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Lt. Bars as Captain Bars

Article about: I recently acquired this named 4th AAF officer's jacket from a seller in CA who indicated it came from the Veteran's estate but I have a couple of questions regarding its originality. The ja

  1. #1

    Default Lt. Bars as Captain Bars

    I recently acquired this named 4th AAF officer's jacket from a seller in CA who indicated it came from the Veteran's estate but I have a couple of questions regarding its originality. The jacket is named to a LaRoy R Duval who was originally from Michigan but with a last known residence in Los Alamitos, CA and passed away in March 2003.

    The jacket was listed as having Captains insignia but upon arrival it has, what appears to be, two Lieutenants bars on each shoulder. The officers collar insignia appears to be matching for the most part and also has a sterling pilot's wing. In one of the pockets is an old pack of Listerine Pocketpaks (2001 Pfizer on the label) and a business card from the Costa Mesa Historical Society Santa Ana Army Air Base Wing.

    Does this setup make sense from an originality standpoint? Could the original owner have continued to wear it later in life at parades, etc.? Or is this wishful thinking and was used by a reenactor, albeit one interested in stateside service?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. #2

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    I have never seen a set up like this. It has to be someone that just pinned them on there. It wasn't as if Captain's bars were in short supply..
    William

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

  3. #3

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    Thank you William. I certainly don't disagree with you but was wondering if someone had seen something like this before.

  4. #4

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    ....

  5. #5

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    Never seen a set up like this before. Surprized
    that there are no ribbons.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  6. #6

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    Thank you Steve.

    Right now I'm actually leaning towards the possibility that's it's legitimate. The biggest issue is why would someone recreate a 4th AAF officers jacket? Also, the presence of ribbons would make it more questionable given that the 4th AAF was a stateside unit located in the southwestern US which did not see overseas service. At best he might have received a GC medal and the American Defense.

    I can't find much on Mr. Duvall other than he was from Michigan pre war and passed away in California, near where he would have been located during the service. If someone did recreate this uniform for reenacting why not choose a more glamorous unit and at least use correct rank insignia.

    I do know it's odd, and I'm not 100% on it, but I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility. It would be so much easier if everything were textbook!

  7. #7

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    But what possible reason would there be for such a strange set up? The newly promoted Captain went down to the PX and is told "Sorry, we're all out of Captain's bars...but here's an extra Lieutenant set?" I just can't imagine it. He would be snickered at by the other officer's if he walked about with such a rig. Not to mention, he would be considered out of uniform too, I would think. Men weren't allowed to make their own rank insignias.

    Personally, I think this tunic had been at one point been 3/4's stripped of it's insignia and someone down the road decided to pin everything he had back on it and had no clue what he was doing. Maybe he found a second set of Lieuie bars in the pocket and just stuck it on with the ones that were in place.
    William

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

  8. #8

    Default

    I completely agree with you William and that's why I posted this looking for opinions. I'm just not ready to write it off as a completely made up. If it had true Captains bars there really wouldn't be any questions regarding this jacket. He may very well have been a Lieutenant and someone stuck another set of bars on there he had.

  9. #9

    Default

    That's the problem with uniform jackets/tunics - insignia
    can be pinned or sewn on as one likes. Anything can be
    speculated. The only way to know for sure, is to know
    his true service history and rank.

    Perhaps he was only a 1st Lt, and a family member
    pinned on another pair as William suggests.........?
    Regards,


    Steve.

  10. #10

    Default

    Interesting set of wings - looks like there are both
    sterling and brass fittings.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

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