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This wing has a unique, massive construction. It conforms loosely to the November 19th, 1920 US Army Air Service Regulations as that of an Observer, Qualified as a Pilot. But, it is also a bit of an anomaly. It definitely has design characteristics that go back to WWI, especially the beveled-corner "O" at center, and in Duncan Campbell's Revised Edition of Aviation Badges and Insignia of the United States Army 1913-1946, Duncan mentions a photo from 1918 where it is hard to discern, but the wing being worn appears to be this wing.
The collector whom I acquired this wing from, regarding wings perhaps the most knowledgeable in the country, has researched this wing and he feels that this extraordinary United States Army Air Service (USAAS) duel-wing Balloon Observer badge is close to being one of a kind. His research shows that only a small number of officers who received training as Balloon Observers at Langley Field, Virginia and Scott Field, Illinois in 1921 were able to get them before it was realized that the letters "US" in the center shield did not conform to Army regulations according to the rules of heraldry as defined by the Commission of Fine Arts on 14 November 1918, amended by the War Department on 11 October 1920 and 30 July 1921.
This wing is biographical, and the name of the original owner will be given to potential buyers.
VINTAGE: Circa 1920.
SIZE: Approximately 11/16" in height by 3-1/16" in width.
MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION: Sterling silver.
ATTACHMENT: Horizontal pin with drop-in locking swivel catch.
ITEM NOTES: This is from a United States Army Air Forces collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. VBFFJX12 LDBEJX6/12
CONDITION: 8+ (Excellent): The wing has only some very light wear.
GUARANTEE: As with all my items, this piece is guaranteed original.