Sterling Jump Wings and a Winged Head

CoinFetcher

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I met up w beerguy and we swung at a hotspot in the i5 corridor.

I was happy to hunt w a friend, and my first target was a IHP right in front of him! :p. He quickly outdid me with a 1900 quarter. We both a few older Canadian cents, and I got another unique token for tobacco. I’ll dig it out later.

After beerguy left I wandered the neighborhood and chatted w some folks in front of a 1920s converted homs apartment building. They eagerly gave me permission and in front of an audience of 4, I retrieved a mercury dime - 1935 d in great shape. Everyone, especially me, was stoked. A little swinging later, and I got a pair of paratrooper pilot wings!
4D3686EC-B2EF-4FDF-96D1-048824EC19A5.jpeg

I did a pretty quick lap around the house and only came up w a couple more wheaties. I’ll have to go back.

Thanks for reading.
 
Upvote 23

Ogre1190

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My Dad wore those. 😁 Great job on the recovery. 🙌
 
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Nice finds, congratulations! :occasion14:
 

Trezurehunter

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Looks like some nice finds. Mercs are always a welcome sight.
 

SittingElf

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Some history for jump wings....

When did the Army stop issuing the Sterling jump wings, and when did they stop issuing the silver plated wings?

Steve Curlee raised this very interesting question and came up with the answer too.

From the Institute of Heraldry, he got this reply: “We have the Military Specification Sheet which is dated 25 September 1964 for the US Army Parachutist Badge. The material was Sterling Silver.”

“The military specification sheet dated 11 July 1968: the material was changed to 1/20 Silver filled (Front Only) over a commercial copper base alloy for the non-subdued badges, and Red Brass was used for the subdued badges.” Steve himself was issued this type of Parachutist Badge in 1970 (see photo).

“The military specification sheet dated 10 February 1988: the material was changed to Red Brass or Nickel Silver. The brass was finished with a nickel plate, then silver plated with an oxidized, relieved matte finish. There was an option for commercial sale only using Sterling Silver.”

This means no Sterling silver wings were issued after 11 July 1968. Although there was some silver after the change on 10 February 1988, to say that they were silver plated is a stretch, but this does make it confusing to properly date jump wings marked ‘Sterling’.

The US Army changed to clutch back in late 1944 for all wings, badges etc. However many manufacturers continued to make pin back until the start of the Vietnam era. The pin back badges were sold in Base and Post Exchanges as these are considered private sales and not government contract.

The Army has never stopped issuing the WWII design which is still in use today. But by 1950 they were issuing only clutch backs. During the Vietman era they moved to the plated badges and by 1974 silver filled were no longer issued.
 

thrifty76now

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Your silver pilot wings are one of the coolest of silver wings I have ever seen posted.
 
OP
CoinFetcher

CoinFetcher

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  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
I can’t believe I have found three sets of ‘wings’ in about 1 year. At this rate, I’ll collect them all (kidding).

E16AC4B6-0202-417E-A79A-A846017575C1.jpeg

Thank you for all the kinda words! I can’t seem to get the image to straighten out!
 

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BrassEagle

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I think you need to look at what you found. Wing merc, Airborne wings. maybe you need to take trip. the dirt gods are trying to tell you some thing. Airborne all the way. 82nd Airborne 73-77
 

GA_Boy

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82nd AA (Almost Airborne)--------------just funning. I was in the "one oh worst" (101st) '62-65.
Marvin
 

Vhoov

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Some history for jump wings....

When did the Army stop issuing the Sterling jump wings, and when did they stop issuing the silver plated wings?

Steve Curlee raised this very interesting question and came up with the answer too.

From the Institute of Heraldry, he got this reply: “We have the Military Specification Sheet which is dated 25 September 1964 for the US Army Parachutist Badge. The material was Sterling Silver.”

“The military specification sheet dated 11 July 1968: the material was changed to 1/20 Silver filled (Front Only) over a commercial copper base alloy for the non-subdued badges, and Red Brass was used for the subdued badges.” Steve himself was issued this type of Parachutist Badge in 1970 (see photo).

“The military specification sheet dated 10 February 1988: the material was changed to Red Brass or Nickel Silver. The brass was finished with a nickel plate, then silver plated with an oxidized, relieved matte finish. There was an option for commercial sale only using Sterling Silver.”

This means no Sterling silver wings were issued after 11 July 1968. Although there was some silver after the change on 10 February 1988, to say that they were silver plated is a stretch, but this does make it confusing to properly date jump wings marked ‘Sterling’.

The US Army changed to clutch back in late 1944 for all wings, badges etc. However many manufacturers continued to make pin back until the start of the Vietnam era. The pin back badges were sold in Base and Post Exchanges as these are considered private sales and not government contract.

The Army has never stopped issuing the WWII design which is still in use today. But by 1950 they were issuing only clutch backs. During the Vietman era they moved to the plated badges and by 1974 silver filled were no longer issued.
Thank you for this info, unrelated to this post but.. .I found a driver/mechanics badge marked sterling and couldn't find squat on when they stopped making them out of it. Finally have a lead.
 

A2coins

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That is really cool to find those. I think it would be fun to hunt with beer guy lol great job
 

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