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Japanese Pilots Wings
Old 03-27-2005, 09:58 AM   #1
odiestreasures
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Default Japanese Pilots Wings

Hi

I picked these up last weekend. I was told they were pilots wings. Have no way to post picture, so here is description
Appr 3 inches long,Blue felt backing,white embrodered wings with yellow wreath in center with gold star in center of wreath,white sewn bar under that and smaller yellow bar under that.
If it is a pilots badge,what is appr value??

Thank You
Odell
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:21 PM   #2
Eric Doody
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Odell,

It almost sounds like you have a pair of flight service wings (worn by both pilots and crew members). However, the white and yellow bars are throwing me off.

If you can take a photo of the wings, and send the photo to me at doodyel@aol.com, I will post the photo on the forum.

Eric
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Old 03-29-2005, 08:50 PM   #3
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Eric

Thank You for your reply. Will try and get a photo and send it to you.



Odell
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:18 PM   #4
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Here are Odell's Japanese flight service wings...
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File Type: jpg 000_dad'sbadge.jpg (65.3 KB, 360 views)
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This was news to me...!!
Old 04-23-2005, 11:33 AM   #5
mgidhagen
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Question This was news to me...!!

Hmm... This is indeed interesting! As far as my research has taken me (from several sources), this would be an example of a pair of Imperial Japanese Army pilot wings, of the type worn by pilot cadets and officers. However, there were pilot badges indicating meritorious flying skills that were issued by the flying schools - but far from every pilot received these badges (an oval metal badge with a star in the middle, from which rays emanated, and having a horisontal propellor at its base).

From what I have learned, the way to indicate "air force" personnel (e.g. air crew, pilots, ground crew), was the light blue colour backing to rank insignia and uniform collars, etc.

Eric; Where can I find this information about these wings designated as being air crew wings? And what did, according to these sources, the actual pilot badge look like? How to explain the insignia previously indicated to be the observer wings (also a woven patch, but with an eagle design)?

I am always eager to learn!

Best Regards,
Mike G
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Last edited by mgidhagen; 04-23-2005 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:51 PM   #6
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Here is what an Army enlisted man pilot's badge looks like:
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File Type: jpg Japanese Pilots Badge.JPG (37.7 KB, 264 views)
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Darrell

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Old 04-24-2005, 01:11 PM   #7
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Very nice badge, have seen one or two of these over the last years, and some fakes too.

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Steven
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Old 04-24-2005, 02:13 PM   #8
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That is the badge I was referring to...! The reason I ask is that I have read (in the accounts of a Japanese pilot) that the "pilots wing" - one like Odell's wing - was worn by the cadets and later pilot officers. That this should be a pilots wing is also indicated by Tod Rathbone (a well-known collector) in his web page, and described as such by Russ Huff (in his "Wings of World War II", pp. 104-107), where he also indicates another source of information regarding Imperial Japanese uniforms and insignia. Furthermore, Huff describes the metal badge as a graduation badge given to top students for proficiency in training, only given to the top 2-3 in a class of 200. So, this is why I am eager to find more references regarding Japanese WWII flight badges and insignia...!
Anyone...?
KR
Mike G
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Old 04-24-2005, 02:54 PM   #9
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Mikael G.,

All excellent questions.

Let me try to answer your questions one at a time...

Question 1: Where can I find this information about these wings designated as being air crew wings?

Answer 1: I am not aware of any reference books that lists these wings as air crewman's wings per se. However...

Item 7, of Plate 213, on page 84 of Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Uniforms & Equipment by Tadao Nakata lists the wings as "Army Flight Breast Badges." The English language summary sheet that accompanies this book list Plate 213 as being "Embroidered army and navy badges and shoulder distinctions" which isn't a whole lot of help.

Note: Plate 406 on page 126 of Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Uniforms & Equipment shows another set of wings that are listed as "Special Flight Breast Badge." These wings are similar to the ones shown on page 84 Item 7.

On page 34 of Japanese Military Uniforms 1930-1945 by Ritta Nakanishi, there is a set of wings that are also listed as being "Flight Breast Badges." (The English translation below the wings states "Air man breast badge.")

