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  #1  
Old 19-03-20, 10:08 AM
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Default RAF 'AP' wing - did this exist?

Would any members be able to shed light on the use of 'AP' for an RAF brevet/wing?

Any insights welcome!
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  #2  
Old 19-03-20, 11:44 AM
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Air Photographer.

Not sure whether RAF used such a wing but am aware SAAF did.
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  #3  
Old 19-03-20, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milmed View Post
Air Photographer.

Not sure whether RAF used such a wing but am aware SAAF did.
Can I ask when this was? and was it standard half wing/brevet design?
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  #4  
Old 19-03-20, 12:35 PM
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Found a couple of photos of SAAF wings.
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File Type: jpg AP1.jpg (12.4 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg AP2.jpg (9.9 KB, 11 views)
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  #5  
Old 19-03-20, 12:51 PM
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From a very old forum (1970's) in reply to a question about an AP "brevet described as - "an raf british brevet same style as air gunner etc".

"I seem to recall that post WW2 the RAF had a certain number of 'official' photographers (usually a bog standard airman who'd passed the Unit Photographer course. The best of these were used for the official RAF pictures such as the air to air pics used in recruiting brochures. These were the 'elite' bunch who wore the AP brevet."
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Old 19-03-20, 01:06 PM
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I think this is the wing that DougSA refers to. It forms part of a lot on ebay. I have never seen it before but it does look as if it was worn at sometime.
Dave
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File Type: jpg AP Wing.jpg (32.7 KB, 50 views)
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  #7  
Old 19-03-20, 02:04 PM
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Dave, the AP wing you posted from the ebay lot is a South African wing. They have a very distinct style of laurel wreath and thread pattern. Nice wing.
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  #8  
Old 19-03-20, 03:19 PM
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Hi Mike
I don't think that wing is South African, though not 100% sure. The SA cloth wings of this style had letters embroidered in red and the photographer wing had 'AP' above 'LF' on it, and it was also the only one which had a crown above it for some reason. Having said that, it is possible that the red embroidered examples were post war and there were different ones used during the war.
Maybe someone with better knowledge can comment.
Cheers,
Alex
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Old 19-03-20, 03:29 PM
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From another site :

"SAAF did have a Aerial Photographer half wing, reference C149 in Colin Owen's book "The Military Badges & insignia of Southern Africa. The LF (Lug Fotograaf) is the Afrikaans for AP (Air Photographer)."

Has photo of the one described by Alex.

https://gmic.co.uk/topic/75887-saaf-...f-wing-brevet/
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  #10  
Old 19-03-20, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Rice View Post
Hi Mike
I don't think that wing is South African, though not 100% sure. The SA cloth wings of this style had letters embroidered in red and the photographer wing had 'AP' above 'LF' on it, and it was also the only one which had a crown above it for some reason. Having said that, it is possible that the red embroidered examples were post war and there were different ones used during the war.
Maybe someone with better knowledge can comment.
Cheers,
Alex
Better Knowledge? I know that the posted wing is South African. The SA made types all had very distinctive qualities of manufacture and were usually backed with the same black mesh backing. Here is a photo of my South African collection as it was before I sold it off. Note the similarities in manufacture between the standard type, the red letter type, the aircrew wing as well as the pilots. First issue was like the AP wing posted above (in the pattern of the standard RAF wing) second issue was the Red Letter and third issue was the Red Letter Dual language (very late war).

Of the three pilots in the middle, the one on the left is SA made, the middle one Canadian made, and the right side is British Made
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File Type: jpg IMG_0098.jpg (71.4 KB, 46 views)
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  #11  
Old 19-03-20, 06:02 PM
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According to the History of the SAAF Central Photographic Establishment, which is available online (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~za...trale_fot1.htm), the SAAF air photographer badge was not introduced until after WW II.

Chapter 4 quotes a letter dated April 1944 asking for such a badge to be authorised, but Chapter 5 states that the "badge, breast, air photographers" was first awarded in August 1951 and that there had not previously been any specific badge for air photographers. The qualifying criteria for the badge were also quoted.
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Old 20-03-20, 04:37 AM
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Thanks for the link and info Arthur.
The 1951 date is when an official badge was awarded and probably the duel language red letter badge. But there must have been unofficial badges worn by Air Photographers before this.

To throw the proverbial 'spanner in the works', I have a SAAF battledress jacket to an Air Sergeant with a photographer brevet made out of an observer wing with an embroidered 'P' in the 'O' of the wing. Jacket has red tabs and no sign of post 1950 'SA' collar tabs, so I am comfortable to say it is a late WWII, early post war jacket.

Steven
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  #13  
Old 21-03-20, 06:35 AM
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Interesting topic. As far as I know, there were a lot of wings made in Egypt and I have always thought the large differences in stitching were from the theatre made examples. I must have a closer look at all of mine when I get a chance.
Cheers,
Alex
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  #14  
Old 20-05-20, 10:17 AM
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Deffo not RAF

Only RAF Flying Badges issued:

Pilot 1912-Date (With Changes in 1918 and 1953) [RFC/RAF]
Observer (1912-1918 and 1936-1942) [O]
Air Gunner (1939-1955) [AG]
Air Bomber (1942-1946) [AB]
Radio Observer (1942-1957) [RO]
Navigator (1942-2003) [N]
Air Engineer (1942-2003) [E]
Air Signaller (1944-2003) [S]
Met Observer (1945-1947) [MO]
Para Jump Instructor (1945-Date) [Parachute Emblem]
Air Electronics Operator / Officer (1956-2003) [AE]
Air Quatermaster (1962-1970) [QM]
Air Loadmaster (1970-2003) [LM]
Fighter Controller (1983-2019) [FC]
Airborne Technician (1989-2019) [AT]
Weapon System Operator / Officer (2003-Date) [RAF]
Airborne Image Analyst (2008-2019) [IA]
RPAS Pilot (2012-2019) [RAF with Blue Laurels]
Airborne Specialist (2020-Date) [RAF]
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  #15  
Old 20-05-20, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milmed View Post
Thanks for the link and info Arthur.
The 1951 date is when an official badge was awarded and probably the duel language red letter badge. But there must have been unofficial badges worn by Air Photographers before this.

To throw the proverbial 'spanner in the works', I have a SAAF battledress jacket to an Air Sergeant with a photographer brevet made out of an observer wing with an embroidered 'P' in the 'O' of the wing. Jacket has red tabs and no sign of post 1950 'SA' collar tabs, so I am comfortable to say it is a late WWII, early post war jacket.

Steven
As this thread is active again, here are the pictures of the Air Sergeants jacket I mentioned in an earlier post
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File Type: jpg 20200520_151608.jpg (33.0 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 20200520_151621.jpg (41.0 KB, 19 views)
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