Original U.S. WWII USAAF Named Officer Summer Crush Visor Cap by Knox Fifth Avenue New York
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This visor cap, in summer issue khaki color, was made by Knox which is well marked in the crown. Size 6 7/8 in worn but very nice condition with the iconic "crush" shape. The liner is marked KNOX Fifth Avenue New York. The cap is named in two places A.E.C and Cooper. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor.
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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