Forgot your password?
Or sign in with one of these services
peter monahan, May 2, 2012 in Commonwealth Realms: Canada, New Zealand & Australia Medals & Militaria
Peter - a lovely badge with attractive enamelling. Was there a reason you have put it under Canada ?
What period does it date from. During WW2 Canada had special units to ferry aircraft across to Britain -
however, the group I have has Canadian insignia. Mervyn
I'd be interested to learn the origin of it as well, whether Canada or England or both, or others included.
Where is this badge worn on a uniform?
Not for wear on a uniform. This item appears to be a "sweetheart" badge; a gift for a wife, girlfriend, etc. There are quite a few similar items currently available on Ebay:
Notice the Astral crown atop the design, which signifies that this badge is NOT an official RAF badge, and the organisation it represents if is not strictly speaking an official military service.. I only know this because I have a relationship with the RNZAF Museum at Wigram (also known as the Ir Force Museum of NZ), which uses the Astral Crown, and it controlled by a civilian Trust Board rather than the Ministry of Defence, although there are RNZAF officers (including retired officers) military as appointments. I believe the Naval crown is used for similar purposes.
The badge - and it is a badge, not a sweetheart -belonged to my late father-in-law, Herbert Lawson Blakely. In 1939, he was a Radio Officer on the British tramp steamer Pensilva, having gone to the UK for work, and was torpedoed a half day out from England on a trip back from China. He returned to Canada and joined ATFERO, the Atlantic Ferry Organization.
Posted to an emergency air strip in northern Ontario in early 1940 he met and wooed the daughter of his landlady. They married and honeymooned en route to Montreal, from which he flew many trips, some as far as India. He also acted as RO on a seaplane taking one of the lesser 'Royals' on a bond tour of the West Indies. He resigned from Ferry Command, which by that time had become part of the RAF Transport Command, in the spring of 1945. The fact that he was able to resign - when he figured the jug had gone enough times to the well - suggests, as David suggests - that he was a civilian employee rather than a servicemen, but there was no problem getting his medal allotment many years before Canada's far too long delayed recognition of its Merchant Marine vetereans.
I also have his medals - '39-'45 Star, Atlantic Star and War Medal, a number of his uniforms, an 'ATFERO' lapel pin, an RAF Transport Command half wing and a merchant marine uniform and cap. One of these days I'll get them all photographed and post them. I have also just acquired a copy of Ocean Bridge: The History of RAF Ferry Command. One thing I've recently discovered: prior to WWII there had been less than 500 attempts to fly across the Atlantic, of which half were successful and I know from Lawson's anecdotes that the losses were pretty grim. His personal copy of a book on Radio Officers contains 3 pages of names listed as 'Silent Keys'. Presumably all the trades experienced the same attrition.
Lawson's flight jacket bears a badge which looks like this example at the Smithsonian, except that the bullion is silver, not gold. http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?id=A19711782000
Sorry I'm a little late posting this set. He was in the Canadian Airforce - ferrying aircraft to the UK. You will note the
absence of the 39/45 Star as he didn't qualify on this route.
Lawson Blakely, my father-in-law, earned the 1939-45 and Atlantic Stars plus the Canadian Voluntary Service Medal [CVSM]. His framed group includes a lapel pin [i think] for the Atlantic Ferry Organization or ATFERO, the very earliest group to ferry planes across the Atlantic, his half wing as a Radio Operator and a full size enamelled Ferry Command cap badge. I persuaded him to apply for the medlas in the early 1980s and had the two Stars engraved with his name on the reveres before i mounted them. On his widows death, last June, the family decided that I would become the keeper of the medals and several of his uniforms, which I consider a great honour.
Not a great shot, but I haven't made time to take of the frame and do it properly.
Very sweet and rare set to ferry command!
Yes, and my daughter, 21, is wearing his flying jacket with a silver wire half wing on the breast. I think I'm going to have to reclaim it from her!
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!
Already have an account? Sign in here.