On pages 40 and 41 of A Companion To Wings of World War II by Russell J. Huff, the set of wings posted in this thread are listed as being for "A Pilot Officer."

Since these wings are fairly common, consensus amongst collectors is that these wings are flight service wings that were worn be both pilot's as well as air crewmen. The variation of wings shown here in this thread are believed to be for an officer because of the separate, stand-alone, raised brass five-pointed star insignia in the center of the badge. An earlier version of this same badge (i.e., a set of wings with a separate, stand-alone, raised brass five-pointed star insignia) has bullion embroidered wings and wreath are also believe to be for officer's. The machine sewn or woven ones are believed to be for enlisted men.


Question 2: And what did, according to these sources, the actual pilot badge look like?

Answer 2: Here is where stuff gets confusing.

Items 9 & 10 of Plate 213 on page 84 of Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Uniforms & Equipment by Tadao Nakata lists the pair of wings as "Air Service Person's Badges."

On page 34 of Japanese Military Uniforms 1930-1945 by Ritta Nakanishi, these same set of wings are also listed as "Air Service Person's Badges." (The English translation below the wings states "Air man badge.")

On pages 40 and 41 of A Companion To Wings of World War II by Russell J. Huff, there are two set of wings listed, one set is listed as a "Army Observer [with] Gold Bullion on Blue" badge and the other as "A Silk, Summer E[nlisted]M[an's] Observer" badge.


Consensus amongst collectors is that the above mentioned badges are "Army Pilot Badges" and that a pilot could wear this badge (i.e., the "Army Pilot's Badge") in addition to the "Army Flight Breast Badge."

Question 3: How to explain the insignia previously indicated to be the observer wings (also a woven patch, but with an eagle design)?

Answer 3: Hopefully, someone will be able to find a period Japanese manual that shows, and explains, the differences between the "Air Service Person's Badge/Army Pilot's Badge" and the "Army Observer's Badge."

Once again, consensus amongst collectors is that "Army Observer Badges" are "Army Pilot Badges."

Hope this helps.

Eric




Quote:
Originally Posted by mgidhagen
Hmm... This is indeed interesting! As far as my research has taken me (from several sources), this would be an example of a pair of Imperial Japanese Army pilot wings, of the type worn by pilot cadets and officers. However, there were pilot badges indicating meritorious flying skills that were issued by the flying schools - but far from every pilot received these badges (an oval metal badge with a star in the middle, from which rays emanated, and having a horisontal propellor at its base).

From what I have learned, the way to indicate "air force" personnel (e.g. air crew, pilots, ground crew), was the light blue colour backing to rank insignia and uniform collars, etc.

Eric; Where can I find this information about these wings designated as being air crew wings? And what did, according to these sources, the actual pilot badge look like? How to explain the insignia previously indicated to be the observer wings (also a woven patch, but with an eagle design)?

I am always eager to learn!

Best Regards,
Mike G
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Old 04-25-2005, 07:20 AM   #10
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Thanks, Eric...!

What about the theory of the metal pilot badge being a proficiency/graduation badge, only issued to a small number of graduates per class...?

Best,

Mikael
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Old 04-25-2005, 07:26 AM   #11
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Mikael,

Yes, that is my understanding as well that the Pilot's proficiency or excellence badge was only awarded to the top one or two students of each graduating class.

Eric

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Originally Posted by mgidhagen
Thanks, Eric...!

What about the theory of the metal pilot badge being a proficiency/graduation badge, only issued to a small number of graduates per class...?

Best,

Mikael
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:51 AM   #12
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... and as far as I have understood it, that prificiency/graduation badge is of the design as the one pictured by Darrell...? And thus that is not the army pilot badge per se...?

Or am I wrongly informed...?

Cheers,
Mike G
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:05 PM   #13
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Mikael,

Yes, that is my understanding as well!

Eric

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgidhagen
... and as far as I have understood it, that prificiency/graduation badge is of the design as the one pictured by Darrell...? And thus that is not the army pilot badge per se...?

Or am I wrongly informed...?

Cheers,
Mike G
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