AAF Insignia

GO TO...


 Army Air Corps
 Air Corps Gear

8AF Insignia

Previously Asked Questions

Keep 'em Flying

(Updated: 8 September 2008)

This page of Previously Asked Questions is intended as a source for topics and details which, while pertinent, are not otherwise addressed in this Web site. The questions are compiled mostly from readers who have written looking for more specific information and this is a way of passing along the answers for the benefit of others. So, take a scroll down below and you may find what you are looking for. Corrections or clarifications are welcome by e-mail at KeepEmFlying@acmedepot.com. Thanks.

Note 1: vendor sources are provided as a convenience and this does not necessarily constitute endorsement.

Note 2: due to the subjective nature of some of the questions and their answers, this page contains some of my opinions and these should not be confused with fact.





1.1 Where can I find militaria items for my collection?

  • Militaria collectors' shows. Some show schedules can be found in Military Trader Magazine.

  • Manion's mail auction. There are many mail auctions out there but this is by far the largest. It's also a very expensive way to collect. You can check them out at www.manions.com.

  • The Ebay online auction has an extensive array of militaria items, including a large section for WWII collectibles. Check it out at www.ebay.com.

  • Military Trader Magazine. This is basically an advertising and classifieds vehicle with a few articles thrown in. Plenty of things for sale. This can be found on some of the better newsstands but may be more easily acquired by subscription. You can get a look online at www.csmonline.com/militarytrader/.

  • Check for ads in the back of such magazines as World War II, Aviation History, and Air Classics.

  • James Garcia's Aviation Catalog. This is one of the catalogs you'll find advertised in the above magazines. They are now on the Web at www.garciaaviation.com.

  • National Capital Historical Sales. On the Web at www.nchsinc.com.

  • U.S. Cavalry catalog. This catalog is primarily current production of military and outdoor gear but they have some reproductions as well as occasional original gear. They have a Web site at www.uscav.com.

  • HSGear. This Internet source for Military, EMS, and Tactical gear has more contemporary items but makes for a good complement to your vintage or reproduction collection.

  • Read the Usenet newsgroup alt.military.collecting.

  • Shotgun News. This is just a big classified tabloid, but it has lots of ads for non-firearm collectibles.

1.2 Where can I get a copy of the Class 13 Catalog?

You can get a reprint copy of the Class 13 Catalog from either National Capital Historical Sales at www.nchsinc.com or James E. Garcia Aviation Catalog at www.garciaaviation.com.

1.3 Where can I find the design for a particular unit insignia?

There are several sources of artwork for WWII unit insignia, but some are hard to find.
  • A book edited by Maurer Maurer called "World War II Combat Squadrons of the United States Air Force" is a good volume. It lists squadrons in numerical order and includes line drawings of unit insignia along with concise unit histories. The only failing, in my opinion, is that many of the insignia are post-war revisions. The ISBN number is 0-8317-1501-4 and the Publisher is Smithmark.

  • "The Mighty Eighth Warpaint and Heraldry" by Roger A. Freeman offers a complete source of group and squadron insignia for the Eighth Air Force in WWII. It is published by Arms & Armour Press, 1997, ISBN 1-85409-372-8.

  • There are two special publications by National Geographic called "Insignia and Decorations of the U.S. Armed Forces." The first is dated June, 1942. The second, a revised edition, is dated December 1, 1944. These are difficult but not impossible to find.

  • As for Navy, there is a Navy unit insignia book out but I don't know the title or author. I think it is published by Schiffer. Otherwise, the National Geographic issues above include Navy unit insignia.

  • The Air Force Patch Collector's Homepage at www.concentric.net/~Roperha/

1.4 Where can I find reproduction squadron patches, leather name plates, insignia, or other jacket art?

The following sources offer a range of handmade artwork, insignia, and sometimes leather name plates:

I have a number of artists listed on this page in the A-2 section: Jacket art sources

Eastman Leather Clothing and History Preservation Associates offer a limited selection of embroidered unit insignia, along with rank insignia and leather name plates.

A small selection of insignia, including shoulder patches and also leather nameplates, is available from James Garcia Aviation. Web site at www.garciaaviation.com.

