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  #1  
Old 06-09-19, 08:06 PM
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Default RAF master (?) parachute jump instructor badge

A recent purchase, an RAF jump instructor's qualification arm badge. It is not shown in Locke's book on SF insignia (only examples without wings are shown), but on Chairborne Militaria one exactly like mine is described as "master parachute jump instructor qualification badge".

Can it be confirmed that it is for a master PJI?
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File Type: jpg 2019-09-06 006.jpg (117.2 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg 2019-09-06 005.jpg (108.7 KB, 51 views)
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  #2  
Old 06-09-19, 09:38 PM
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The only RAF related badge I know of is the Parachute Instructor badge which is similar to this badge but without the wings.

Authorised on 7.5.1943.

Never seen or heard of the 'Master' version.

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  #3  
Old 06-09-19, 09:52 PM
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  1. What is a Master PJI?
  2. How many variations were there of this badge or were there any variations?
  3. What evidence is there apart from being in Locke's book that it is genuine?
  4. Is this badge shown in 'Never Not Ready The History of RAF Regiment Parachute Units 1942-2012?'
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  #4  
Old 23-09-19, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc View Post
A recent purchase, an RAF jump instructor's qualification arm badge. It is not shown in Locke's book on SF insignia (only examples without wings are shown), but on Chairborne Militaria one exactly like mine is described as "master parachute jump instructor qualification badge".

Can it be confirmed that it is for a master PJI?
I'm familiar with these badges but have never heard one described as a Master PJI qualification badge before.

Typically, these sell for around 180 to 200 when they come up.

A number of older collectors have told me that this badge was around in the 1950s, and appeared in a book on RAF insignia in the 1960s, but this is anecdotal.

The construction is quite vintage although the circular shape (most original PJI trade badges have a more oval appearance) is of a similar pattern to a copy of more modern manufacture. (Attached)

A popular explanation is that they were a prototype badge rejected in 1945, when PJIs were awarded honorary Aircrew status, in favour of the half wing to provide conformity with other Aircrew brevets.

Another explanation is as above but that they were created much later as a fantasy item. If the 'old timers' are correct however, and these badges were around in the 1950s, fantasy items hadn't really been invented and copies were rare as it was still possible to obtain good original badges at very reasonable prices.

One final explanation is that the badge is a commemorative item but for what and when I've no idea.

Cheers,

Graham
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File Type: jpg RAF PJI Circular Brevet (With Wings).jpg (71.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg RAF PJI Badge Obverse REPRO.jpg (51.3 KB, 16 views)
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  #5  
Old 23-09-19, 08:51 PM
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I've seen four variations of this badge, brevet, wing including a bullion version but I have never seen anyone confirm that any of them are genuine without supplying evidence.

That could be a quest for Chute and Dagger.
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  #6  
Old 23-09-19, 09:49 PM
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The problem with this badge is that there are so many versions it is hard to know which items are genuine. The attached pic shows variations I have seen over the years. Some of them have been sewn to aged brassards and some just loose. Some have unusual colour combinations and the top left one looks like a theatre made item. However they all have one thing in common - none of them has ever been described as a "Master".
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  #7  
Old 24-09-19, 02:32 AM
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I think 'Master' PJI is a play on words to help sell the item.
At 200 GBP for an item that can't be confirmed is genuine I would think it needs all the help it can get.
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  #8  
Old 26-09-19, 06:24 PM
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Thank you gentlemen for your thoughts, it is greatly appreciated.
I think it is safe to conclude the master part of the description is baseless.
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  #9  
Old 27-09-19, 01:01 PM
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My own theory is that someone has, as an honest error or not, conflated the British and US systems of nomenclature, as 'Jumpmaster' and variants on that title are used by the USAF and US Army.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...pmaster_School
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  #10  
Old 27-09-19, 06:04 PM
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I believe all the RAF "Master" category were aircrew.
Not sure if a PJI is fu
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  #11  
Old 27-09-19, 11:27 PM
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Let me throw this in your handbasket.

"In February 1960, I was a Sgt Parachute Jumping Instructor (PJI) at the No 1 Parachute Training School (PTS) RAF Abingdon. A task which I had enjoyed for 11 years serving with 16th Airborne Division (TA) in London, the Parachute Regiment at Aldershot, and the 22 SAS in Malaya."

It doesn't matter that you didn't know the above person. I did and he never in any of our correspondence referred to himself as anything other than a PJI or any of the others including his CO as PJI's.
This was not his entire career and there were other very interesting things including firsts that he was involved in. He was decorated twice.
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  #12  
Old 28-09-19, 08:13 AM
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Comment from another site , dated 2011, regarding a similar (same ?) badge.

"I've also got one rather unusual PJI-looking patch embroidered in thick, light blue thread with the cheesecloth backing on the rear.

I sent a picture of this badge to the RAF museum, and they replied, telling me that they had a similar badge in their collection, but they don't know what it is."
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File Type: jpg Para.jpg (6.7 KB, 22 views)
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  #13  
Old 28-09-19, 09:07 AM
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Copy of this badge available on eBay , described as :

"ROYAL AIR FORCE PARACHUTE JUMP INSTRUCTOR PATCH"
"COPY OF WW2 PATTERN"

There is also a blue background version.
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  #14  
Old 28-09-19, 10:58 AM
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Interesting comments Mike, especially from the museum.
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  #15  
Old 28-09-19, 06:27 PM
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The badge you are interested in is not featured in the 'Never Not Ready' book, but it is about Parachute units of the RAF, not PJI's so I wouldn't expect it to feature.
It is not featured in 'Prelude To Glory' either which cover's the training and set up of British Airborne forces. Though it shows the earliest photos ever of British PJI's wearing the Round Canopy and wreaths badge being worn above the stripes.
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