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  #1  
Old 22-09-23, 06:44 PM
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Default WW2 Para wing opinion

Hi all,

I'm in the process of buying my first parachute qualification wing.
For me it seems good, but want to be sure it is as there are a lot of subtleties that I don't master.
I'm looking for one that could be good for D-Day/Normandy 1944 period.
(I have read a few posts on the forum already and collected photos).

Thanks in advance.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg WW2 Wing. Airborne. Parachute Regiment.jpg (110.5 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg WW2 Wing. Airborne. Parachute Regiment back.jpg (104.0 KB, 68 views)
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  #2  
Old 22-09-23, 07:28 PM
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Looks correct to me, latish war maybe
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  #3  
Old 22-09-23, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryBB View Post
Looks correct to me, latish war maybe
Cheers Jerry. How do you discern latish and mid war ?
Thanks
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  #4  
Old 23-09-23, 12:07 AM
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Impossible to date this type of wings. They were certainly issued in the course of WW2 and continuously up to the 60s.
If you're looking for a typical mid 1944 pair of wings, I would go with the detached feathers pattern (see https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=80666).

Last edited by tcrown; 23-09-23 at 06:15 PM.
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  #5  
Old 23-09-23, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrown View Post
Impossible to date this type of wings. They were certainly issued in the course of WW2 and continuously up to the 60s.
If your looking for a typical mid 1944 pair of wings, I would go with the detached feathers pattern (see https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=80666).
Thanks Tcrown for your reply. You mean this type right ?
https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...2&d=1608084909
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  #6  
Old 23-09-23, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwe23 View Post
Thanks Tcrown for your reply. You mean this type right ?
https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...2&d=1608084909
No, this is the cloud type, one of the earliest pattern.

This one https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...7&d=1599425342 I believe was the most commonly worn in WW2, ordnance issued
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  #7  
Old 23-09-23, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrown View Post
No, this is the cloud type, one of the earliest pattern.

This one https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...7&d=1599425342 I believe was the most commonly worn in WW2, ordnance issued
I see Pierre many thanks. Does the glueback type is a detail that count for this period or not at all ?

The cloud is for the 3 little pieces in the parachute right ?

Here are is a photo just before D-Day where we can see more clearly the wings (the forum is compressing the file too much) The officer in the back seems to wear a darker type wing ?
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  #8  
Old 23-09-23, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwe23 View Post
Does the glueback type is a detail that count for this period or not at all ?
Most of the ordnance-produced examples do have that paste or glue type of material on the back applied to stiffen the cloth but not all. Also, numerous WW2 private purchase wings can be found with cotton backing cloth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwe23 View Post
The cloud is for the 3 little pieces in the parachute right ?
That’s right. The canopy is split in three parts. Other characteristics of this type include special rigging lines as well as detached feathers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwe23 View Post
Here are is a photo just before D-Day where we can see more clearly the wings (the forum is compressing the file too much) The officer in the back seems to wear a darker type wing ?
Difficult to be affirmative but the wings in the forefront are the standard ordnance issued type with the split of feathers that has been trimmed (close-up below ref IWM H 38081).
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File Type: jpg Close up on Wings H 39081.JPG (34.8 KB, 70 views)
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  #9  
Old 27-09-23, 12:33 AM
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Thanks Pierre.
Got you. When you are speaking about cotton backing cloth you are speaking of this right ?

Trimmed from a rectangle ? because in this example it is not trimmed short at the bottom.

Here are a few additional photos of wings worn just before DDay.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Para wings cotton backing.jpg (52.9 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg June 1944 c.jpg (29.7 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg June 1944 b.jpg (33.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg June 1944.jpg (36.4 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg June 1944e.jpg (36.2 KB, 27 views)
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  #10  
Old 29-09-23, 09:42 PM
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One is on sale on McGregor with the description "scarce early cut out WW2 embroidered cloth badge".
Looks to me exactly like the variant I posted but with a different back.
Doesn't look like the early versions Tcrown described.
What do you think ?
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  #11  
Old 29-09-23, 11:08 PM
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Private purchase wings IMO. Could have been WW2 issued or later. Countless variants were offered on the market that are impossible to date.
As for the design (large basket, round bottom of feathers), see below a shot taken from a 1951 Pathé film.
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File Type: jpg 1951 Wings Film Cut Airborne Men Get 'stand By'.jpg (32.7 KB, 43 views)
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  #12  
Old 30-09-23, 12:24 PM
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The below wings are I would say the same pattern as the wings above, albeit fashionably trimmed.

EDITS follow having read tcrown’s comprehensive thread on the British basic parachute qualification wings.

They are from the remaining effects of our 1PARA relative KIA at Oosterbeek during Operation Market Garden (his third combat jump) and from the entries in his military records of the way he was hard socialising and getting into grief for “loosing” the odd Colt 1911, it would appear he had other priorities for his money than spending it to privately purchasing wings!! That said, these wings could have been acquired into our family subsequent to his death, as they are in the box with his full entitlement of medals (which could only have been issued after his death) and there is no one left from family of that era to advise on them.

