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  #1  
Old 13-07-14, 05:17 PM
Ocad Ocad is offline
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Default SAAF cap badge backing

Hi everyone,

Could someone help me to understand the significance of a blue backing panel worn behind the SAAF cap badge?

Does the imply WAAF? or Other Rank? or Service only in the Union?
Any thoughts appreciated,
Olivier
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  #2  
Old 14-07-14, 05:55 AM
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Hi Olivier,
The only blue backing to a SAAF badges I am aware of is the post republic (i.e. post 1961) senior officers cap badges, though there were post WWII UDF senior officer bullion badges with a blue cloth backing.

Is the badge a WWII SAAF badge or Modern SAAF badge?
Would you be able to post a picture, so we can more clearly see the backing you refer to?

Steven
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  #3  
Old 14-07-14, 09:42 AM
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Hi Steven,

Thanks for your thoughts and sorry I should have mentioned it is on a WW2 era badge. I have only seen this on the collar of a full dress jacket. This is the only photo I have at the moment.
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File Type: jpg image.jpg (36.3 KB, 41 views)
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  #4  
Old 14-07-14, 12:24 PM
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Hi Olivier,
This is a first for me. It may be something the original owner did and not official. The blue cloth appears the same as the patch of blue felt used to produce the SAAF helmet flash, so this may be the source of the backing. The SAAF guys during WWII tended to wear whatever they were comfartable in. My own uncle, a SAAf R/O wore civvy courdroy trousers up north.

Steven
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  #5  
Old 14-07-14, 01:45 PM
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I have read numerous write-ups where the Brits were horrified at the dress of the South Africans. We have all seen pictures of our chaps "up-north" where many variations of uniform can be seen, both in the army and the SAAF.

Brian
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  #6  
Old 14-07-14, 04:43 PM
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I have read somewhere that the orange flash was for those who volunteered for service outside SA, and light blue for those who opted to only serve within. If so it might be some sort of continuation of that.
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  #7  
Old 14-07-14, 07:39 PM
RCAF_Mike RCAF_Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAS1 View Post
I have read somewhere that the orange flash was for those who volunteered for service outside SA, and light blue for those who opted to only serve within. If so it might be some sort of continuation of that.
This was my understanding as well
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  #8  
Old 15-07-14, 04:37 AM
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Sorry, I have never heard of that before, not in any books or from any collectors. The orange/red tab was worn both overseas and locally in the Union. If blue were worn in the Union, I would expect to see a lot more blue tabs around and in 40 years of collecting I have never seen one??

Steven
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  #9  
Old 15-07-14, 09:11 AM
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Very interesting discussion indeed. The badge is on what I would consider to be an Other Ranks side cap, due to its inferior quality and General List buttons, but I cannot confirm that yet.

I have a wartime SA Officer's cap with this badge so I take it that the SAAF used a standard cap badge for all rank, unlike the RAF.
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  #10  
Old 15-07-14, 09:35 AM
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Yes correct,
Standard SAAF badge but variations in material and pattern exist. Pre war and through to c. 1952 officers wore gilt badges, then a new design cloth badge to c.1959.
Non-officers wore gilding metal to c.1959. Blackened/bronzed/brown badges were produced from c.1934 and were worn by all ranks during the war.

Steven
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  #11  
Old 16-07-14, 06:47 AM
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Guys

My understanding was if you signed the oath, you wore the Orange/Red tab in or outside the Union. This qualified you for a British War Medal and Africa Service Medal (home pair).

If you did not sign you wore nothing and only earned a British War Medal.

I have not heard of any other colour being used besides the unique unit flashes worn by Regiments and Corps worn on the Polo Helmets.

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Brian
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  #12  
Old 16-07-14, 11:29 AM
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As I understand it, there were two service oaths : for service "anywhere in Africa" (1940-43) and for service "anywhere in the world" (1943-45).

The orange/red flash was issued to those who signed up for service "anywhere in Africa", and signing up became known as "taking the red oath".

Apparently it was proposed to issue a blue flash to those who signed up for service 'anywhere in the world", but in the end they decided to continue with the orange/red flash. All the same, signing up for service 'anywhere in the world" became known as "taking the blue oath"!
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  #13  
Old 19-07-14, 07:05 PM
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Hi Ocad

I have found the following chart which might just answer you question: SAAF Permanent Force 1920 to 1942.

The chart is for SA helmet flashes but might well have been used by some as a backing for their badges?

Regards
Brian
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File Type: jpg SA Shoulder Helmet flashes 1.JPG (102.3 KB, 24 views)
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  #14  
Old 20-07-14, 08:54 PM
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Fantastic find, thanks Brian. Perhaps the cap belonged to a ground crew member who wanted to stand out from other branches at the same post or perhaps the owner wanted some extra flare, whatever it was I am guessing it went against dress regulations.

I suppose such cases were similar to some British regiment's use of flashes on slouch hats, which also seem non regulation.
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  #15  
Old 21-07-14, 12:51 PM
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Just to compared, here is a WW2 Officer's blackened bronze officer's badge.
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