Air Corps aviator pin question

Discussion in 'WWII' started by BigBrother, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. BigBrother

    BigBrother New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Hey all! This past weekend I had to put together an early 40s aviator Air Corps summer uniform, and all the details were pretty easy to determine except one.

    The aviator pin worn on the collar and garrison cap, the one seen here:

    [​IMG]

    When I looked through pins at surplus stores, I found that there was a slightly larger props and wings pin with more curved wing tips, and a smaller one with very pointed wing tips. From what I glean from photos, the Pearl Harbor movie, research online, etc., I think the larger/more curved wing tip one is correct, and the smaller pointed one is simply the current Army Aviation pin.

    However, A) I wasn't sure, and B) at the event I attended, I looked closely at every attendee's Air Corps pin and every single pin I saw was the smaller/pointed one.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BigBrother

    BigBrother New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Update- I'm nearly certain the curved/larger ones are right, as I've now seen several examples of originals for sale and they all conform to this, plus I found, on the website of the mfr. who supplies the surplus store, the smaller/sharper ones and they are indeed listed as Army Aviation:

    https://eagleemblemsinc.com/wing-army-aviation-mini-gld-p10485.html

    Nevertheless, would love more info if you've got it! Thanks!
     
  3. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Summerville SC
    if I am not mistaken the larger ones are for the garrison cap and the smaller ones for the collar although I have seen WWII era photos where USAAF guys wore the larger ones on the collar and the tiny one on the cap as well but then during the war dress codes were a tad more relaxed or they just didn't notice. there were variations of the Prop and Wings Device in that upon authorization from the Commandant, cadets are authorized to wear the standard chrome plated prop and wings device on their flight caps. Cadets who are direct descendents of members of the Army Air Corps, Women Air Force Service Pilots, have a parent with at least 20 years of military service, have a parent that participated in combat as a member of any U.S. military service, or a parent that died in the line of duty are authorized to wear the gold prop and wings device. I believe the current version of the special line of duty descendent device is the silver prop & gold wings now but from what I understand those are based on early Air Corps devices before the start of WWII as a throwback. so if you are going for WWII era, use silver device, small for collar large for garrison cap, gold if direct descendant of previous member, and for a modern version the silver prop/gold wings for descendant of previous member. As for the curvature, I have both versions in both sizes so I don't think that is anything other than maker design. I found the flat ones worked better for the collar and the curve ones best for the garrison cap but I do not believe flat or curved made any difference except for user preference. this is from my own research mixed with personal opinion. an actual military member may correct me on this one day. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    seres likes this.
  4. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Summerville SC
    there are also different attachment versions. some came with with the pin and turn lock clasp and others with the 2 clutch pin clasps on the back. There is the half moon clasp that is lockable that replaced the earlier U style retaining clip. and to add more variation there were two different types of clutch pin retainers! you can see both versions attached to the wing on the left in these pics (the left rounded one with out the clasp "pinchers" is the older version)
    2050-2.jpg 2050-3.jpg
     
  5. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Summerville SC
    also worn on the dress uniform. abac5678adcd77e0e5d900d63a3310aa.jpg 19cac26e0af0cfd336832c7d3566fccd--air-force-reserve-april-.jpg
     
  6. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Summerville SC
    although an "artist rendering" this vintage book of matches I own show the prop in silver and wings in gold so this combination isn't strictly a modern take on the device.
    IMG_8558.JPG
     
  7. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Staff Member Bartender

    Messages:
    4,874
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    The proper name of this "pin" is the Army Aviation Branch Insignia. It was discontinued in 1947 when the Air Force split from the Army. It was reinstated during the 1980s when the Army re-instituted the aviation branch.
     
    Héctor Fernández likes this.
  8. BigBrother

    BigBrother New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Thanks for the sarcasm toward a new person getting into the scene! But then, no scene is ever truly complete without its elitists, is it?

    Interesting trivia, but doesn't help the original question for someone trying to determine sizing and proper design at all. But you did get to flaunt your knowledge. Bully!

    Seriously, ask yourself why you felt you had to chime in here, and in the way you did. Hopefully realize you're being "that person" toward new people interested in your hobby.
     
  9. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

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    Location:
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    I don't see your point sir. The answers were very informative and far from "elitism" Relax!

     
  10. BigBrother

    BigBrother New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    I must publicly apologize; Peacoat reached out to me and I certainly misread his intent. As I wrote to him, one experiences so much of the sort of behavior I thought he was exhibiting on other forums I was basically feeling, "oh great, another experience like this." I totally misread it and I apologize once again. If anything, this has shown me that FL is a cut above and is certainly *not* your average hive of scum and internet villainy! Thanks guys and thank *you* Peacoat for being very big about it and reaching out so pleasantly.
     
    Peacoat likes this.
  11. BigBrother

    BigBrother New in Town

    Messages:
    11
    Actually one last thing- I've seen these now on hats (garrison caps), collars, and lapels. Anyone know if it was the same exact pin on all three? I understand there might be minor differences based on mfr. from one photo to the next, but for a given airman, would they be acquiring the same pin to place on all three locations, or was the hat one slightly larger, anything like that? Same pin always or different ones? Thanks all!
     
  12. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Summerville SC
    not sure if this old newspaper image from 1943 helps at all but it appears that the pin is the same size on both the cap and collar. having said that I am not sure if it is the smaller or larger one as both are very close in size. It appears it may be the larger of the two sizes that I have.
    media-41765.jpeg
     

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