Original U.S. WWII USAAF Officer OD Green Crush Cap by Dobbs, Fifth Avenue, New York
Original Item: Only One Available. This visor cap, in winter OD Green issue color, is in very good condition with the iconic "crush" shape. The leather sweatband is supple and complete, with all the stitching still intact, something we don't see often. The underside of the crown bears a label marked Dobbs / FIFTH AVENUE / NEW YORK. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor. This is a bespoke cap, so there is no size marking, however it is most likely a size 7.
The cap is in very good shape with a few small moth nips around the crown. The leather brim and chin strap are in very good condition, as is the sweatband. The celluloid plastic top liner has degraded over time, and is torn through in a large area. However this also allows the label on the top to be easily read.
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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