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Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

Article about: ..out of my collection...the award of the flying boot was awarded to airmen who crashed/ parachuted in the western desert and survived the walk home !! Original issue ..sand cast !! cheers S

  1. #1

    Default Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    ..out of my collection...the award of the flying boot was awarded to airmen who crashed/ parachuted in the western desert and survived the walk home !!
    Original issue ..sand cast !!
    cheers
    SteveClick image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    I didnt know about this award! Thanks for showing

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  4. #3

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    On unoffcial award made by Desert Air Force personnel, commonwealth and American. It is known as the 'Late Arrivals Club', they were given a the mess after a safe return via foot after operations where an aircraft was ditched, crashed, shot down etc. akin to the caterpillar club, goldfish club, guienea pig club. It is widely faked and almost impossible to determine if 'real' or not without substantial provenance. This one looks like it stands a chance, where did you get it?

  5. #4

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    These unofficial "shoot down" awards are indeed quite rare to see genuine ones. The little sea bird Sea Squatter pins, for example, are scarce to the point of almost having to Know the person or their family as to where they came from. They have all been copied so extensively and the originals are ungodly pricey. Here is another Flying Boot with almost all of it's silver plating still intact. I picked this one many a moon ago straight from the RAF man's family. Note the variation of the eyelets on the back and the detailing on the wing from the 1st one. These pins were made with endless variants. Some were hand engraved with the man's name on the back. Occasionally, you'll see them in solid silver and even the rare one in solid Gold but most were plated brass like these.

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    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    These badges are unofficial so any company could produce them meaning tons of different variations this seems to me like a casting IMHO I believe that this is repro due to poor casting

  7. #6

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    It Is a casting. This is what is known as a "Sand Casting" and it absolutely Should look like the 1st pin does. Both of these boots are genuine-I posted mine to show some of the various differences. My example is Also cast-as you can see from the pock marks etc on the boot. The plating tends to disguise it abit, as this one was fairly heavily plated.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #7

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    Does it count if they crash landed near the runway?

  9. #8

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    May i ask for more info about all these clubs you mentioned in this thread? I know nothing about them or their existance!

  10. #9

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    Well...the Sea Squatters Club gave out a small sea bird pin(kinda looks like a duck) and was for being shot down or having to bail out over water and use their life vests or life rafts. It is similar to the Goldfish Club which was for having to bail out over water as well. It's insignia was a small fish with a wing-usually a silver bullion woven patch. The Caterpillar Club was for having to bail out and use your Parachute. Airmen receiving this award were given a silver caterpillar pin to wear. There are several different versions of the caterpillars-some are small, straight shaped and gold toned with 2 red stone eyes and some are larger and silver and show the profile of a hump backed caterpillar. Cloth patches are also known for this award. It was originally started by the Irving Parachute Company and came with a certificate/card. It was not exclusively wartime, but most are, of course. The red eyed caterpillars were issued by Irving and the hump backs were issued by Switlick Parachutes. The Winged Boot, or "The Late Arrival Club" was for being shot down on Land and having to make your way back to safety on Foot. Their emblem was the boot badge and also came as a patch. All of these awards also included the cards/certificates-which are even harder to come by than the awards themselves. And, of course, All of these badges and patches have been Extensively faked and all are ferociously collected and searched for! At one time or another, I've owned all the major types but these have long gone by the side, of course. I hadn't realized that I still even had the boot I posted but found it one day while clearing out several boxes of miscellaneous.
    There are plenty of websites with info on these clubs, but here is a quicky to get you started if you want to look them up:
    The Gold Fish Club and Order of the Winged Boot Insignia of the Second World War
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  11. #10

    Default Re: Original scarce RAF .....ORDER OF THE FLYING BOOT !!!

    Hi,
    my was found in a box of junk in a house clearance..it is 100% correct. Sandcast and conforms to the first pattern 100% aging is consistant and it is unmessed with. A real gem of a find and only the second one I have owned in 30 years of collecting.
    all the best
    steve

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