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14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

Article about: That is a good WWII 'Aircrew' wing on the tunic.........!

  1. #1

    Default 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Hi guys,

    I posted this uniform a couple of months ago with the pictures that I was able to take at the shop with my cell phone. I ended up getting this uniform for Christmas, so I really want to clarify exactly what it is.

    So, the story is that the original owner of the uniform was a member of the 'Flying Tigers', or the 1st American Volunteer Group. I don't think that the shop owner would lie about that, because he is a local dealer who deals with a lot of local veteran info. The man was supposedly a good friend of his, and he has stated that he would be able to provide contact info to the buyer. Fair enough, I will give him a call today and ask him about it.

    The only thing is that there really isn't any indication that he was a member of the 'Flying Tigers'. I can only rely on whatever the vet tells me for that. After doing some research, I am inclined to think that he could have been a member of the 1st AVG who re-enlisted into the 14th USAAF after the Flying Tigers' disbandment, and then ended up in the 4th USAAF somehow. (I think that he was in the 14th first, and then got transferred to the 4th, because of the placement of the unit insignia on his jacket. I remember reading somewhere that it was acceptable to wear the insignia of a former unit on your right sleeve.)

    Until I hear back from the vet, I can only try my best to figure out what his entire uniform means. He has 2 years' worth of overseas bars, so he could not have been in the 4th USAAF for very long, because they spent the entire duration of the war stateside.

    So I will begin with the pictures. Here are the pants:
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  2. #2

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Here is the wool shirt. Note how there is only the 4th USAAF patch on here. This would have been his last assignment, so being a work shirt this would typically not have his former unit insignia on it.

    The tag is this is so washed out and faded that I can't read it, so no date for this one.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Here is the jacket. This is where the mystery lies.

    Everything adds up nicely with regards to age. You can tell that the patches have been on there for decades, and that all of the cloth stuff is original to the jacket. The patches are all high-quality bullion, felt, and wool.

    I think I have it all figured out, except for the fact that there is a European campaign ribbon with one battle star on it! Certainly this guy wouldn't have been sent to Europe, too! The other two ribbons make sense, but there is only evidence of this guy being in CBI and in the U.S., so I can't wait to hear about this.

    There were also two very nice theatre-made patches in the left breast pocket that I will post here in a minute.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Lastly, here are the other items that came with the grouping.

    The CBI patch is very well-made of soft felt. The AAF patch is also a very nice bullion.

    The only other items that were included was a tan tie and a trouser belt.

    So, lets hear some opinions.
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  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Hope you get your info on the guy. Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    The shoulder patch on the shirt is for the Fourth Airforce, a stateside unit based
    on the west coast in WWII, with no indication of the 14th AF as you say.
    The jacket and patches could have been together all along, the shirt and
    trousers added to the group - the vet could have picked up pieces
    anytime or anywherealong the way - Take any and all 'stories'
    with a grain of salt, no matter where they come from
    - dealer or otherwise.

    The Vets age will tell too, as the AVG was fighting before the US got involved
    in WWII, so he'd be too young to see much ( if any ) overseas service if he's
    still alive today. He would have had to have been fully trained in his specialty
    before leaving for the Pacific area. Would be best to ask the Vet if possible,
    exactly where he was as there is no way to prove where everything
    came from, or when.

    I wouldn't worry too much about all this as they are genuine WWII pieces,
    and good for what they are. Trying to put puzzle pieces together and
    attach or create a 'provenance' can be fruitless or impossible and
    really not that important without positive proof, IMO.........
    Last edited by Walkwolf; 12-26-2011 at 06:07 PM.
    Regards,


    Steve.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Hi Steve,

    Isn't this patch, on the jacket's right sleeve, for the 14th Air Force?
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  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Here is a site with the roster of the men that served with the AVG.

    Flying Tigers: American Volunteer Group

  9. #9

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Quote by SteveR View Post
    Here is a site with the roster of the men that served with the AVG.

    Flying Tigers: American Volunteer Group
    Thank you for that link, Steve. I just tried calling the shop but there was no answer. He might not be open today.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 14th USAAF/ 4th USAAF uniform grouping

    Quote by ObKrieger View Post
    Hi Steve,Isn't this patch, on the jacket's right sleeve, for the 14th Air Force?
    Yes it is, but the shirt's Fourth AF shoulder insignia alone doesn't really match up
    - This will be tough to sort out, unless you can contact the Vet directly ( or his
    family ) or if you can obtain more pieces, photos etc. It is so easy to
    put items/stories together.

    If you get the guys name, and he's on the roster SteveR provided,
    it will be something to go on at least.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

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