Hi All, A couple of questions on Brevets.
I have come across a few brevets, all supposedly WWII, some have white letters and 'wings' some have lightbrown or 'wheatmeal' letters and 'wings', which is correct?
Another thing I have noticed is the the angle of the 'wings' differ, some have the tip of the 'wing' pointing up at about 30 deg. and some are at about 45-50 deg. Again which is correct?
What is the difference between padded and non-padded types?
Are we looking at wartime variations of the same items from different suppliers/sources? Or is there another answer?
There is no hard and fast rule, but generally speaking the difference between the colours of both wings and wreaths is down to manufacturer. All had brown wreaths (RAF anyway) and white or off-white wings and lettering, the shades of each differing through wear, sun bleaching, and whoever made them.
As for padded and non padded, often the padded version was worn on the service dress as it looked a little more 'flashy', but again no hard and fast rule. For the padded versions you will find on an SD there will be as many on BD and the same goes for the flat version, which again was a manufacturing thing.
There are a few variations to the theme. When it was announced that the new trade of engineer was introduced it was described as both Air Engineer and Flight Engineer. As such, tailors started to produce 'AE' and 'FE' brevets for those qualified to purchase privately, only to find that the official badge was just the 'E'. I have also seen an 'FM' wing which is presumably for Flight Mechanic' (carried on sunderlands but according to regs would wear an AG wing or no wing) and also an 'AP' wing for Air Photographer. The owner wore one in South Africa, and upon returning to the UK had an English wing altered, and started wearing it. Although it was worn in the SAAF, no such badge was authorised in the RAF so he was ordered to remove it and wear the O wing instead. Similarly the 'WAG' wing was never authorised.
Its a little difficult to say if the wings you mention are genuine without seeing them, but South African wings of WW2 were similar to RAF but very distinct in the style of wreath and lettering and the wing is a sharper angle. I'll try and add a photo of mine in the next few days.