Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wings of Valor

Valor can be defined as strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness.  The U.S. Army Air Forces, June 1941 to September 1947, gave qualification badges to those who were active among the various Air Forces [1st Air Force to 20th Air Force] who participated in WWII.  These came to be called "wings" and  represented the various roles the individual had among the air crews.  The following posts will show these worn by the air crews.

The first is that of the "Pilot".


Wings centered by a shield.  In bomber groups this would also be worn by the Co-Pilot.  These were formed from sterling silver, and the words "sterling" appears on the back side in very small print.

According to the text by A. Timothy Warnock, the United States Air Force was first called "the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Army Signal Corps" from August 1907 to July 1914.  It was then called "Aviation Section, U.S. Army Signal Corps" from July 1914 to May 1918.  It was then described as "U.S. Army Air Service" from May 1918 to July 1926.  This was changed to "U.S. Army Air Corps" from July 1926 to June 1941.  During WWII, it was the "U.S. Army Air Forces" from June 1941 until September 1947 when it was formed into a distinct branch of service the United States Air Force (USAF).  The wings to be shown are from the WWII period of valor.

Ref. : United States Air Force Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1990.

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