Air Force officers wore black epaulets with silver silver lace stripes on both black and white jackets. Air Force general officers wore a silver lace covered shoulder with the rank stars outline in black. CAP general officers wore the same shoulder board but with two wide Ultramarine blue stripes on the board. In the early s, the air force replaced the black and white mess dress uniforms with a year-round air force blue mess dress uniform, and in , the C.
Air Force officers wear silver lace stripes on the sleeves and blue shoulder boards while C.
P officers wear wide air force blue stripes. The C. Green fatigue uniform in and began wearing the same cloth collar rank insignia as air force officers.
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These insignia were embroidered in white or yellow, the same size as the metal grade insignia, on an Olive Green cloth background. The insignia were then sewn onto the collars of the fatigue shirts or the shoulder straps of field jackets. While air force officers wore the grade insignia on both collars, C. These insignia were also made with a Sage Green background and were worn on the shoulders of the air force green flight suit.
In the early s, the air force began replacing the Olive Green backed cloth grade insignia with Ultramarine blue backed cloth grade insignia. This grade insignia was worn on the obsolete C. Blue Field Uniform. Today, C. The s also saw the C. These insignia are full size reproductions of the metal grade insignia but made of plastic and encased in clear plastic. These insignia are worn sewn to the shoulders of both the air force sage green and C. In , embroidered white or yellow on dark blue cloth grade insignia were introduced as an option to the plastic encased grade insignia for the blue flight suit.
The Battledress Gortex Parka was approved for the C.
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The rank sleeves are ultramarine blue cloth with the grade and C. Army Air Corps with red shoulder straps and silver C. Army regulation khaki chevrons on a red background. Army chevrons. The chevrons worn on the upper sleeves of the khaki service shirt were a darker shade of khaki on a khaki background. It is interesting to note that these khaki shirt chevrons were in wide use by the army but were never officially approved.
Conforming to changes to the army rank structure, the C. Instead, they opted for silver on blue versions of. Army Golden-Lite chevrons for wear on the upper sleeves of the blue service coat and khaki service shirt. They also continued to use the army titles. Enlisted Grades were abolished from the structure. The enlisted grade is only an entry level grade and any promotions must be to an officer grade and enlisted personnel must wear the U. No embroidered enlisted epaulets were produced for the C.
On these epaulets, enlisted personnel wore the U. Enlisted personnel continued to wear the sleeve chevrons on the service coat and had the option of wearing the epaulets or sleeve chevrons on the service shirt. Enlisted personnel had the option of wearing the epaulets or sleeve chevrons on both the service coat and the service shirt. M ale enlisted personnel wear 4 wide chevrons on the upper sleeve of the coat and 3 wide chevrons on the upper sleeves of the shirts.
Female enlisted personnel wear the 3 wide chevrons on both the coat and shirts. The epaulets of M aster Sergeant, Senior M aster Sergeant, and Chief M aster Sergeant have the grade insignia embroidered on them while the other grades pin the metal and enamel collar insignia onto an unadorned gray C. Currently, the C.
Cadet Officers were not fully authorized until , however, an experimental program was initiated in to assess the feasability of adding cadet officers to the program. This experiment was confined to a small number of units and the insignia designed for them was the same 1 X 1 cloth squares that the U.
Army Air Corps was using to identify specialty badges. These insignia were worn on the upper sleeves ad identified the the three cadet officer grades approved with one to three gold embroidered horizontal bars. Cadet officers adopted the same metal grade insignia of pips and diamonds that army ROTC cadet officers were using. This grade was later expanded to cadets who commanded a cadet squadron or group of more than fifty cadets. At this time, the cadet officer grade insignia changed to the microphone pattern insignia that is still in use today.
The cadet officer shoulder boards were created and worn on the service coat and the service shirts. These are hard shoulder boards covered in black nylon with the stripes and cadet officer eagle screened onto the nylon. The full size metal grade insignia is pinned to the board.
These were blue epaulets with the C. Cadet officer pin miniature versions of their metal grade insignia on the epaulets.
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Green fatigue uniform in and began wearing the cloth rank insignia on the collars. Today, Cadet officers wear the cloth grade insignia on both collars. Cadets wore the same khaki on red chevrons as the senior member enlisted personnel. Cadets wore distinctive insignia that identified them as cadets and wore only the shirt sleeve uniform with red epaulets.
Whenever a patrol spotted a U-boat, the crew broadcast its position to merchant ships in the area, as well as to the Navy and AAF. The CAP plane then stuck with the sub as long as possible to vector in any intercepting forces. The patrols also radioed in reports of tankers and merchant ships that had been hit, and the position of survivors in the water.
In May , one patrol sighted a U-boat sitting on the surface. Not knowing the aircraft was unarmed, the crew executed a crash dive, but the sub hung up on a sandbar. The CAP pilot circled the sitting duck for more than half an hour, but the U-boat finally managed to work loose and get away just before land-based bombers reached the target. Shortly after that, CAP planes started carrying bombs and depth charges slung from jury-rigged external racks. CAP claimed its first U-boat kill on July 11, , when Captain Johnny Haggins and Major Wynant Farr, flying a Grumman G Widgeon armed with two depth charges, bombed a sub they had been shadowing for three hours, just as it came up to periscope depth.
The resulting oil slick and surface debris seemed to confirm the kill, and for many years after the war that and one later claimed kill were credited to CAP.
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However, no corroborating evidence has been found in the extensive records the Kriegsmarine kept on all 1, of its commissioned U-boats. Those records indicate no U-boats missing off the East Coast during the period that the Coastal Patrol was active. The very legality of the Coastal Patrol was highly dubious, of course.
Despite wearing semi-military uniforms and having military rank titles, the CAP crews were officially civilians.
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Had any of them been shot down and captured, they would not have received prisoner of war status under the Geneva Conventions. The CAP members knew this, yet they continued to volunteer to fly the hazardous missions. During the almost month period, CAP had flown 86, over-water sorties, spotted and reported 91 merchant vessels and survivors in distress, reported U-boat positions and dropped 82 bombs on 57 of those subs.
In the process, it lost 90 aircraft and 26 crew members. President Franklin D.
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Between August and August , the Courier Service transported some 3. Seven Courier Service pilots died in the line of duty. The patrol flew 4, missions, losing 13 aircraft and suffering two crew fatalities. The cost was 25 aircraft and seven pilots killed. Search and rescue was the wartime mission that still defines CAP to this day. With their ability to fly low and slow, and their knowledge of the local terrain, they were far more efficient at such missions than military pilots.
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