Original U.S. WWII USAAF Officer Summer Khaki Crush Cap by Imperial - Size 7 1/4
Original Item: Only One Available. This visor cap, in summer Khaki issue color, is an excellent example, with the iconic "crush" shape. Also of note is that the chinstrap is the style that goes fully around the head with a buckle in the rear, this were a deluxe design and a sign of a top quality hat.
The underside of the crown bears a label under a plastic shield, indicating the manufacturer and size:
IMPERIAL CAP WORKS
The entire crown is covered with celluloid, which has mostly turned dark orange, except under the plastic shield where the maker markings are. This area is light enough that we are still able to make out the markings, however it is definitely still deteriorated. Under the plastic, the interior crown lining looks to be yellow rayon.
The leather sweatband is supple and complete, with all the stitching still intact, something we don't see often. It shows little sign of use or age, and the chin strap is equally in great shape. The peak / visor is leather, and has a great finish, with just a little shrinking around the rim. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over the leather visor. This is definitely a very high quality cap, probably one of the best we've seen!
This cap really is in excellent condition, with very minor wear, and no tears or moth nips that we can see. It is definitely substantially made, and of very high quality. Ready to display, or even wear!
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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