Original U.S. WWII USAAF Named Officer Winter Crush Visor Cap by Luxenberg of New York

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Crusher Cap is an iconic article of WWII Army Air Corps gear. Nothing made an aviator look more seasoned than when sporting a floppy, crumpled cap riding at a jaunty angle atop his head.

The Visor Cap, or Service Cap, is essentially the primary dress headgear of servicemen and it bears, in the case of the Army and Army Air Corps, the insignia of the coat of arms of the United States. As such, the service cap is a crisply angled cap with stiff support to maintain its respectable posture.

Army Air Corps / Forces personnel, while wearing the visor cap in flight, took to removing the stiffening band in order to comfortably wear a communications headset over the cap. In time, the cap would become crushed and softened. A cap which had seen a lot of action eventually came to be known as a "50 mission crush cap," and the wearer of such a cap came to be recognized as an experienced veteran.

This visor cap, named to a Lieutenant R. G. Schenck and is written in multiple locations, is in a wool 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. Under the brow, which is partially separating, you can find Liet. G. Schenck followed by his ASN. It is a little hard to read and the service number is very worn, but his name is clearly written on the inside of the leather sweatband.

The sweatband is also embossed with the Luxenberg name with an address. The crown of the hat also bears a Luxenberg 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.

This is a wonderful example of the iconic crusher cap! Comes ready for research and display.

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