Original U.S. WWII / Korean War Era US Army Airborne Parachutist and Glider Wings Badge Lot - 3 Items
Original Items: Only One Lot Available. The Army's Parachutist Badge is awarded to all military personnel of any service who complete the US Army Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. It signifies that the soldier is a trained military parachutist, and is qualified to participate in airborne operations. The badge and its sew-on equivalent may be worn on the Army Combat Uniform (ACU).
The original Army Parachutist Badge was designed in 1941 by Captain (later Lieutenant General) William P. Yarborough and approved by the Department of War in March of that year. The Parachutist Badge replaced the "Parachutist Patch" which had previously been worn as a large patch on the side of a paratrooper's garrison cap. LTG Yarborough also designed the Senior and Master Parachutist Badges and the addition of stars to portray the number of combat jumps. The airborne background trimming that is worn behind the badge of those assigned to airborne units is also a contribution of William P. Yarborough.
The Senior and Master Parachutist Badges were authorized in 1949.
The Badges In This Lot:
- Parachutist Badge: To be eligible for award of the Parachutist Badge, an individual must have completed the Basic Airborne Course of the Airborne School of the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. To graduate, a student must complete the three-phase course consisting of a ground phase, a tower phase, and a jump phase. By the end of the course, a student will have completed five jumps in varying jump configurations, from a "no load" jump all the way to a full combat load jump at night.
- Master Parachutist Badge: To be eligible for the Master Parachutist Badge, an individual must have been rated excellent in character and efficiency and have met the following requirements:
Participated in a minimum of 65 jumps including twenty-five jumps with combat equipment to consist of normal TOE equipment, including individual weapon carried by the individual in combat whether the jump was in actual or simulated combat. In cases of simulated combat the equipment will include water rations (actual or dummy), ammunition (actual or dummy), and other essential items necessary to sustain an individual in combat. Four night jumps must also be made during the hours of darkness, one as jumpmaster of a stick. Five mass tactical jumps must be made which culminate in an airborne assault problem with a unit equivalent to a battalion or larger; a separate company/battery; or an organic staff of regimental size or larger. The individual must fill a position commensurate with their rank or grade during the problem.
Either graduated from the Jumpmaster Course of the Airborne Department of the Infantry School or the Jumpmaster School of a separate airborne battalion or larger airborne unit, or infantry divisions and separate infantry brigades containing organic airborne elements, including the U.S. Army Alaska Jumpmaster Course, or served as jumpmaster on one or more combat jumps or as jumpmaster on 33 noncombat jumps.
Have served on jump status with an airborne unit or other organization authorized parachutists for a total of 36 months (may be non-consecutive).
The 25 combat equipment jumps necessary to qualify for the Master Parachutist Badge must be from a static line.
The master parachutist badge is 1+1⁄2 inches (38 mm) wide at the widest part of the wings and 1+13⁄64 inches (31 mm) from the top of the wreath to the bottom of the parachute where the risers meet in a point.
- Glider Badge: The Glider Badge was a special skills badge of the United States Army. According to the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, the badge was awarded to personnel who had "been assigned or attached to a glider or airborne unit or to the Airborne Department of the Infantry School; satisfactorily completed a course of instruction, or participated in at least one combat glider mission into enemy-held territory.
The badge was authorized on 2 June 1944 and discontinued on 3 May 1961 but may continue to be worn on U.S. Army uniforms.
Following the close of the Second World War, the Glider Badge was authorized to any service member who had completed glider unit training at the Airborne School.
In the post-World War II years, the US Army converted its remaining glider units to parachute. For example, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 82d Airborne Division was reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1947 as the 325th Infantry Regiment (no longer glider infantry), and then reorganized and redesignated again on 15 December 1948 as the 325th Airborne Infantry. Likewise, the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, also part of the 82d Airborne Division, was reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1947 as the 319th Field Artillery Battalion, and then reorganized and redesignated on 15 December 1948 as the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion. Although glider units had ceased to exist, the badge was not formally rescinded until 3 May 1961; however, it remained authorized for wear by those who earned it.
Glider training was included in the United States Army's basic Airborne course until 1949, which at that time lasted five weeks. The first week of the course covered air transportability training, which included glider training. During late summer of that year, a glider crashed, killing many of those on board, and glider training came to an end.
All three badges are in wonderful condition with functional pinbacks. Comes more than ready for further research and display!
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