WORLD WAR ONE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR’S TUNIC WITH WINGS, CAMPAIGN HAT & MORE

$3,000.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 163-109

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
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This group consists of a very nice OD gaberdine officer’s tunic with wings and flight instructor’s insignia on the sleeve, “Montana” peaked campaign hat, OD puttees and “Sam Browne” belt. It should be noted that these items are individual pieces married together and displayed together for some time by the former owner.

The OD gaberdine tunic is in good condition. It presents well and looks very clean but a closer inspection will reveal a small sweat stain at the base of the collar and minor surface dirt from age and use. The bottom of the right breast pocket shows signs of resewing to close up some small moth holes and a 1.00-inch section of the right front skirt is frayed a bit. The standup collar has the letters “USR” for “UNITED STATES RESERVES” and bi-metal winged prop insignia. Collar is held closed by two hook and eye fasteners. Each shoulder has a button-down cloth epaulette held by a brown vegetable ivory button with the spread-winged eagle. Each epaulette also has a 2nd lieutenants bar made of gold bullion thread with a dead bullion outline. Tunic also has a five-button front and four patch pockets all with matching brown vegetable ivory buttons. Above the left breast pocket is a beautiful pilot’s wing done in heavy gold bullion thread on a black cloth backing cut to the shape of the wing. Wings are detailed with some feathering as well as a “US” on the shield at center. Wing spread is approx. 3.50 inches. Each cuff has a stripe of gold ribbed cloth denoting the rank of an officer. Just above the stripe on the right sleeve is a small wing done in gold bullion thread on a black cloth to match the larger wing on the chest. These smaller wings measure approx. 2.00 inches across and signify that the owner was a flight instructor whose job was to train men to fly. The interior of the tunic is in nice condition showing only light wear from age and use. The lining is a light green cotton material with a vertical pocket in the left breast. Collar shows light wear from sweat.

With the tunic is a WW1 Army issue wool OD pull-over shirt with two button-down pockets on the breast and a three-button placket. Left side of the collar has pin on Signal Corps insignia which is correct for the early period of the Air Service while the right has the “USR” insignia with a small lieutenant’s bar. Shirt is in overall good condition.

Also present is an original “Sam Browne” belt. This style of belt was named after the one-armed British officer who invented it and was worn by officers of the US army in both World Wars. The leather belt is approx. 2.00 inches wide with a fine weaving stitch decoration. It has a heavy brass buckle with leather keeper at front and an adjustable shoulder strap. Belt is in very nice condition and the leather is strong.

The group also has an OD felt “Montana” peaked campaign hat complete with the hard to find Air Service hat cord. The hat is in excellent condition with only minor hard to see moth nips under the brim. Interior has the complete leather sweatband in good condition. Adjustable leather chinstrap is present at the front base of the crown and passes through two slits in the brim to form the chin strap. The Air Service cord passes completely around the base of the crown. The cord was originally black and green but the green has faded a bit over the years. The top of one acorn is worn through but the rest of the body is covered and its neighbor as well as the slide are good.

The last item in the group is a pair of matching OD wool puttees in fair condition. Edges do show some moth damage.

WW1 Air Service items are hard to find and much sought after. In addition to that fact we should also realize that there were many fliers and many more enlisted men but not many instructors. [ad]

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