Original U.S. WWII USAAF Officer Khaki Crush Peaked Visor Cap with Back Strap - Size 7 1/4
Original Item: Only One Available. This visor cap, in summer Khaki issue color is used but very good condition, with the iconic crush shape. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor. It features fiber band construction and a leather sweatband which is in very good condition, though the stitching has pulled out a bit. Overall condition is good with signs of use and age, it is the real deal.
Size is marked 7 1/4 on tags attached to the rear of the inner band and outer shell. This particular version is constructed with an inner fiber-reinforced liner band wrapped with fabric, which has the visor and liner attached to it. The top of the cap is a separate piece, stretched around the band and fastened by the chin strap split pins. There is a "back strap" on this cap, which helps secure the cover and ensures a tight fit. This cap is really in nice shape, however the celluloid liner, originally clear, has turned brown with age, making it impossible to see any maker information on the crown.
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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