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Author Topic: New Zealand Silver Plated Brass Wing - WWII no. 23 Squadron late 44 through 45  (Read 309 times)

Offline mtnman

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This wing is one that I have sought after for a long time. The wing has a very exclusive and limited production for the number 23 squadron who flew for the RNZAF after it was formed in August 1944 and began full training in September. The exact logistics behind the squadron's leaders contacting Mayer & Kane Jewelers in Wellington New Zealand, I have not tracked down yet but obviously someone within the ranks at their initial aerodrome in Ardmore New Zealand got in touch with the jewelers in Wellington to the south.

I compiled little information sheet that may be helpful with a few facts:

WW2 New Zealand - RNZAF Metal Pilot Wing Made by Mayer & Kane 1944 - Rare

A very hard to find WWII Wing of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. These Pilot Wings were the only metal type worn by Commonwealth Pilots in WWII.

Made exclusively in Wellington by the jewellers Mayer and Kane ltd they were only ever issued to aircrew in the Pacific theatre. M&K also made metal 1/2 brevet for Navigator, Air Gunner, and other specialist aircrew 1/2 wings. These were the only all regulation metal wings and brevet badges used among Commonwealth Air Forces.

Stamped on the back with "44" and "M & K, W ( Wellington )", the Wing is silver washed bronze and 75mm wide and 27mm high, with two original loops to the reverse.  This one has lost some of its silvered finish from service use, otherwise in very good condition.

Worn by Pilots of No 23 (Fighter ) Squadron in late 1944 and 1945 RNZAF. The no. 23 Squadron flew F-4U Corsairs to excellent effect as fighter-bombers.

The wing when viewed in the pictures looks to be a pliable and fragile wing but when I received the wing I was struck by the rigidity and strength of the brass as it was die struck by the jewelers at thickness that made it a very durable silver plated brass construction indeed. The wing has elements of artistic beauty and detail 2nd to none. There has been a batch of counterfeits that came out of Eastern Europe and as is the folly of all CAD/CAM assisted remanufacture of wings, the precision and linear perfection of the wings' structure as well as the perfect lettering and design of the Maker's Mark are the tell. These wings were die stamped from handcarved dies and thus they the markings of a handcarved items which do not lend themselves to linear and angular perfection but will show the marks of human variance in the design. The Makers Mark on these wings reveals this aspect most clearly. PERFECT = SPURIOUS = Probable fake.

Enjoy the wings my fellow collectors! This is a very special and seldom seen wing!

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Offline mtnman

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pics

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Offline Scarecrow

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EXTRAORDINARY!!!

 

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