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  #16  
Old 18-02-11, 08:05 AM
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Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
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Default RAF Pathfinder Badge

This is completely out of my area of knowledge, but I find it most interesting. Stitched with other badges (cloth formation signs and RAAF Pilot's wings) to the inside pockets of an Indian -made BD blouse worn by a QAIMNS Lt (Nursing Sister) in India is a gilt (?) RAF badge with 54mm wingspan that seems to fit the Pathfinders' badge descriptions. It has screw thread posts and although difficult to read - since it's stitched to the blouse - is maker marker LUD....... LONDON.
An expert comment on this item would be very welcome.
Thanks, Mike
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  #17  
Old 18-02-11, 10:08 AM
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Ludlows, possibly?
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  #18  
Old 18-02-11, 12:44 PM
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This is my pathfinder badge that i picked up last year, it has not been converted and was made as a pin back.
Andy

Last edited by magpie; 28-09-13 at 10:42 PM.
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  #19  
Old 19-02-11, 12:16 AM
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Default Pathfinders' badge

Please excuse my ignorance:

Did the Eagle face only one way. i.e. to the right as you look at it.?

Many thanks and regards
Brian
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  #20  
Old 21-02-11, 09:06 AM
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The Pathfinder badge was simply an eagle in brass or gilt finish. Generally with these badges there are four types of fixing - screw posts, pin (broach) back, lugs and split pin and bend over prongs.

Some years ago I sold a Pathfinder badge on ebay with screw posts, and received a mail from the Pathfinder Association saying that the only genuine pathfinder badges were made by (I think) Gaunts with a pin back. This was rubbish! Its true to say that there might have been a particular badge issued to aircrew (be it gilt or brass, pin back or whatever) but in reality all types were worn. I know of instances when the issue badge was given to a wife, or mother and the airman 'nicked' or bought another from somewhere else, be it a shop, an old cap, or whatever. After all, the badge is the same worn by VAD nurses attached to the RAF, Officers side caps, and sweethearts. I'm not sure how many were issue, but Airmen generally had two service dress tunics and one battledress.

The rule that airmen were not supposed to fly with them seems to be true, and thus, as mentioned you would have to have a badge that was easily removeable on the battledress, although this wouldnt be the case for service dress. This would generally call for a pin back, but I know of genuine examples of all the other three being worn. The bend over prongs usually signify an eagle coming from an officers cap badge.

In the 50s and 60s on, the Master Aircrew badge was worn, featuring a brass eagle with lugs and split pin on a backing plate. Many of these are removed and sold as pathfinders, although one of the pair faces the left. There are also those out there (including one fairly well known RAF dealer) who try and sell the 'Rare' silver Pathfinder badge. Absolute rubbish - it is mearly a silver RAF eagle sweetheart badge. I even had a dealer (who has a website with a WW1 battlefield name...) try and sell me a rare 'bronze pathfinder' badge once! It was in reality an eagle worn by the SAAF over their Sergeant and Flight Sergeant rank stripes. But someone told him as it was bronzed it was an RAAF version, and he went with that, doubling the price he had had on it for several months! The Pathfinder badge was gilt or brass only.

Generally speaking, for the RAF the eagle faced to the right, but as mentioned facing pairs were worn by VADs, Doormen at the Air Ministry and others, including the post war aircrew sleeve badges.

I was initerested to hear of the 'Working Pattern' badge with screw threads. But the only genuine way to get a pathfinder badge is to get one from a vet or his family, or at least one with known provenance, regardless of the fixing on the reverse.
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  #21  
Old 13-03-11, 04:56 PM
Helmetfire Helmetfire is offline
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This one was given to me back in the early 8os by an ex pilot from 83Sqn PFF.








I might be putting it on a well known auction site if anyone is interested.
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Last edited by Helmetfire; 14-03-11 at 05:26 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-12-11, 11:23 AM
Juliet Papa Bravo Juliet Papa Bravo is offline
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Default Pathfinder award pin

I very foolishly listed a badge as

"WWII ROYAL AIR FORCE RAF METAL FLYING EAGLE - PILOTS WINGS - GILDED BADGE/PIN"

on ebay yesterday with a 99 pence start and was astounded to be almost immediately innundated with questions and offers.

Fortunately there was one very kind prospective buyer who took pity on me and sent me details of what I was actually trying to sell.
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File Type: jpg Pathfinder 1.jpg (26.3 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg Pathfinder2.jpg (20.6 KB, 100 views)
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  #23  
Old 07-12-11, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis View Post
This is an invite for anyone owning a genuine example of the coveted Pathfinder Badge to also post images, front and reverse, here.

