Wow ! I have been a Military.com recipient for some long time now... and never knew about the discussion boards !
So, I welcome myself aboard as an AR, and have a question.
Gold Naval Aviation Observer wings:
A very complicated and long history here,but the era I am inquiring about is BuPers Uniform Regulation of between April, 1959 and August, 1968.
These are the gold wings with a silver anchor and silver circle around the anchor, and with the dots on the wing "shoulders".
Between the dates above... these were used for both Officer and Enlisted, and were authorized for Radar Intercept Officers, Bombardiers, Navigators, Airborne Electronic CM guys, radio operators, flight Engineers, Aircrewmen, and technical Observers. (before, and after these dates the applications changed.)
It is the last entry, "Technical Observer" category that I seek information on.
In 1961 I was sent aboard a British Carrier as a
mechanical technical observer in a SEATO crossdeck Operation, and later received Technical Observer wings as a result.
Like "everything" else that was left out of my service Jacket, or that went missing until just last year (when 10% of the info was recovered), I cannot now document anything.
Does anyone on here know what the criteria was, or what actual paperwork or documentation was used to authorize use and wear of Technical Observer wings during 1959 to 1968 ? After which time there is no longer any such thing as a Technical Observer.
These were a Division Officer awarded process, and I do not recall any sort of accompanying certificate etc.
During the 1950-1970 era, the Aviation Community basically had 3 sets of wings.
Naval Flight Officer, Naval Aviator, and Naval Aviation Observor Wings.
Your description of the NAO wings is correct.
Requriements generaly were accumulation of flight hours in one of the mentioned specialties, a course of Survival at Sea completion and a Division level approval.
Specifics are probably lost in the Naval Archives, but the wings were not just handed out as medals or such.
The predecessor was the Aviation Combat Observor wings, with stars attached for combat action. These came out of WW2 and usualy were worn by Radio and Gunner Operators. Truly a combat badge for Aircrewman.
Wings per se proliferated during the 60s and on. We have wings and chest decorations galore today.
We Will Prevail
Just remembered "how" to get back in here.... three months to reply... I apologize.
Your comment "Requriements generaly were accumulation of flight hours in one of the mentioned specialties, a course of Survival at Sea completion and a Division level approval." has me asking about "mentioned specialties", I was not an aircraft person (squadron) my specialty was Gas Turbine starts, towing equipment, electrical plug-in and generation, etc, and foreign aircraft compatablity with our ground support equipment. Logging in hours would have been as launch/capture/movement, and raw schooling (11 months), My Air Group Division Officer made the award, I do not recognize why a non-flight person would require a survival course, The three of us who received the award wore them for the duration, but, I never had any supporting data given to me. Have any ideas on how to check ?
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