1.5 Where can I find reproduction crush caps?

For the longest time I felt there were no reproduction crush caps of quality and authenticity to live up the originals. But as I write this in September 2008 I am now aware of a worthy source in the Diamond Cap Company. These caps come with a premium price, but they come close enough to originals to justify it.

For those on a more limited budget, here are some other sources.

Back to Table of Contents


2.1 Where can I find information about this particular unit?

2.2 Where can I get information about this particular air field?

2.3 Where can I get background information about this particular person who served in a particular place?

All of the above type of questions are outside of my area of study and I really do not have this kind of information. The best I can do is attempt to offer some possible directions which might lead to answers.

  • The Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum near Savannah, Georgia has a Web site at www.mighty8thmuseum.com. There is a "Research/Facilities" link from the front page which gives information and also has a "Bulletin Board" link to access a Web page discussion forum. The phone numbers for the museum are (912) 748-8888 or (800) 421-9428.

  • The Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama has a Web site at http://www.au.af.mil/au/afhra/.

  • The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records has a Web site at http://www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis/military_personnel_records.html There doesn't seem to be much there, but they also have a page of links to other sites at http://www.archives.gov/facilities/mo/st_louis/military_personnel_records/other_helpful_sites.html

  • See the list of research sources compiled by Mark Conrad at www.bunt.com/~mconrad/research.htm

  • See the Research sections on the web site ArmyAirForces.com (Formerly HeavyBombers.com).

  • Search or post to Usenet Newsgroups such as rec.aviation.military, soc.history.war.world-war-ii, or soc.veterans. If you don't have newsreading software or don't want to deal with setting it up, I highly recommend the DejaNews service for Web-based news browsing at www.dejanews.com. You need to register in order to post messages, but it is pretty painless.

  • A book entitled "Wings of Morning" by Thomas Childers in which he researched the history of his uncle and his plane lists the following sources although there are no addresses (I highly recommend the book, also):
    	1) Washington National Records Center (National Archives)
    	2) Office of Air Force History
    		   Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.
    	3) Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center
    		   Maxwell Air Force Base
  • Another book, similar to "Wings of Morning," is "After the Liberators" by William C. McGuire II. Bill McGuire thoroughly researched the service history of his father, an 8AF navigator who was killed during the war. This is a very good and personal book which includes a large appendix with many sources for researching information on those who served with the U.S Armed Forces WWII.

  • The Eighth Air Force Historical Society may be able to direct you to 8AF unit organizations. The information manager can be contacted at
    	P.O. Box 7215
    	St. Paul, MN  55107
    	Phone:  (800)-832-1942

  • The following books covering airfields were listed in the Zenith Books catalog. Zenith Books can be reached at www.motorbooks.com or phone at (800)-826-6600.
    	Directory of Airfields:  US Army and Navy (Continental US) 1944
    	Author: US Government publication
    	Directory of US Army Forts, Camps and Airfields 1798-1945
    	Author: Kneitel
    	Forgotten Fields of America: WWII Bases and Training Then and Now
    	Author: Thole
    	USAAF Installations Directory (Continental US) 1945
    	Author: none listed

Back to Table of Contents


3.1 Where can I find some of the books listed in your bibliographies or on this page?

Here are some places to look for books.

  • Zenith Books Catalog at www.motorbooks.com or phone at (800)-826-6600.

  • Online at Amazon.com www.amazon.com.

  • Several readers have asked where they can get a copy of "Suit Up! The Flight Jacket." This is a Japanese publication which can be found with not a little effort, but a direct way to get one is to order from the Sasuga Japanese Bookstore in Cambridge, Mass. They are on the Web at www.sasugabooks.com.

  • Manion's auction has a direct sale catalog (non-auction) which includes many books. Check their Web site at www.manions.com.

  • Used book stores. One example is Q.M. Dabney who specialize in military history.

  • The following Web-based search services can also be very useful.

    Advanced Book Exchange at www.abebooks.com
    Alibris at www.alibris.com
    Bibliofind.com at www.bibliofind.com

Back to Table of Contents

[Keep 'em Flying | Army Air Corps | Air Corps Gear | P.A.Q.]

 [Acme Depot]  [E-mail: KeepEmFlying-at-acmedepot.com (replace -at- with @)]

Copyright © 1997-2008 Marc D. Weinshenker. All rights reserved.