It seems that many people have been sold Sleeve or Cap Eagles fitted with screw posts, tabs or lugs with a clevis pin and told they were the real deal. From discussions with former Pathfinder aircrew, the original badge was made with a long pin brazed onto the reverse. The badge could only be worn while not on operations, a stipulation that ensured that the badge was required to be fixed by a pin and not lugs, posts or tabs, as these would leave marks in the battledress blouse pocket flap and could potentially indicate to the enemy, if captured, of the squadrons elite status as target markers.


Denis, The one I have - from a reputable source - is brooch pinned and has what I can remember (from seeing one in the 1950's) the correct pin and retaining catch i.e. it does NOT have screw posts, and I do not recall the one I saw in the 50's as having them either. The RAF guy I met was an ex-Pathfinders (but I cannot recall his name) and undoubtedly (as has been mentioned) there were screw post versions, but the one he showed me was (pretty much) the same as the one I have. Mine is quite worn.
I am willing to send you pics of the back for personal use only, but will not post it, due to all the copying and fakers around. They can improve their faking skills enough as it is.... but not at my expense.
David
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  #24  
Old 11-12-11, 01:06 PM
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Default RAF Albatross Aircrew

Hi here is an Aircrew brass badge with screw-posts, could fit the bill to be used as a Pathfinder badge and the 2nd a Silver Albatross which I was informed was a Pathfinders and as I see in all probability miss-informed, nice badge all the same but now I ask is this nothing more than a Sweet-hearts brooch! not that that,s a bad thing!! any information would be welcome and hope i,ve posted something usefull to some-one!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RAF Albatross Brass & Silver 001.jpg (95.8 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg RAF Albatross Brass & Silver 002.jpg (92.8 KB, 61 views)

Last edited by billy; 11-12-11 at 01:07 PM. Reason: forgot photo,s
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  #25  
Old 29-09-16, 01:33 PM
MDS5866 MDS5866 is offline
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Default Pathfinders Wings by Canadian Companies

Greetings,

This is my first post and I picked this old topic as I have, in my possession, two Pathfinder Wings with posted backs that are stamped with Canadian manufacturers. Both are approximately 55mm in length. The patch also came with the wings but I haven't found anything similar during my searches

I would love to hear any feedback or posts and thanks in advance.

Mark
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 20160929_083311_resized.jpg (47.9 KB, 29 views)
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File Type: jpg 20160929_083445_resized.jpg (34.2 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 20160929_083525_resized.jpg (78.2 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg 20160929_083538_resized.jpg (106.4 KB, 14 views)
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  #26  
Old 30-09-16, 06:41 AM
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I'm no expert on Canadian insignia, but I would say the badge on the left with the 'queens' crown is a pretty recent officers badge from a chipbag style hat. The badge next to it appears to be of a similar age and is I think is worn above the sergeants stripes (left arm) in the rank of Sergeant aircrew. As such, neither is a Pathfinder wing.
Hope this helps, Craig

Last edited by cga00; 14-03-18 at 06:24 AM. Reason: correction to rank title
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  #27  
Old 30-09-16, 08:39 PM
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Was there ever such a thing as a specific Canadian Pathfinder badge?

Rgds, Thomas.
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  #28  
Old 02-10-16, 08:53 AM
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Albatross?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billy View Post
Hi here is an Aircrew brass badge with screw-posts, could fit the bill to be used as a Pathfinder badge and the 2nd a Silver Albatross which I was informed was a Pathfinders and as I see in all probability miss-informed, nice badge all the same but now I ask is this nothing more than a Sweet-hearts brooch! not that that,s a bad thing!! any information would be welcome and hope i,ve posted something usefull to some-one!
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  #29  
Old 02-10-16, 09:44 AM
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my example.
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File Type: jpg IMAG1419_1.jpg (19.6 KB, 49 views)
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  #30  
Old 15-10-16, 04:37 PM
408Sqdn 408Sqdn is offline
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Default Original Pathfinder Badges

This is a subject on which there is much debate, with an almost impossible goal of agreement. As a staff member at the RAF Pathfinder Museum, I have access to many established and contemporary examples.

The types and styles of the PF badges in the collection include those with pin backs, screw posts and 'blade' fittings. All such types were definitely worn as period pieces.

The type I personally favour is the pin back version with the 'barrel' pin holder and 'squared' catch loop, but that is not to say that the other types are not 'right'.

I would suggest that badges which do not come direct from veterans must be treated with caution unless accompanied by undoubted provenance and / or an original Pathfinder award certificate signed by AVM D.C.T. Bennett.

I have in my own collection one which I believe is beyond doubt, which came with no certificate, direct from a veteran's family with medals and other undoubted original documents. It is the same type as offered for viewing by forum member 'arrestingu' earlier in this thread.
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