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Original U.S. WWII USAAF Officer Khaki Crush Cap By Society Brand Headwear - Size 7

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This visor cap, in summer Khaki issue color, was made by Society Brand Headwear, as indicated on the crown label. It is in worn but nice condition with the iconic "crush" shape. The sweatband is embossed with AIRFLOW over REG U.S. PAT. OFF., and the underside of the crown is marked SOCIETY BRAND HAT CO. ST. LOUIS, MO.. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor. The cap still has the original size tag under the sweat band on the right rear side: 7.

The cap is in great shape, with only minor staining to the fabric and a few small holes. The leather brim and chin strap are in very good condition, as is the sweatband. Some of the sweatband stitching has popped, and there is some cracking on the edge of the brim. Also the celluloid plastic top liner has discolored and deteriorated over time, but it is still intact.

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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