Anaspides.net

Commonwealth Aviator Wings - Military

(last wing added 20 February 2012)

 

 

All wings are genuine issue and not reproductions unless otherwise noted.

Shown here are examples of aviator wings worn by Commonwealth nations such as: Australia, Great Britain, South Africa and Canada. Most of the wings were in service during the Second World War, although there are examples from the 1920's and early 1930's, and the Korean War conflict.

Ignore the numbers on the stickers as they do not correlate to the actual W number (I changed the numbering sequence, but some of scans were done earlier).

PILOT - Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-88)

Handmade, flat cloth variant. Note hand stitching which is relatively common on Australian period wings. As such, no handmade Australian wing is ever identical in appearance and there are several variants. This is a wartime variant

Rear of above wing (W-88)

It's common to find Australian made cloth wings without any type of rear backing. often these wings are very flimsy and quite delicate in construction

PILOT - Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-85)

Machine made, semi padded cloth variant with thick perimeter stitching to stop fraying

Rear of above wing (W-85)

Note the 4 plastic attachment hooks & clips to facilitate quick removal from one uniform to another. Note the material sewn to the rear of the wing to aid in keeping the wing rigid and the extra stitching along the wing edge to stiffen the wing

PILOT - Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-82)

Handmade, semi padded cloth variant on black wool. It has been suggested that this style of wing was theatre made in either India or Burma

Rear of above wing (W-82)

Note the khaki material which is the same material as the military shirts were made from. It has been applied to the rear of the wing to stop the hand stitching from coming undone and fraying

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1953 (W-61)

Machine made, padded cloth. Queens Crown denotes post WW2 manufacture. Wing was worn by transport pilot who served in Korea

PILOT - Royal New Zealand Airforce (RNZAF), circa 1930 (W-38)

Handmade, cloth padded variant. This wing was worn by a Flight Sergeant Brian Williams, a hurricane fighter pilot who was KIA after flying nine sorties over France Click to read this airman's exploits

Rear of above wing (W-38)

 

PILOT - Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-2)

Machine made, cloth unpadded wing. Most RCAF wings were flat and machine made

Rear of above wing (W-2)

 

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-1)

Machine made, unpadded flat cloth with threaded brass bar on reverse to enable the wearer to change wing easily from uniform to uniform. This wing was worn by a fighter pilot who flew hurricane fighters in Africa in 1943

Rear of above wing (W-1)

A brass bar and pin allowed for easy removal from one uniform to another, rather than buying two or three wings and sewing them individually on each uniform tunic

PILOT - Royal Australian Navy (RAN) circa 1963-1970 (W-127)

Bullion wing worn on walking out dress uniform. Wing was worn by F4J Phantom pilot who served in Vietnam

PILOT - Royal Australian Navy (RAN) circa 1963-1970 (W-127)

A closer image showing detail of the attached metal anchor, anchor line and winglets. Wing was worn by F4J Phantom pilot who served in Vietnam

Rear of above wing (W-127)

 

PILOT - Royal Australian Navy (RAN) circa 1963-1970 (W-126)

Kings Crown denotes post WW2 manufacture. Hallmarked STOKES MELB in raised letters. Wing was worn by F4J Phantom pilot who served in Vietnam. Clutch back

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-109)

Machine made, unpadded flat cloth on black wool backing. Note small number of crownlets above Kings Crown, usually there were more crownlets

Rear of above wing

(W-109)

PILOT - Royal South African Airforce (RSAAF), circa 1923-1945 (W-103)

Hand made, cloth unpadded flat variant. Note the 4 separate emblems in the Coat of Arms: Prior to 1994, South Africa was divided into four Provinces and each Province is represented in the Pilot wing design. Top left – Cape Province, top right – Natal, Bottom left, Orange Free State, Bottom right –Transvaal

Rear of above wing (W-103)

 

PILOT - Royal New Zealand (RNZAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-159)

Handmade, cloth padded variant
Rear of above wing (W-159)

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-168)

Machine made, cloth padded. Compare with W-1 above
Rear of above wing (W-168)

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-169)

Machine made, cloth not padded. Compare with W-1 and W-168 above. Also note the different style King's Crown to W-168
Rear of above wing (W-169)

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-168)

Machine made, cloth not padded. These wings are very thin in construction
Rear of above wing (W-168)

PILOT - Southern Rhodesian Airforce (SRAF), circa 1923-1945 (W-168)

Machine made, cloth padded. Compare with W-103 above (SAAF). The pick emblem (on green colour) in addition to being used on wings, was also used on medals to signify "mentioned in dispatches". Although SRAF personnel were amalgamated into the SAAF during the war, Southern Rhodesia wished to maintain its independent nationality away from South Africa. As such, airforce personnel did not wear SAAF wings
Rear of above wing (W-171)

NAVIGATOR - Royal South African Airforce (RSAAF), circa 1923-1945 (W-172)

Machine made, cloth padded
Rear of above wing (W-172)

OBSERVER - RAAF, circa 1930-1952 (W-110)

Machine made, flat cloth on dark blue velvet. An uncommon wing, although RAF examples are quite common

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-176)

Machine made, cloth not padded. These wings are very thin in construction

Rear of above wing (W-176)

The shiney texture has been caused by glue being applied to the wing (probably by someone who wanted to mount the wing to a flat board)

 

PILOT - Royal Airforce (RAF), circa 1939-1945 (W-177)

Machine made, cloth not padded. These wings are very thin in construction and quite dirty and worn. The wings were worn by an American pilot who flew with the Eagle Squadron during the Battle of Britain

Rear of above wing (W-177)

Note the word USA written twice. The wing was aquired from a relative of an American pilot who flew with the Eagle Squadron during the Battle of Britain

 

 

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