Jump to content

Need help identifying a pair of USAF shoulder boards

Recommended Posts

I recently got my hands on a pair of USAF shoulder boards, but the design is really intriguing and I need a bit of help identifying the history behind this pair.

Its a standard USN gold shoulder board, however with the USAF insignia on it. The manufacturer is Hilborn-Hamburger Inc. of Passaic, a major New Jersey military insignia supplier.

Would greatly appreciate if someone could provide some information on it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn! I think that you have something really special or maybe a prototype? I have never seen anything like it. In fact, the Air Force colors are Silver and Blue. Most of their bullion work is in a silver color. This is really interesting. I look forward to seeing what folks have to say about this set.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea the person whom I bought it from could only tell me that it was made around 1947-49. I'm guessing it was more likely a prototype that was made during the transition to an independent entity from the US Army.

The only thing that I find weird is that the insignia was made on a USN shoulder board. I would have thought that it would make better sense if the prototype was made to resemble the US Army rank insignia.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Air Force has waivered back and forth over the use of shoulder boards for their senior enlisted and officers. Also, the Air Force wanted to develop a completely different uniform from that of the Army. Perhaps this was just a rough prototype used for brain storming during the uniform development phase? Either way, still a really cool and unique set of insignia. Most likely, one of a kind.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks similar to this "badge " that was worn on Dress uniforms,


Figure 1: usafflagrank.com

The gold USAF button authorized for use on the

Air Force Formal Evening Dress uniform. The gold button

was no longer used on Formal Evening Dress after 1959.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • Lapsang Souchong, when i first tasted this I thought it was like stale cigarette ends...it's an acquired taste for sure.  
    • I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest. P
    • Hi ccj, Thanks for your comments. Funny how, for me at least, coffee has become a habit more than a conscience choice. It's the old, "Well if you having one (coffee) pour me as well". When I get together with my son-in-law, a former Brit, it's tea all the way. Thanks again. Regards Brian  
    • I live and grew up in the south (USA) and the drink of choice 7 days a week was cold sweet tea. I was unaware Lipton was British because that’s what most southern use for brewing tea. When I joined the army I learned most people in the north and western parts of the USA drank unsweetened tea and that was perplexing to my young brain. Now days I can’t stand sweet iced tea but it’s still the most common drink in the south, but, you can get unsweetened ice tea in the south. Im familiar with ho
    • I drink tea every day (Chinese tea), I used to buy Sri Lankan black tea at the fair before, it was great! I have been reluctant to drink them all. . The tea I’m talking about is just brewing water, not adding other substancesI
  • Create New...