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Old 16-12-20, 02:48 AM
tcrown tcrown is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 274
Default The “cloud” Pattern Canopy Type Wings

Very soon after the release of the official Parachute Wings Badge, several variants appeared on the market due to strong demand from the soldiers themselves.
It was not uncommon for new qualified paratroopers rushing to get private purchase wings for their walking out BD before the official parade when they would receive their ordnance type wings.
As an example of non-official wings, this particular variant was issued as early as 1941 (source Ken Joyce ‘Into the Maelstrom’ p 51). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any period photo supporting Ken’s information.
Cloud Type.jpg
A trimmed version
Cloud Type JD.jpg
This one with an half moon shape

Feather detached as well as special rigging lines design can clearly be seen which makes this type very recognisable. Also the canopy is sometimes split in three parts and for that reason has been designated ‘Cloud type’ by collectors.
These wings were made with more refined material and better embroidery quality. They usually have a cotton backing to the rear.
Early Type Foster.jpg
This particular wings were discussed here

I believe the vast majority if not all of these wings were privately purchased and as with the official detached feathers type of wings that was subject to my previous post, this variant continued to be issued until the end of the war.
It is a challenge to find undisputable period photographic evidence of this type of wings being wear.
The best photo I found was one showing a Belgium para taken in July 1942 I believe shortly after their Independent Parachute Company was formed (source IWM)
AP 9733C circa July 1942.JPG
As with the ordnance standard wings that were issued in the early days, the badge could be worn trimmed close to the embroidered design or with a half-moon shape, the latter being immediately recognizable in the photo below (source: Library and Archives Canada)
Gunner JR Purser 2 FOU Oct 1944.jpg
A photo of Gunner J.R. Purser (No. 2 Forward Observation Unit, RA). The parachute cord strands hanging from his Denison smock zipper represent every jump he made up until the photo was taken in Oct 1944.
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