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U.S. Jump Wings. 4 or 8 Jumps?
Old 06-09-2019, 11:56 AM   #1
skygrunt06
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Default U.S. Jump Wings. 4 or 8 Jumps?

Hello all! I just picked these up from e-bay. Advertised as having four combat jump stars on them, I could tell from the photos that the bottom left star looked silver which would denote 5 jumps itself. I received them yesterday and yes the one star is silver and has attaching points that i have not seen on any recent appurtenances. What are thoughts on this? Four or five jumps in WW2, then Korea? I have seen OSS wings with as many as 15 but this is definitely out of the norm. Your thoughts and opinions are very welcome.
Jeff
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:58 AM   #2
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Wings Back
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:15 AM   #3
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In my opinion its 4 jumps with an invasion arrowhead

I served in the 82nd during the 80's and met a lot of WW2 Vets during All American week.
I wings I saw had various color and size stars on their wings.
I don't think there were set/strict regulations for the attachment of the stars.

I met a few guys in the 505 that had 5 jumps stars from WW2
There were several who had made jumps in Korea too.

Nice wings

Matt
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:18 AM   #4
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Thanks Matt,
I was thinking along the same lines. Regs were really loose or non existent at the time. Who knows, maybe the silver represents something special to this paratrooper about a specific jump. I was an 82nd guy myself and was in 505 in the early 90s. I remember what a kick the WW2 vets would get out of asking us how many jumps we had. A reply of 25, 35 etc would be met by " I only have 4, Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland!" and they would laaaaaaaaugh. I loved talking those heroes.
Jeff
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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I have two wings from a vet that did WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. One wing has one arrowhead, one silver star, and one bronze star the other one has one arrowhead and six bronze stars. Mine are master wings, so the stars were added post-war. The 509th made six combat jumps in WW2, not sure if anyone earned all six since the entire battalion didn't jump each time. The 187th did two jumps in Korea; however, there were also clandestine jumps as well.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:14 PM   #6
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Looking at this wing, my gut churns. To me (this is only my opinion), is that this was a wing with one star (the silver one) and it was embellished later.... I suspect post war.

I see the difference in the prongs, the stars have. I believe the original star has the flatter prongs and the additions are all the same.

Not trying to rain on your parade AND, this is just my opinion. Tread carefully!
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:36 PM   #7
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I understand you reservations Tom. Close inspection of all stars show a nice patina and the pins on the back do as well. Double holes for each. The bronze pins are standard going back a long way. The outliers are the pins in the silver star. I have never seen thus type. Has anyone else? Theater made? I would to know more. Yes, everything in our hobby is up for scrutiny an I do value all opinions. Other than this being an odd array of stars, I see nothing that points to suspicion. Being a paratrooper myself, I find it improbable that I would represent 5 combat jumps with a single silver star when I could mount 2 on each wing and one center mass under the arrowhead. Thanks again!
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101combatvet View Post
I have two wings from a vet that did WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. One wing has one arrowhead, one silver star, and one bronze star the other one has one arrowhead and six bronze stars. Mine are master wings, so the stars were added post-war. The 509th made six combat jumps in WW2, not sure if anyone earned all six since the entire battalion didn't jump each time. The 187th did two jumps in Korea; however, there were also clandestine jumps as well.
Roger that, I like the look of these, odd as they may be. Another mystery that just allows the imagination to wonder.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skygrunt06 View Post
I understand you reservations Tom. Close inspection of all stars show a nice patina and the pins on the back do as well. Double holes for each. The bronze pins are standard going back a long way. The outliers are the pins in the silver star. I have never seen thus type. Has anyone else? Theater made? I would to know more. Yes, everything in our hobby is up for scrutiny an I do value all opinions. Other than this being an odd array of stars, I see nothing that points to suspicion. Being a paratrooper myself, I find it improbable that I would represent 5 combat jumps with a single silver star when I could mount 2 on each wing and one center mass under the arrowhead. Thanks again!
The silver star is WW2 period. I'd have to check my collection to determine origin.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skygrunt06 View Post
Thanks Matt,
I was thinking along the same lines. Regs were really loose or non existent at the time. Who knows, maybe the silver represents something special to this paratrooper about a specific jump. I was an 82nd guy myself and was in 505 in the early 90s. I remember what a kick the WW2 vets would get out of asking us how many jumps we had. A reply of 25, 35 etc would be met by " I only have 4, Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland!" and they would laaaaaaaaugh. I loved talking those heroes.
Jeff
I recall those exact comments from the vets when I was visiting Bragg in '94 (I was in the 508th in Panama).

Gary B
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:00 AM   #11
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A little off topic but interesting.
I was in the 3/504.
During All American Week I was assigned as an escort officer for the WW2 VIPs of the 504.
I escorted the 3 BN WW2 Officers.
I spent a lot of time with the S2 Virgil Carmichael and he was close to the BN CMDR Julian Cook.
They had great stories, a lot of stuff that never made it into books.

One thing I remember them talking about was not making the Normandy Jump.
They did not like the fact that it was widely assumed they were not ready because they had stayed in Italy when the rest of the Division left.
They told me they were more than ready to go and had concerns about the 507th and 508th going into combat for the first time. A lot of 504 guys were moved to these units to support the Pathfinder operations I was told.

After a few cold ones Virgil told me the reason the 504 did not jump was because they were part of the deception plan. He said the Germans knew if the 504 did not jump it couldn't be the real invasion.
He would then crack a big smile.

I really cherish the time I was able to spend with those guys. Great stories on a lot of the personalities in the Division.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
A little off topic but interesting.
I was in the 3/504.
During All American Week I was assigned as an escort officer for the WW2 VIPs of the 504.
I escorted the 3 BN WW2 Officers.
I spent a lot of time with the S2 Virgil Carmichael and he was close to the BN CMDR Julian Cook.
They had great stories, a lot of stuff that never made it into books.

One thing I remember them talking about was not making the Normandy Jump.
They did not like the fact that it was widely assumed they were not ready because they had stayed in Italy when the rest of the Division left.
They told me they were more than ready to go and had concerns about the 507th and 508th going into combat for the first time. A lot of 504 guys were moved to these units to support the Pathfinder operations I was told.

After a few cold ones Virgil told me the reason the 504 did not jump was because they were part of the deception plan. He said the Germans knew if the 504 did not jump it couldn't be the real invasion.
He would then crack a big smile.

I really cherish the time I was able to spend with those guys. Great stories on a lot of the personalities in the Division.
That is funny. The logical reason for the 504th not jumping in Normandy was that they arrived too late for troop replacements and training up to the invasion. Logistically, they couldn't jump another regiment with available aircraft and parachute shortages.

The combat jump story was re-told by a soldier in the 82nd on camera during All American Week, from there it became popular and repeated. No dought that it happened; however, I never heard a vet mention it, and I attended many reunions.
In addition to the war stories, they more frequently spoke about women and drinking.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary B View Post
I recall those exact comments from the vets when I was visiting Bragg in '94 (I was in the 508th in Panama).

Gary B
I was lucky enough to serve in 2-505, 2-504 and 3-325. When I was in the 325 I was tasked to run a static display at the Sicily demo. I had abet from the 325 stop by and we talked about just how bat s$&t crazy you had to be to be a glider rider. He had mad the Normandy assault and was badly injured when his glider cracked up on landing. Two men were killed from flying debris.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101combatvet View Post
The silver star is WW2 period. I'd have to check my collection to determine origin.
That would be great! Any info is always welcome.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skygrunt06 View Post
That would be great! Any info is always welcome.
Nothing, but I think it is likely a foreign made star.
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