Original U.S. WWII USAAF Named Officer Crush Cap by Luxenberg Of New York

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Randolph Preston Jr. from Colusa, California, was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII.

This visor cap, named to him in multiple locations, in winter green issue, was manufactured by Luxenberg Military Tailors located at 485 Madison Avenue, New York.

The cap is of the highest quality and in very good condition with the iconic crush shape. On and underneath the sweat band are multiple ink stamps that read Randolph Preston Jr along with his address which matches his draft registration card (copy included).

The sweatband is also embossed Luxenberg with address. The crown of the hat also bears a Luzenberg logo. Of note is that the chinstrap is the style that goes fully around the head with a buckle in the rear which were very popular with pilots and these were a deluxe addition which was a clear sign of a top quality hat.

This is the classic "bomber pilot" headgear, worn by USAAF pilots in Europe and the Pacific. Actually, this was the standard Army/AAF officer's dress cap, worn by pilots and non-pilots alike, but pilots gave this cap their own unique twist. Normally, this cap had stiffeners -- a support piece behind the cap device and a wire around the inside top perimeter to maintain the cap's round shape. These kept the cap in its proper, regulation military shape and angle. However, since bomber pilots wore headsets over their caps during flights, they would remove the wire stiffener to make headset wear more comfortable, causing the sides of the caps to become crushed. Eventually, the caps retained their floppy "crushed" look, giving the pilot who wore it the look of a seasoned veteran.

The crush cap identified its wearer as an experienced pro, and was as much a part of his identity as his leather flight jacket. The crush cap look quickly became popular with ground army officers and general officers such as the case with this example that was worn by a doctor in the USAAF.
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