Rank and Patches on Military Jackets - Might I Offend a Veteran?

Discussion in 'WWII' started by scotrace, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. grant

    grant New in Town

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    48
    My father was in the UASF during the Korean War so I had a repro A-2 painted with his bomb squadron's emblem.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Zemke Fan

    Zemke Fan Call Me a Cab

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    Love that patch, Grant...

    Great to have the family connection, too!
     
  3. shoeshineboy

    shoeshineboy Practically Family

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    Location:
    s/e missouri
    As a young man, I shined many of pairs of shoes of our fine veterans. I learned so much history, that I passed my American History with straight A's without cracking a book. Now I look back at these gentlemen and understand why they are called "THE GREATEST GENERATION"

    I think it would honor these brave men and women who help win the war and shape our whole country for years.

    Personally, I would find a plane and study the history. Many town had planes named after them. Find out what thier nose art looked liked. Our town of Farmington MO had a plane. Perhaps, one of the most famous plane is of course the Memphis Belle. You could have your jacket painted as thiers and possibly get to meet these gentlemen. I am sure they would find it an honor.

    With my limited knowledgeof rank and medals. I believe that you shouldn't have those on. However, let's say you meet a gentlemen and HE presents his wings to you. Now that is a honor and you will still honor him and the corps everytime you tell the story.

    Our parades are not the same anymore without the WWII vets marching in it.

    On my office wall are three Jeep ads form life magazine from the era. I get more compliments and comments about them. When asked if I was in the military. I tell them that my father was, but I was born at Fort Benning GA, and no I wasn't in the military.

    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    the shoeshine boy
     
  4. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    Yup

    Shoeshineboy - It does help, thanks.
    And welcome to the lounge.
     
  5. Gray Ghost

    Gray Ghost A-List Customer


    Sefton,

    Good choice for your A-2. Any connecton to the Crusaders? I am an associate member and the Membership Manager for the 13th Air Force Veterans Association, President and founder of the Jungle Air Force Historical Society, associate member of the 42nd Bomb Group and Commander of the
    13th Air Force Living History Detachment. We portray a HQ Squadron and do different units of the 13th AAF, including XIII Fighter Command (my father's unit) and the 42nd Bomb Group "Crusaders".

    As a reenactor and living historian, I wear rank insignia at events but never outside of an event. I only wear my uniform to WWII events. I have never had anyone give me a hard time for wearing rank insignia. I will never wear ribbons or awards that I have not earned. I have earned the rank insignia of a Major through the Civil Air Patrol (USAF Auxiliary). That and a $1.00 may buy you a cup of coffee. The rank that I wear with the living history is the rank of a LtCol and it is an honorary rank given to me by the veterans organization, since I am the CO of a living history unit that honors them. As far as wearing wings, I only do so at events since I portray a pilot. I am also a pilot in real life. I wear Observers wings mainly and I did earn the Observers wings in Civil Air Patrol. I was a Mission Observer, Ground Team Leader, and Squadron Commander. As long as you do it with respect, I don't see a problem. I will be getting an A-2 soon and will have my fiance painted on the back with a large 13th Air Force patch on the front with no rank insignia. Since a portray several different units, I want the jacket to be non-unit specific.

    GG
     
  6. The Crewchief

    The Crewchief New in Town

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    I am former USAF Spec Ops and have served in two armed conflicts and even I would not feel right wearing anybodies unit patch except my own. So, if you are asking would it offend me, the answer is definately yes. To be honest, wearing fake rank would offend me much less than a unit patch or a decoration. Finally, anybody that thinks they will make staff sgt. (E-5) in less than two years is probably not being realistic. As I said, I was awarded the several decorations and went below the zone for E-3 and still did not make staff sgt. in 4 years. It is tough to do because the Air Force is very exclusive and there is a huge amount of competition for rate. I ain't knocking you, I am just helping you to manage your expectations. If you want to promote quick, join the Army or go in as an officer.
     
  7. Gray Ghost

    Gray Ghost A-List Customer

    Welcome

    Welcome Crewchief. Hope you enjoy the lounge and thanks for your service to our country.:cheers1:

    Gray Ghost
     
  8. shoeshineboy

    shoeshineboy Practically Family

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    Location:
    s/e missouri
    I would love to have a jacket with the 101st isignia on it. I was born in Columbus GA while my dad was in the Army and I am very honored to me Mr. Brown a D-Day verteran who always raised his flags every morning. the US and that of the 101st.

    If I had a jacket with a bit of history like this, "They will never be forgotten"

    This means more to me than whe some one wears thier favorite football jersey.

    With Respect to all of our militaray personnel.

    Mark the shoeshine boy
     
  9. B-17 Pilot

    B-17 Pilot New in Town

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    College Park, Md.
    Re: Officer rank for A-2's

    Hi all, New member here and glad to be a part of this! Have been an AAF nut for years and finally got my first original A-2!!! I want to get a nice set of Captain's bars to sew on the eppaulets. I know of a few outlets but wanted to open it up for any words of wisdom from the group. I believe there is an indivdual here on the site that does them, am I correct?

    Thanks, Mike
     
  10. Baggers

    Baggers Practically Family

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    861
    Location:
    Allen, Texas, USA
    Hi Mike, welcome to the Lounge. You'll find this place a wealth of information.

