in their town cemetery. She contacted the War Department, they investigated, and in late 1947, his remains were returned to the US for burial in the family cemetery.

 

The minister told her that after the B-17 crashed near the town, the local civilians braved the fire and exploding ammunition to crawl in and remove Wes' and the other gunner's bodies. The Germans gave them a funeral with military honors, and the Mayor of the town actually sent her some photos of the ceremony.

 

These wings were among the personal effects that were returned to her in 1948 or 1949.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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Here are a pair of Meyer-marked Senior pilot's wings. I believe they are WW-II but, since these did not come directly from the vet, I do not know for sure and, since the star is solid instead of "dished" on the back, they could be later.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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Almost done....I promise. Here are another pair of N. S. Meyer-marked Senior Pilot's wings. These are similar to the ones above except that they have another shield of some sort on the beck of the opposite wing from the Meyer maker's mark. Also the radiator is a bit larger and slightly different in shape. these look like the face of the wings have had the frosting polished off but much of it still remains on the back.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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OK, here's the last pair in this group. This one is a Gemsco Senior Navigator's wings from post 1947 when the AAF became the USAF. I'm pretty sure it is silver-plated brass. Apparently pin-back wings were still being made post-WW-II because this is definitely a 1947 or later wing. Beyond what you see, I know nothing about this one.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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I'll let others comment on the Navy wings, I got out of them a few years ago, but they all look pretty good. Clutchback wings are DEFINATLY OK for WWII they where actually more expense an some pinbacks in some cases. Very nice feather pattern the gunner, I like it! The first Senior Pilot has the right hallmark and pin for WWII and right after. The 2nd one is a 1950's version, the 9M came into play around Korea, followed by 22M, nice bunch of wings!

 

Paul

Paul Conrad
Still looking for quality wings!

www.conradwings.com
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I am bored prefixing everything I say with "I think" or "in my opinion".
Everything I say is my opinion; the only thing of which I am certain is that there is very little of which one can be certain.

 


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I'll let others comment on the Navy wings, I got out of them a few years ago, but they all look pretty good. Clutchback wings are DEFINATLY OK for WWII they where actually more expense an some pinbacks in some cases. Very nice feather pattern the gunner, I like it! The first Senior Pilot has the right hallmark and pin for WWII and right after. The 2nd one is a 1950's version, the 9M came into play around Korea, followed by 22M, nice bunch of wings!

 

Paul

 

Thank you for your comments on both groups of wings, Paul. By the way, the attached pictures are of the owner of the gunner's wings. Unfortunately, the wings he's wearing in the second picture (probably his issues wings) went to my wife's brother. There were three pairs in his effects. My wife's grandmother gave one pair to my wife, one to her brother, and she kept the third set (which, if I remember, also appeared to be issue-type).

 

Back in the 1980s, the then Mayor of Ost Bevern recontacted my wife'sd grandmother. It seems they were doing a history project and were contacting as many family members of the men who died in the area around their town. He wanted information on Wes as the person, not just the military flier and my wife said her grandmother sent her wingsd along with info and other artifacts, to support that project.

 

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Semper fi; Bill











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