Site hosted by Build your free website today!

American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2002

Qualification Badges of the Second World War

Army Air Force

Manufacture Styles of Wing Badges

Metallic Wing
Metallic Silver

Embroidered Wing
Bullion Embroidered on Khaki
Air Crew Member

Embroidered on Blue
Bullion Embroidered on Blue
Air Crew Member
Combat Air Crew ETO

Machine Embroidered on Blue
Machine Embroidered on Blue
Air Crew Member
Combat Air Crew ETO

Machine Embroidered
Machine Embroidered on Olive Drab

Hand Embroidered
Cotton Hand Embroidered on Khaki
China-Burma-India Theater-Made

There were a number of styles of manufacture of wing badges used during the Second World. The most familiar are metallic ones that were often made of Sterling Silver. These are sometimes marked with the name of the manufacturer. Either pin backed or clutch backed varieties exist. In addition to metallic wings bullion embroidered wing were also common. During the prewar years there was a concern about things becoming snagged on metallic insignia and embroidered insignia were favored by aviators. However, by the time of the Second World War aviators were wearing flight suits while in the air and metallic insignia were no problem on service uniforms. Even so, embroidered wing badges remained in use and are not uncommon. In the European Theater of Operations combat aircrews wore their wing badges on a blue rectangle. Embroidered wing badges were sometimes embroidered directly on blue material. Some wing badges were machine embroidered in white cotton on olive drab or khaki. Examples of cotton hand embroidered on khaki also exist and are often encountered on khaki shirts from the China-Burma-India Theater. Finally, wings were tooled on leather for wear on flight suits.

Wings were made in three common sizes. The largest three inch wings (regulation size actually three and one-eighth) were worn on coats, the middle two inch size on shirts and the smallest one inch size on caps or given as tokens to sweethearts.

Back to Army Air Force Wing Badges
Back to Medals and Qualification Badges
Index to Site
Back to Home Page