Original U.S. WWII USAAF Named Officer Khaki Crush Cap By Columbia - Captain Humphries

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This visor cap, in summer Khaki issue color, was made by Columbia. It is in well-worn but nice condition with the iconic "crush" shape. The sweatband is embossed with COLUMBIA FLIGHT. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor. There is an original paper name label in the celluloid window that is marked with the owners name - Capt J.M. Humphries.

The cap is in wonderful shape. The leather brim and chin strap are in excellent condition as is the sweatband. The interior shows age but is complete with no damage. The original size decal of 7 1/8 is still intact. Overall this is fantastic example ripe for research.

This is the classic "bomber pilot" headgear, worn by USAAF pilots in Europe and the Pacific. Actually, this was the standard Army/AAF officer 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.

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