Original U.S. Pre-WWII Era Braniff Airlines / Air Transport Command Pilot Insignia Grouping With Photos - 24 Items
Original Items: Only One Grouping Available. Braniff Airways, Inc., operated as Braniff International Airways from 1948 until 1965, and then Braniff International from 1965 until air operations ceased, was an airline in the United States that once flew air carrier operations from 1928 until 1982 and continues today as a retailer, hotelier, travel service and branding and licensing company, administering the former airline's employee pass program and other airline administrative duties. Braniff's routes were primarily in the midwestern and southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. In the late 1970s it expanded to Asia and Europe. The airline ceased air carrier operations in May 1982 because of high fuel prices, credit card interest rates and extreme competition from the large trunk carriers and the new airline startups created by the Airline Deregulation Act of December 1978. Two later airlines used the Braniff name: the Hyatt Hotels-backed Braniff, Inc. in 1983–89, and Braniff International Airlines, Inc. in 1991–92.
The Items In This Lot:
- 9 Photographs: The photos in this lot are all of the same unidentified Braniff Airlines pilot. They are all in wonderful condition with extremely clear images.
- x3 Braniff Airlines Wings/Cap Badge: All 3 are in wonderful condition with functioning pin / screw backs with all enameling present.
- x4 Braniff Airlines Lapel Devices: All wonderful, working condition with what appears to be fake jewels inset into them.
- x3 U.S. Air Mail Uniform Buttons: All 3 are marked on the back with “SUPERIOR QUALITY”.
- Wright Brothers Memorial Screwback Device: Reads on the face as “ACHIEVED BY DAUNTLESS RESOLUTION AND UNCONQUERABLE FAITH”.
- x2 First Officer Rank Insignia: In aviation, the first officer (FO), also called co-pilot, is the pilot who is second-in-command of the aircraft to the captain, who is the legal commander. In the event of incapacitation of the captain, the first officer will assume command of the aircraft.
- Air Transport Command Cap Badge: The Air Transportation Division was commanded by Col. Robert J. Smith, who had come into uniform from his position as vice-president of Braniff Airlines. Dozens of other airline personnel served in executive positions throughout the new Air Transport Command. This Braniff Airlines pilot may have worked for the ATC as well.
- Air Transport Command Pilot Wings: Wonderful condition with a functional pinback.
All items come more than ready for further research and display.
During the war, Braniff remanded all of its Douglas DC-2 fleet and a substantial number of its new 21-passenger Douglas DC-3 fleet to the United States Army Air Force. The DC-3 had just entered the fleet in December 1939. All of the Airline's DC-2s were given to the military for wartime service and none were accepted back into the fleet at the end of the war. Besides offering its aircraft to the United States military, it also leased its facilities at Dallas Love Field to the military, which became a training site for pilots and mechanics.
Braniff was given a contract to operate a military cargo flight between Brownsville, Texas, and Panama City/Balboa City, in the Canal Zone. The route was called the Banana Run because Braniff's pilots made agreements with the banana producers in Panama to move their bananas to the United States to sell. Because of the war, they could not fly their produce out of the country but Braniff devised at least a small way to assist the growers. Because of Braniff's superb service during the war and over the Banana Run, the Airline would be rewarded with a significant international route award just a year after the war ended.
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