Original U.S. WWII USAAF Named Officer OD Green Crush Cap by Bancroft
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This visor cap, in winter OD green issue color, was made by Bancroft which is well marked in the crown. Size US 7 in worn but very nice condition with the iconic "crush" shape. The sweatband is embossed in gold FLIGHTER by BANCROFT with patent number. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor. The underside of the visor in handwritten ink is the name W.T. Berge.
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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