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Old 02-11-16, 10:56 PM
zorgon zorgon is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 84
Default Examples of RCAF King’s (Tudor) Crown Heraldic Patches

I should start with the caveat that most of this post is based on opinion and observation as much as documented fact and should not thus be taken as gospel. Please feel free to express your own comments, corrections (grammatical or factual), other edits, thoughts and additional examples.

One can generally divide RCAF Squadron patches into two categories; heraldic and the less formal, flight suit or jacket sleeve patches. Heraldic patches have the general design of a central image unique to each unit which is surrounded by a ring which includes the word “Squadron” at the top and “Royal Canadian Air Force” at the bottom. A Latin motto is found across the very bottom and for the purposes of this post, the Tudor or King’s crown (KC) highlights the top of the badge. Theoretically, but in fact not always, this indicates the patch was manufactured prior to Elizabeth ascending the throne in 1952. Many examples can be seen of individuals wearing the KC many years after 1952 and I believe patches were produced for use with a KC well after this date. This was probably due, in part, to specific demand and in part for convenience as for a few years at least, it was easier to stick with existing patterns. The initial purchaser would want a patch symbolically reflecting those worn during the time of their service, even if it was manufactured years later; an entirely logical and acceptable practice. Officially, it was and is undoubtedly against regulations for those wearing active uniforms.

Original heraldic crests of all periods remain quite collectable; the older ones more so of course and one needs to be aware that modern reproductions of either the KC versions or later Queen’s crown (QC) design dominate the current market place. They can be found constructed in bullion, felt, printed onto fabric or using modern wool substitutes. I suppose those of modern production can be considered fillers until a “real” period example comes along.

VIII (No. 8) Squadron. This high quality, multi layered patch on a black felt background was made by Crest Craft, and is of WWII vintage. Based on the manufacturing back-stamp, it was made between 1942 and 1945 at which point the unit was disbanded. It measures about 7” in height. Patches made by Crest Craft can fortunately be definitively dated generally to within a few years or decade by the design of the back-stamp. Steven Scriver did a detailed study on C.C. some years ago defining the period of use of their back-stamps.

It’s hard to estimate when this 400 Sqn badge was actually made. It’s older style for sure and has been removed from a blazer or jacket. After the war, the Squadron was reorganized multiple times; 1946, 47, 52, 58, 64 etc. so it could have originated from any of those periods.

Some heraldic patches were printed on larger pieces of black cloth so they could be trimmed and stitched onto blazers. The 408 patch is an example of this I think. Since blazers can be worn for many years after retirement at reunions and such, it’s sometimes hard to date the actual year of manufacture for any given item.

The 3rd image illustrates four examples from 404, 411, 413 and 425 Squadrons. All share the trait that they are made in bullion and on black felt. Two (411 and 404) show signs of being removed from uniforms. This style is typically 4 ¼”- 4 ½” in height, the exception being the miniature, 2 ¾” 425. These miniature bullion variants show signs of later construction; perhaps in the 80’s or 90’s? The 411 crest is from the estate of Andrew McNiece, a pilot with 411 during WWII.

The 409 design was approved in 1941 but it’s again hard to date this example. Based on the style, I would guess it was manufactured in the late 50’s but that is just speculation. The 419 patch, while not marked on the reverse, is indicative of Crest Craft and probably dates to the SWW.

The next image has a group of 3 patches and a decal from 421 Sqn. In 1952, 421 returned to Europe with the Sabre jets as part of Leapfrog II. Their new base was located at Grostenquin France. In 1963, the Squadron was re-equipped with the CF-104 and moved to Baden. Starfighter patches and other collectables are very popular with collectors. It is not uncommon to see pictures of pilots wearing the style (top left) of patch in the picture, on the front or Rt. shoulder of their flight suites.

Ghost squadron, 428, was equipped with the CF-100’s in the jet era. I believe all four of these examples are from the decade after the mid 50’s but maybe some readers have other knowledge. Note the two sizes of the white-backed patch and the slight variations in the more ridged bullion black-backed variants. Both of the latter have been removed from blazers/jackets.
Three variations from 434 are shown. It’s hard to date the year or even decade of manufacture of these but they are all “older” in style and perhaps period pieces. Finally, a 435 WWII patch almost certainly made by Crest Craft, came from the estate of F/Sgt. George Henry Steininger of Oakshell, SK.

The backing of these heraldic crests, as with all patches, reveals detail that can not only determine authenticity but help date a patch. Space in this single post does not permit detailed discussion or display of this essential factor. An analysis of the backs could be a separate thread by somebody?

Happy collecting,
Wayne Logus
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 8 (VIII) Sqd, WWII.jpg (77.7 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 400 Sqn heraldic.jpg (70.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 404, 411, 413, 425.jpg (61.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 408 heraldic blazer, 4 inch.jpg (74.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 409.jpg (78.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 419.jpg (70.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 421.jpg (73.7 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 427.jpg (77.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 428 blk.jpg (67.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 428 wht.jpg (84.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 434.jpg (79.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 435, F. Sgt. George Henry Steininger, Oakshell, SK..jpg (78.9 KB, 13 views)
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