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B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF

Article about: As requested by AZPhil, here is the first of my B-1 caps, one of the rarer items of USAAF flying gear. It is essentially a lightweight cotton version of the well known B-2 Shearling cap, wit

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    Default B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF

    As requested by AZPhil, here is the first of my B-1 caps, one of the rarer items of USAAF flying gear.

    It is essentially a lightweight cotton version of the well known B-2 Shearling cap, with false curtain and wide, stiff fibreboard peak - affording excellent shade protection for the eyes.
    The cut of the cap gives it a slightly ‘squared’ appearance, when viewed from the front, which aids in its recognition in period photographs.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF   B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF  

    B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF   B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF  

    B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF  

  2. #2
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    Despite its rough shape and heavy wear, this one is by far the best of my B-1 caps - certainly my favourite. You will see why...

    B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAFB-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAFB-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAFB-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAFB-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF

    107th Observation Squadron, Michigan National Guard, was mobilised on 15th October 1940. Attached to the 32nd ‘Red Arrow’ Division, it initially undertook anti-submarine patrols along the U.S. coast, until it was deployed to England in August 1942, and re-designated 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron.
    Here the squadron converted to L-4, L-5, A-20 and Spitfire aircraft, eventually followed by the F-6A, reconnaissance version of the P-51 Mustang, becoming the first operational American Photo-Recon unit in Northern Europe from December 1943.
    In preparation for Operation Overlord, they flew 384 missions to map the Normandy coastline, earning themselves the Presidential Unit Citation in the process. Remarkably, only one of their aircraft was shot down prior to D-Day (Lt. Donald E. Cotton was killed near Roven, 9th May 1944).
    Assigned to the U.S. First Army, the 107th was the first USAAF Photo-Recon Squadron to operate from French soil, flying over 1,800 missions in support of all its campaigns until V.E-Day.

    Lt. H. Lor (Loy?) Weber has added the winged prop device, cut from an Air Corps NCO chevron.

    I have, regrettably, been unable to trace any of his personal wartime service, beyond that of his unit.
    The closest possible match I have found is S/N 18004587, Henry L. Weber, born 1918. An Aviation Cadet, he enlisted into the Air Corps, 31st December 1940, in Oklahoma.
    While his service number is, I believe, correct for a National Guardsman, and the enlistment date coincides well with the mobilisation order, I would expect the location to have been Michigan, however.

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    Outstanding Bob, cheers for showing.
    Regards
    René

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    Awesome Bob, Thank you for posting them. If you don't mind, I would like to save those pic's as a Reference?????

    I'm with Rene on the second one. OUTSTANDING!
    I can see why that one is you favorite. It would be mine also!!

    Named and marked with his unit and that added prop to it! FANTASTIC!!!

    So what is it that makes you think my Uncle might be wearing this type versus the Mechanics cap? Are you seeing something that I'm not noticing in that pic of mine?

    Once again , Thank you for posting this. It is very much appreciated.

    Semper Fi
    Phil

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    It’s the shape of the top initially Phil.. slightly squared off, rather than the round mechanics cap.
    Also, how shallow the body is, versus the mech, and (perhaps the clearest difference), the ‘flat’ peak; the mechanics cap tending to have a more curved profile when viewed front on.
    It has the same overall shape as the B-2.

    I hope that makes sense.

    By all means, re-post the image here for a more direct comparison. That would be good.

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    Oh, and I forgot to say, of course you may save the images for reference!
    With pleasure.

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    Here you go Bob and thank you for the explanation and your views on this. Like I said in the other post, I really never looked into caps before and what you are saying about this one is appreciated and I'm taking notes and thanks for letting me save those fantastic pic of your B1's.
    CLICK TO ENLARGE
    B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF
    And here is a colorized version and the member(John)that did it may have been on to something with his coloring. I thought maybe it should have been green like the mechanics cap, But after seeing your B1 , it might be the right color!!
    B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF
    Thank you again Bob for your thoughts on this.
    Semper Fi
    Phil

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    Bob,
    I was checking my CD of GEAR UP by Jon A. McGuire and found this info and pic of the B1 in black and white to also compare to what my uncle is wearing,.
    They do look very similar. I had to use my phone to take a pic of the screen as I couldn't get the thing to copy it in a jpg format.
    CLICK TO ENLARGE.
    B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF B-1 Flying Cap, Summer USAAF

    Semper Fi
    Phil

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    Bob,
    I just wanted to say thanks for you thought's on my Uncle's cap. After spending these last few days zooming in, Making comparison pic's side by side on my 2 screens I have at work. I have decided that you are correct in your thoughts about this being a B1 he is wearing. It is very much appreciated.
    In the pic above the Gent kneeling on the left has the same shape and contour cap as my uncle is wearing in the Photo of his crew.
    It a match and a great call by you!

    Thanks for the help!
    Now I'll have to hunt one of these down and it seems that they are not in abundance on the web,

    It is officially on my list and the mechanics cap is now off the list!!

    Semper Fi
    Phil

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    My apologies for the late response on this Phil, but I’ve only just found it...

    You are very welcome, mate.

    They are, indeed, difficult to come by. I was just very lucky with both of mine - especially Lt. Weber’s; it was on a junk pile at the very end of a big fair. Nobody else had spotted it, or cared for it. I guess its condition put most people off.

    Let me know your size and budget, and I’ll keep an eye out...

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