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Old 26-09-16, 11:26 PM
zorgon's Avatar
zorgon zorgon is offline
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Default Possible CAF (Canadian Air Force) 1920 collar variant?

The two basic recognized variants for the CAF collars are those with and without motto. In addition, at least the version with motto had separate designs for Officers and the enlisted airman. I recently purchased a CAF collar knowing it was unusual but curiosity got the better of me. Now that Iíve had a chance to examine it, itís different than any Iíve seen and I would ask forum members for their thoughts. While it could be a replica, Iíll post it here rather than on the Reproductions Forum.
The collar looks, in most respects, to be a 2nd issue (with motto) enlisted version of the collar (2nd image below). The main body is of one piece construction and the CAF monogram is riveted over the maple leaf, as one would expect. In every respect it initially appears identical to the 1920-24 issue (34 mm in height) and weighs the same. The bothersome issue is the crown which should have very little void in the airmanís issue. This example resembles the officerís issue crown which has a much larger void to allow the red woven silk material to be visible sandwiched between the copper back plate and the sterling silver metal front. The officerís issue however has a separate copper-bronze maple leaf which fastens in a different manner so it isnít an Officerís issue missing the backing plate and red silk.
I would have guessed this was a manufacturing, one-off error of the crown substitution except I have recently seen images of other examples with this misplaced crown - I had never observed this before, which of course doesnít mean itís not a legitimate and recognized version. Further, I have seen images of a more complete variant set with an odd luster suggesting that all items, including the pilotís wing exist. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that if they are sold as being different or post-period from the normal issue of that era.
..Itís possible that this collar was a period piece, produced by a different manufacturer or was a submitted design that was rejected over the more commonly seen version of the collar. If this collar is a post-period reproduction, it is of exceptional quality and one would almost think they must be using original dies. There are several other minuscule tell-tale indicators which differ from the recognized original version on each of the components of the badge. Itís definitely not from the 1967 reproduction sets I have seen.
Perhaps there were variants, of which I am unaware, during the 4 or 5 years this badge set was manufactured?
If anyone owns, has photographs, or has seen this variant please post (or PM me) images and reply to say when you saw or acquired them so we can narrow down its first appearance and hopefully usage and legitimacy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CAF collar, BBF CAF collar.jpg (72.1 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg Type 2 NCO collar, height 34mm.jpg (71.0 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg CAF collar, BBF back.jpg (64.9 KB, 26 views)

Last edited by zorgon; 01-06-18 at 10:40 PM. Reason: clarified "void" issue
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Old 17-05-17, 06:13 PM
Air-Researcher Air-Researcher is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Canada
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Default CAF (Canadian Air Force) 1920 collar badge "Initials"

Has anyone ever taken a close look at the CAF badges and wings from 1920-1924 and realised that the initials do not actually reflect "Canadian Air Force" CAF, but that the initials are in fact a Capitol C with a diminuative capitol "A" overlaid with a large capitol "A"?

Canadian Army Aviator?

Canadian Aviation Authority?

Civil Aviation Aviator?

Has anyone ever come up with a primary source document from archives Canada that has a confirmed specification for the initials on the badges and wings ??

The government does not do anything without a record of why - and more importantly HOW MUCH it would cost.. so a definite "request for quote" of a specific layout and with specific wording would have to have been sent to the shop who accomplished the final work in order to get a quote of how much it would cost in order for treasury to sign off on it.. These badges would have had their intial mould / dies hand carved and then been poured in their final metal by a jeweler. Slight distortions in shape would come from being taken from the mould too soon after they were cast but not completely cooled as well as differences on the hardness of the metals cast ( any Purity or hardness "Marks" on them? or a jewelers touch-mark?)

1) The discolourations on some issues of the officers' badges and wings may well come from the inclusion of other precious metals.. knowing which issues and which medals had differing colours can aid in identifying either an increase or decrease in impurity ..

2) Quite frequently old or un-used precious metals are re-cast into a new form, and where a frugal (Or cheap) minded person wishes to save on the cost of the metal to be cast they would scrounge whatever precious metal they could find and request that it be used for the final casting.

3) it is entirely possible (and most likely what actually happened) that the person requesting the Officers Cap badges and Pilots wings to be created for the CAF supplied the actual "Metal" to be used in order to reduce costs.. the first (and future) officers of the CAF, knowing full well where that metal came from would have had great enjoyment poking fun at someone over it .. all the more to the history of the Canadian Air Force and the "laughter silvered wings"..

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings - John Gillespie Magee

So, who would the Officers/Pilots of the new force in 1920 been rolling on the floor laughing at? Answer that question and you may have a reason to understand some of the allusions made by Magee...

Would the officers have thrown their unwanted medals into a common pot passed around like a collection plate at a sunday sermon in order to collect enough precious metal? Which of the officers really hated a medal they received from a government official and refused to wear it, instead offering it up for "Collection"...
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Old 18-05-17, 05:00 PM
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Bill A Bill A is offline
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Welcome to the Forum Air-Researcher.
From your post, you have reviewed Eagles Recalled?
Part of your question may be an interpretation of the font used on the lettering. The collars have a long tail on the smaller letters, both the C and F. The A does not have the tail.
Res ipsa loquitur
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