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Original U.S. WWII US Army Air Forces Combat Observer Badge - Solid Back

Regular price $150.00

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Compare at $225.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a great badge of simple design. We just recently received this badge from a well renowned “Wings” collector and we couldn’t be more pleased. The badge itself has a lovely darkened and tarnished patina with much of the original silver finish still present. This example is a solid back type which is often less encountered than the “stamped” types.

Between 1919 and 1935 the design of the Observer Badge remained unchanged, and was issued to both airplane and lighter-than-air ratings. However, as military aviation developed, changes in the concept of an Airplane Observer necessitated the redesign of the Observer Badge with a corresponding change in the eligibility criteria. On 20 February 1940 the rating was changed to that of Combat Observer, followed by redesignation as Aircraft Observer on 4 September 1942. Note that bombardiers that used the top secret SHORAN also received the Observer Badge. They sat midship, where the radio operator would normally sit, since they used an electronic not optical bombsight.

By the time of the United States' entry into the Second World War, three Observer Badges were authorized by the Army Air Forces. The first was the Combat Observer Badge: in appearance an Aviator Badge with a large 'O' in the center. For Balloon Observers, a separate badge was created: the Observer Badge augmented with a balloon insignia.

The third and final version of the Observer Badge was the Technical Observer Badge, an Aviator Badge with a T and O motif in the center. The Technical Observer Badge was primarily awarded to flight engineering personnel assigned to assist the flight engineer.

This lovely set of wings come more than ready for further research and display.

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