I have also had the same pattern of wings stitched on a 1944 pattern Denison smock, with that cotton net backing visible due to mothing. Alas moved on, so I cannot provide a picture. But as we all know, the Denisons were still being used post-war, so those could have been a late war / post war attachment of wings.

You will also see the same pattern on some of the displayed British Airborne battle dress blouses in the Pegasus Memorial in Normandy too - interestingly quite a few have white paint on the badge’s parachute canopies to enhance the look of them, obviously a personal preference to the individual paratrooper. But I do wonder if adding paint to the canopies was a particular fashion to just 6th Airborne Division, as from memory I cannot recall seeing the same on uniforms displayed in museums at Arnhem or the Airborne Museum at Duxford (I will have to ask the curator, hopefully at Duxford’s 50th anniversary in a couple of weeks time).

Personally this pattern of parachute qualification wings with the flat zig-zag pattern to the stitching of the parachute canopy lines are the ones I prefer to collect as authentic to the WWII period, as we do have a picture of what appears to be this pattern being worn by our relative early in the war. I will add the picture and further thoughts to tcrowns excellent thread.

Cheers……John
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1332.jpg (78.7 KB, 43 views)

Last edited by Skippy; 01-10-23 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Greater factual information / commentary
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  #13  
Old 01-10-23, 09:51 PM
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Default Zig-zag Rigging Lines vs Detached Feathers Pattern

Thanks for your contribution and kind words, Skippy.

There is absolutely no doubt that the zig-zag rigging lines are characteristics of wings that were produced during WW2 and after.

It is possible that these wings were ordnance-issued but I don’t know of any clear evidence. It is also difficult to date the introduction of this design. I have a BD of a 3rd Bat veteran who parachute qualified in May 1943 and had this pattern on his sleeve. Were they replacement wings? hard to say (keep in mind that qualified paratroopers only received 2 pair of wings initially).

In my view, cotton backing on wings is a mark of private purchase during WW2. I believe past backing was the preferred option for cheaper ordnance-produced insignias.

As for early wings, the original design (detached feathers pattern) is evidenced and documented (see https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...48&postcount=1). This doesn’t mean that different patterns (like the zig-zag rigging lines) were not issued by the Army at the same time during the 40s.

Two other examples of detached feathers pattern:

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...5&d=1676153147
This grouping belonged to Pte Charles Myatt who joined 1 Bat T Coy in Aug/Sept 1942 (source Paradata)

Pte Stack Whitened Wings.jpg
Wings worn by Pte Stack that have been whitened (source O. Lock). Interesting question whether this practice was unique to 6th AB or not.
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  #14  
Old 24-10-23, 12:39 AM
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Thanks Tcrown and Skippy for your extensive replies. Very interesting.
I have done more research on the subject.

Seems like detached feathers version always have straight parachute lines and not zigzag lines. They all have small basket as well and have often marks on the feathers half way.
Are small baskets an indication for early & mid war signs ? I often hear large basket are late war and post war.

I attached a bunch of IWM photos all from 1941-1944 (pre D-Day). A few early ones during training, and others before the invasion. Let me all the types you are seeing. I will post later a few photos of wings on smock and weird repro.

Cheers

Elwe
Attached Images
File Type: jpg C-in-C talking to Lieutenant Colonel F.C. Yeldham First Airborne Div 13-03-44.jpg (75.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg General Montgomery with all officers and men who were decorated at the investiture. Major Genera.jpg (91.9 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg The King talking to paratroops after their drop.jpg (63.0 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg His Grace talking to the O:C Paratroops 23-07-41.jpg (81.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg They must be super fit men. Air sickness test by parachute doctor. A recruit is being examined a.jpg (76.6 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Original wartime caption Final examination of equipment before entering the aircraft which carri.jpg (58.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Original wartime caption For story see CH.13255. Picture (issued 1944) shows - A parachutist don.jpg (34.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Original wartime caption Parachute trooper with a carrier pigeon.jpg (46.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Parachute troops fire from cover behind a low rise during an exercise in Northern Command, 10 Ap.jpg (92.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Parachute troops use ladders to scale Norwich City walls during exercises in Eastern Command, 23.jpg (56.1 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by elwe23; 28-10-23 at 03:10 PM.
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  #15  
Old 26-10-23, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrown View Post
Private purchase wings IMO. Could have been WW2 issued or later. Countless variants were offered on the market that are impossible to date.
As for the design (large basket, round bottom of feathers), see below a shot taken from a 1951 Pathé film.
Who'd be a collector. The term " large basket " is a misnomer. Baskets were utilised with barrage balloons. Perhaps the extension to the rigging lines of the parachute could be construed to be the parachute pack. However, it would appear the design was influenced by the GQ metal badge supplied by them and worn early doors by trainees. Perhaps the manufacturing process of the cloth badge simplified the rendition of the little parachutist. Who knows. Going off tangent, Polish 1 SBS utilised a similar design.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg parachutist.JPG (70.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg polish collar.jpg (39.8 KB, 17 views)
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Last edited by silverwash; 26-10-23 at 05:43 PM. Reason: further info.
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