    My honest opinion? If it's truly an original, don't sew or paint ANYTHING on it. You'll immediately lower its resale value dramatically. Please rethink this.

    If you want to "badge up" a jacket, there are several companies that make reproductions (Aero. Eastman, Real McCoys New Zealand, etc.) of varying accuracy to which you can add insiginia.

    Others may have different thoughts, but that's what makes this place interesting! :cheers1:

    Cheers!
     
  11. B-17 Pilot

    B-17 Pilot New in Town

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    . . .Hey Baggers! I know what you mean. . .I was thinking the same thing, and am very familiar with Eastman and others. This A-2 I got is awesome, the manufacturers tag has been covered up by a re-lining but I think it is probably a Poughkeepsie or a Rough Wear. The only thing that puzzles me is that is does not have a collar stand! I only paid $300 for a size 42!! I don't mind painting this one as I never plan to re-sell it. Found a great jacket painter at Rosemarydery.com!! She does awesome work. I can rationalize decorating this one and wearing it for quite some time. If I want to really start collecting A-2's, I might have to forfeit my wife of 30 years!!

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Mike
     
  12. B-17 Pilot

    B-17 Pilot New in Town

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    College Park, Md.
    . . .In response to wearing unit insignia and rank, I think, as someone here put it, it depends on how you handle it. I am a member of an AAF reenactment group that does airshows, reunions, etc. and I have never "been challenged." I never served in the military (had a student deferment in 1971, then was #325!), but I am confident that my knowledge is detailed enough to interact with WWII Vets while still being "correct in my protrayal." I will only do Captain or below and will never wear any ribbons higher than the Air Medal. To wear DFC's or especially purple hearts, as some do, is way over the top. We all want to preserve the memory of WWII Vets, and do so with the utmost respectiblity. It won't be long until "we" are the only conduit to those times. I, for one, find that very humbling!

    Mike
     
  13. Gray Ghost

    Gray Ghost A-List Customer

    Welcome

    Welcome B-17 Pilot. Hope you enjoy your stay with the Fedora Lounge.:cheers1:

    Gray Ghost
     
  14. CiscoKid

    CiscoKid New in Town

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    Location:
    Arizona
    Like-minded!

    I'm glad you posted your concerns, Scotrace. I've had the same thoughts myself as I search through various manufacturers/sources of A-2s and G-1's.
    Personally, I'm fascinated with the whole Flying Tigers story but I certainly have my doubts about wearing an accurate reproduction.
    Like you and many others, I would do so purely in the interest of honoring and preserving a piece of our history.
    I did not serve in the military either and the last thing I would want to be accused of is disrespecting any veteran of any war, or any active servicemen for that matter.
    Thanks for bringing up the subject.
    Cisco
     
  15. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    Bump for Spitfire.
     
  16. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I did serve, got severely injured while single-handedly saving well over one hundred people from burning to death and am very, very involved with both active duty personnel and veterans on a volunteer basis.

    The very reason why I joined the service was to do my part in preserving the freedoms which I not only enjoy, but, others as well.

    I am not a flag waver, per se, I don't get misty eyed when I hear my nation's anthem and I respect the rights of others even if I do not agree with their opinions. I did what I did because I felt the need to contribute to society. I am more of a Voltaire type.

    It is in that spirit that I do not have any concerns what people wear on actual military uniforms or replicas. The ladies and gentlemen I come into contact with may strongly oppose that ideal.

    Tasteful or not the wearing of such is making a statement and not everybody is going to agree with that statement. I do not find it offensive, in fact, the freedom to wear such an article of one's free will speaks to the spirit of my service. ;)
     
    kliffjumper123 likes this.
  17. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

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    First of all, thank you Carlisle Blues for your service/sacrifice to your country. Secondly, thank you for your reasoning on re-enactors wearing insignia. Most WW2 vets I know who are still with us do not mind respectful re-enacting, as long as we do not push the "Pretending" beyond the event.
     
  18. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    KampKatz That you for saying that. :)
     
  19. miles_archer

    miles_archer Familiar Face

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Huntsville Alabama
    How about blood chits?

    Good stuff guys I too have struggled with whether patches are disingenuous for confirmed civilians to wear and have not come to a decision. I have also been thinking about the blood chits. I think they are a very interesting piece of history, really put the jacket in perspective and are very striking and visually interesting. But I worry about the political correctness or even really offending someone wearing a sign on my back that says ‘I only wish to do harm to the Japanese’ etc. Your thoughts?
     
  20. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    5,354
    Location:
    South of Nashville
    Having served as a pilot, I would wear no patches other than authorized unit patches for those units in which I served. I would buy no jacket with patches sewn or painted on the jacket. However, I would not be upset if someone paid homage to a particular unit by wearing the artwork or patches originally authorized for that unit. Obviously anyone younger than about 80 wouldn't be claiming membership in any WWII unit, and anyone younger than about 70 wouldn't be claiming membership in a Korean unit.

    When we get to the more modern units, such as those of VN and Desert Storm, Someone wearing period patches may be looked on as claiming membership in that unit. There are a lot of wannabes out there. I would be careful when patching from those eras. But as most of the interest seems to be in WWII units, it may well be a moot point.

    As to the blood chit, personally I wouldn't wear one because of the reasons stated above. And, as you so astutely pointed out, the blood chit may cause resentment among our Japanese friends, most of whom would be too polite to mention it.
     

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