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  • 7 months later...


I catalogued the RNZAF MUseum textile collection about ten years ago, including all badges, rank insignia, uniforms, flying clothing, webbing gear, etc. My recollections of flying badges is that the variety is ENORMOUS, and it would be impossible to categorically state that any particualr badge was a fake as there is so little information on what the badges in question were supposed to look like. As no copies of actual manufacturing specifications sem to survive (if they ever existed in the first place, which is problematic as my feeling is that manufacturers interested in tendering for manufaaacturing contracts were probably simply supplied with an actual sample of an exisiting badge (which may have been manufactured anywhere, such as the UK, Canada or Austrailia, or Singapore, or Cairo, or Bombay!) Then the manufacturer might say that "Yes, they could make that badge, for this price, buit our machinists are not properly trained and very inexperienced, and the standard of finish might not be as good as the sample, and we cannot (in conditions of wartime NZ 12,000 miles from main source of supply) obtain good manufacturing materials at the moment, so do not expect miracles! At least that is how I imagine the system, such as it was, worked here in NZ. I do know for a fact that many newly qualified RNZAF aircrew in NZ were issued with two new badges on graduation, but were so apalled by the quality and look of them that they threw tham away and privately purchased at least one nice fat and smooth unoffical one from scertain well-known retailers, the presence of which was known to all qualified aircrew. Of course there were probably more "RNZAF" badges issued to RNZAF personnel in Canada than in New Zealand, and these were all actually Canadian-made badges which were generall of a better standard thab gebuine New Zealand ones. These baddges were also designed in Canada to Canadian standards and ideas, and their design had no NZ influence whatsoever, as the NZ Air Board was simply told that these badges would be supplied to those who qualified and the Air Board did not have to worry about sending supplies from NZ. Thus these badges were typically Canadian in style (although with "RNZAF" featuring on them), with King's (Imperial) crown on all types of aircrew, unlike any other Commonwealth air force (and very demoncratic in its way), and the pilot's badge ("Wings") often featured a sort of "Continental" (French?) touch be featuring the "slash" across the oblique stroke of the letter "Z" in the "NZ" centre piece. However I cannot say for certain that the prescence of this "slash" indicates that the badge in question was definitley of Canadian origin, but it does seem very likely. Of course the famous Canadian "WAG" badge was also issued to RNZAF graduates in Canadian schools in 1941/42 and these certainly created problems when they turned up in the UK, as the RAF would not recognize them at first, but they were very popular (especiually amongst commissioned WOAG personnel) because their full trade qualifications were contained iin the one badge instead of two (the winged A/G badge on breast, and the "Fistful of sparks" on the upper sleeve. Commissioned WOAGs liked them because, when commissioned, WOAGs had to give up their hard earned "Sparks" as this was a trade badge, and officers could never acknowledge that they were mere "tradesmen" (read "despised tradesman") for reasons of, well you know what I mean, the class thing!

As to your "wings", the backing for this badge appears to be of the type modified for attaching to a khaki jacket (which was attached with small "snap" studs, so that the badge itself could be removed when laundering was about to be inflicted on it, which was of course guaranteed to prematurley wear the embroidered badge. On blue unforms the badgess were permanenetly attached by sewn thread. However there is no sign of there having been studs on your badge, but it still loooks like this type of backing to me.

David D

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