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US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

Article about: Hello! I recently added these beautiful wings to the collection, they are inscribed with both date and initials so I was wondering if there is in any way possible (I know it's not much to wo

  1. #1
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    Default US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

    Hello!

    I recently added these beautiful wings to the collection, they are inscribed with both date and initials so I was wondering if there is in any way possible (I know it's not much to work with) to track down a possible owner of them?

    It's not much to work with I know but you never know.

    Initials look to be L.L.B and the date is 7-2-42

    Thanks alot for your time!

    Tobias

    US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

  2. #2

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    Sensei,

    Not sure how successful your attempt to identify the owner of the wing could be. 1942 would be an incredible year to try and research. I'm sure the Navy/Marines would be adding and graduating hundreds of aviators. True, only one or maybe a few others would match the initials on your wing. That said, there still might be a few tricks to try.

    First, I would contact the United States Navy or USMC Historical Center. (Address can be found on the Internet.) The Navy and the Marines usually do a fantastic job keeping their history and traditions alive. Army and Air Force, not so much. Explain your situation and see if they can offer a second avenue for you to try. Maybe a graduation roster for the time period you're looking for.

    Second, maybe attempt identification backwards. There are professional research services available offering the locating of award cards for Flying Crosses and Air Medals from WW2. They might be able to assist you in helping you determine a possible lead. Not sure of their fees or if they could even assist you but it might be worth the time to make an inquiry.

    I know these are suggestions and long shots but it's worth a try. Hopefully, other members will suggest other leads. Good luck.

    JustMeinKC !

    Gerry C
    Last edited by Gerry C; 04-06-2024 at 08:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote by Gerry C View Post
    Sensei,

    Not sure how successful your attempt to identify the owner of the wing could be. 1942 would be an incredible year to try and research. I'm sure the Navy/Marines would be adding and graduating hundreds of aviators. True, only one or maybe a few others would match the initials on your wing. That said, there still might be a few tricks to try.

    First, I would contact the United States Navy or USMC Historical Center. (Address can be found on the Internet.) The Navy and the Marines usually do a fantastic job keeping their history and traditions alive. Army and Air Force, not so much. Explain your situation and see if they can offer a second avenue for you to try. Maybe a graduation roster for the time period you're looking for.

    Second, maybe attempt identification backwards. There are professional research services available offering the locating of award cards for Flying Crosses and Air Medals from WW2. They might be able to assist you in helping you determine a possible lead. Not sure of their fees or if they could even assist you but it might be worth the time to make an inquiry.

    I know these are suggestions and long shots but it's worth a try. Hopefully, other members will suggest other leads. Good luck.

    JustMeinKC !

    Gerry C
    Thanks alot Gerry!

    Contacting a historical center and asking for a Graduation Roster would probably be my best option. As you said, if there is one, one or two names should stick out among the rest.

    Great advice!

    Tobias

  4. #4

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    Fast and dirty . . .
    First go to my list of 4855 USN naval aviators with a last name beginning with B
    Eliminate everyone where the first name does not begin with L
    Eliminate everyone where the middle name/initial does not begin with L
    Gets us down to 21
    Eliminate anyone with a date of rank before January 1942 or after August 1942
    Gets us down to 5
    Now look only at Ensigns
    Gets us down to but 1

    Louis L Banks Jr (114793), ENS USNR AV(N), date of rank 14 March 1942

    Not saying that's your guy, but there it is.

    The other four, the non-Ensigns, were
    Lex Leroy Black (062012), LCDR, USN, Date of rank -1/1/1942
    Louis Lee Bangs (098685), LTJG. USNR AV(N), Date of rank - 6/15/1942
    Larry Leland Booda (081566), LT, USNR AV(N), Date of rank - 6/15/1942
    Leonard L Brannan (077750), LTJG, USNR AV(S) (09), Date of rank- 8/14/1942

    Same trick with USMC naval aviators with last name beginning with B: 1164
    First name begins with L: 47
    Next with Middle name begins with L: 1
    And we end up with
    Lewis L Bradham Jr (037090). 2LT USMCR
    BUT his date of rank is 16 April 1944, so he is out of the running.

    And of my list of 394 USCG naval aviators, there are 28 with a last name beginning with B.
    List goes from Kenneth M Bilderback, an NAP before commissioned an Ensign on 1 April 1943
    to the next man on the list Maurice L Bowers, also an NAP before being commissioned on 1 March 1942.
    No one listed with a first name beginning with L.

    Would be interesting if your guy was Louie Bangs (listed above), he got around a bit and retired a Captain, USN.

  5. #5

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    Now this is what I call fantastic! Although I'm not familiar with the list cited by RLeonard it's obvious he's the keeper of the keys. RLeonard many Kudo's to you my good man. And Sensi... If you have a lottery in Sweden, I suggest you buy a ticket.

    JustMeinKC!

    Gerry C

  6. #6
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    This is absolutely breathtaking! I can't thank you enough RLeonard.

    If Louis L Banks Jr truly is the guy I've found quite alot of info on him!

    US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

    US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

    US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

    US Navy/USMC Pilot Wing - Researchable?

    And once again, I'll take your advice Gerry

    Thanks once more RLeonard for your wonderful work.

    Best regards, Tobias

  7. #7

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    And for the record, there is no on-line listing. I maintain my own lists of USN, USMC, and USCG naval aviators and naval aviation pilots from the WW2 years, currently up to some 62,620 individuals and still counting. And just judging from the gross numbers of aviators designated, I'm probably about 3000 short, but the search continues.

    Oh, and thanks for Banks' middle name, my records duly updated.

  8. #8
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    Quote by RLeonard View Post
    And for the record, there is no on-line listing. I maintain my own lists of USN, USMC, and USCG naval aviators and naval aviation pilots from the WW2 years, currently up to some 62,620 individuals and still counting. And just judging from the gross numbers of aviators designated, I'm probably about 3000 short, but the search continues.

    Oh, and thanks for Banks' middle name, my records duly updated.
    That number is truly astounding!

    Your fantastic work is very much appreciated. I truly wish you good luck with your works, and thanks again!

    Best regards, Tobias

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