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This is an extremely rare and possibly unique circa 1943 ATC (Air Transport Command) Chief Pilot wing in wartime shortage material: copper-lacquered white metal. The wing has a shield at its center reading ATC and a wreathed star above.
Starting in 1942, the US government implemented rations on a number of commodities. By 1943, everything from sugar, butter, meat, shoes, metal, gasoline, tires, and more were under government control. All metals that could possibly be used for the war effort were appropriated by the government, which in turn forced manufacturers to get creative with white metal and even plastic in some cases where traditionally brass and copper had been used. Recycling and the black market started during this period of wartime shortages. The government recycled aluminum to make ammunition and the rationed items sold for a higher price on the black market.
The ATC was created during WWII, it started as a small military operation and by the end of the war had become larger than any commercial airline in the United States. Initially the Ferrying Command, the ATC was established to deliver US-built aircraft to Britain by way of the Lend-Lease program. During this time, a number of organizations were issuing military contracts with civilian airlines, such as Pan Am, Northwest, United, and Eastern Air Lines to carry out the manufacture and delivery of aircraft. The profusion of contracts led to the establishment of the Air Transport Command as a military airline, under which all military-related air transport would be monitored. War demands quickly depleted the number of available combat pilots for ferrying and transport. This led the ATC to hire civilian pilots to fill in the gaps. At one time, nearly 90% of the ATC was comprised of civilian pilots, most of which were trained in the Air Corps or were civilian trained pilots with the record and experience that allowed for a transfer into military service.
Circa World War II.
Approximately 1-1/8" in height by 3-5/16" in width.
MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION:
Copper-lacquered white metal.
Horizontal pin with tongue-style C catch.
This is from a United States Army Air Forces collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. VBJXX12 LABJJX12/12 SAJJJX12/12 SLABGEX1/16
8- (Very Fine-Excellent): The wing shows some light wear only.
GUARANTEE: As with all my artifacts, this piece is guaranteed to be original, as described.