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  #1  
Old 15th June 2019, 22:04
cz_raf cz_raf is offline
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British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

Hi all,

I would like to ask two questions regarding the training of British (RAF+FAA) pilots at NAS Pensacola, Florida:

1. when they graduated, did they obtain the metal US Naval Aviator badge and were they entitlet to the RAF wings too? Or they got the RAF wings only? If they got both, were they allowed to wear both of them at the same time - the RAF wings above the left breats pocted and the US one for example on the right breast?

2. Does anybody have access to this publication and would be so kind to check for me if there are also British graduatees or the US only?
The 1943 Flight Jacket, Mark II Edition, USN Air Training Center, Pensacola, Florida. Cover: Flight Jacket, 1943, Mark II. A. A. Carlson, ed. Air Cadet Battalion NAS, Pensacola, publisher. N.p., 1943. 227 pp. plus advertising section, cream and brown hardcover with blue printing, 31.3 x 23.8 cm, photos, ports., roster. PNAM.


If there are also British, I will be interested in one particular name to check.

TIA

Pavel
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Old 16th June 2019, 01:54
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

It would appear that they received both wings, at least according to this (nothing on whether they wore both):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peo...a5276351.shtml

This book has some information on the training:
https://books.google.com/books?id=Km...20wwii&f=false
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Old 16th June 2019, 09:04
cz_raf cz_raf is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

Hi RSwank,
thank you for interesting link, so it really looks like they have qualified for both. I have not find any prove of wearing both of them so far.


Yes I have seen this book already, it has some interesting background to the Tower Scheme.


Pavel
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Old 16th June 2019, 09:58
Pat Atkins Pat Atkins is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

Hi Pavel,

Can't help with evidence I'm afraid, but my late uncle Don Atkins RAFVR trained there in 1943/4 as art of the Towers Scheme and (a) it is believed in the family he was awarded RAF wings and USN aviator's wings on passing out, but (b) nobody seems ever to have seen the USN wings. The very few photos we have of him show him only with RAF pilot's wings - I suspect that the wearing of US wings as well would have been too much "swank" for operational aircrew, even it it was authorised?

Pat
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Old 17th June 2019, 15:12
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

I found a couple of threads regarding wearing two wings (but not navy wings). Several are AAF pilots but one is a RAF pilot.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/foru...ate-of-5-bfts/

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/foru...flight-school/
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Old 17th June 2019, 20:38
cz_raf cz_raf is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

@ Pat - thank for your message - I came to the same conclusion as you - until Rolland posted the links above
Pat may I am ask you to contact me off-board via my profile (I am not allowed to access yours). I would like to ask you some more questions about your uncle training.


@ Rolland - thank you very much for interesting links - those photos with RAF pilot badge on the right breast looks awkward to me as I have always seen them on the left vreast only. Anyway I have learnt again something new thanks to this forum!


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Old 18th June 2019, 01:52
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

Then there is is photo, (see post #6). Photo is of Don Gentile and Duane Beeson, both former Eagle Squadrons members then in the AAF.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/foru...usaac-uniform/
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Old 18th June 2019, 19:25
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

There is a story with a lot of photos about Hugh Pawson, a FFA Corsair pilot during WWII here:

http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNe...ious-Hero.aspx

He trained in the US (Gross Ile and Pensacola) If you search for the word "entitled" on the link there is this interesting comment: "Hugh would fly the SNJ (a US Navy trainer) and earn his Navy wings at Pensacola. Hugh was entitled to wear the US Navy's wings of gold as well as his Royal Navy FAA wings."

However, when I look through the photos, all the formal photos I see show him wearing only the FAA wings. So this seems in line with previous comments that even though US trained naval aviators had received and "could possibly?" wear both wings they just didn't do it.
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Old 21st June 2019, 18:15
cz_raf cz_raf is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

Hi Rolland, thanky ou for additonal links, very interesting area inded.
Yes I agree with your possible conclusion.
It also seems to mee that there are avaiable more picture of AAF pilots wearing both USAAF and RAF pilot's wings than RAF pilots wearing USN wings.


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Old 22nd June 2019, 01:24
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: British pilots trained at NAS Pensacola

Maybe the deciding factor for most of the pilots was whether or not they had flown actual combat missions with the "other" organization, not just receiving training. Since the navy trained pilots flew combat missions with their own armed forces it just did not appear to be "good form" to wear US Navy wings received "only" for training in the US.
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