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Flight Badges of the Allied Nations 1914-1918 Volume II - British Empire, America...
Flight Badges of the Allied Nations 1914-1918 Volume II - British Empire, America...
Published by CjBobrow
12 February 2017
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Flight Badges of the Allied Nations 1914-1918 Volume II - British Empire, America...

Flight Badges of the Allied Nations 1914-1918
Volume II - The British Empire, American, Belgian, Japanese, Italian, and Serbian Air Services.
By CDR. Robert S. Pandis USNR (Ret.)
12” x 9” Hardbound
480+ Photographs, Bibliography
$95.00 Pp.482 pages
ISBN 10: 1532305737 ISBN 13: 9781532305733
Language: English

This is the fourth book in a series on early flight badges written by Robert Pandis. As with the other books in the series it is an exceptional work. This notable reference work examines the British Empire, American, Belgian, Japanese, Italian, and Serbian Air Services for the period between 1914 and 1918. It covers in detail the development of insignia worn as well as the related government orders for their creation. Of the emblems’ details he provides information on the nature of when, how and by whom each was to be worn. These particulars provide an interesting side story in the development of early military aviation, and give insight into the establishment of the various air services.

The British Empire section includes “sealed” documents (as in stamped wax sealed papers) showing the creation of badges, insignia and wings by the officiating military directorate thereby providing not only a baseline in which the researcher can determine authenticity but also the historic timeframe. The variations in the production by the different commercial firms are staggering; fortunately for us all Pandis was working with subject matter specialists and has provided a clear and concise outline to make sense and authenticate it all.

The next section covers the United States Army Air Service and Naval Aviator Wings, an area Pandis is quite familiar with. It was his initial foray into this area in 2012 that initiated this series of books. He includes in this section the Lafayette Escadrille and Lafayette Flying Corps Badges, as well as Army Observer and Aeronaut wings, and various associated insignia. The second part of this section features an outstanding selection of Naval Aviator and Observer Wings in all their variations. Throughout the book he features pilot certificates, medals and aircraft of the associated aviators, which helps brings the human stories to light. As with his other works he provides sobering details on fakes and reunion copies, which are invaluable for the novice and expert alike.

The section on Belgian aviation begins in 1909. This section provides a whole host of variations, along with the accompanying official documents, in their creation, form and function. Included, as with the other sections, are photographs of individuals with their insignia on their uniforms providing excellent reference to how they were worn.

Perhaps one of the most important sections of the book is the section on the Imperial Japanese Air Services. This covers both the Army and the Naval units from their inception. It also details many of the Japanese military officers who flew during the war in France. Pandis once again has dug deep and come up with gold by providing details not previously available outside of Japan.

The section on the Italian Military Aviation Corps, like all the other segments, is a compilation of Army and Navy insignia and wings. It provides the useful referential government documents regulating the type and use of the insignia. It also has a section on the US aviators who served in Italy and were provided national insignia as well. The fact that so many original pieces exist from this period for all the nations involved is nothing less than remarkable.
The final section deals with the Serbian Air Service, and is perhaps the first English language work that deals with the design, variations, manufacture and history of flight badges for the Serbian military. Here he has gone a little afield and taken the subject into the 1920’s and 30’s.

Overall this book is an important reference work with high quality images and contains documentation not to be found anywhere outside of the archival holdings where they originated from.

Carl J. Bobrow
Museum Specialist, National Air and Space Museum
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