Gold Caterpillars

Gold Caterpillars

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 5th, 2005, 2:23 am #1

Hello I'm searching for either an original or new reproduction gold caterpillar. They were unoficially issued by the Irvine Parachute Company for succesfully jumping out of a damaged aircraft. As I have been told the caterpillar had ruby eyes if you jumped over enemy territory and emereald eyes for friendl territory.

Chris
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Joined: June 22nd, 2003, 11:16 pm

January 5th, 2005, 4:53 am #2

Hi

There about 3 originals i know of that are for sale currently.
One is in the groups section here.

http://www.vimy.ca/

And i know Dixons medals in England have two.

http://www.dixonsmedals.co.uk

It will take you a bit to find them i think under search catalogue type in RAF or royal air force in the regiments section.

Caterpillars are getting really hard to find i have one to a Polish pilot and ive been offered more then $2000 US for it.
But the one at Vimy is very good value becouse of the paperwork with it.

Good luck
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 5th, 2005, 5:52 am #3

Thank you for the sites but I'm not going for originals as the price is very high, I'm going for a reproduction of one though but has to have ruby eyes. There was a guy on ebay selling reproduction ones they were on a black material with gold wire. That is not what I want.

I am trying to put together a reproduction set of medals and badges that my great grandfather would have had. They were donated to the Trenton RCAF Memorial Museum.

Chris
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Joined: March 23rd, 2004, 4:08 pm

January 5th, 2005, 4:01 pm #4

Have a look here, they are listed about 2/3's the way down teh page, for @ 70 pounds.

http://www.rdhmedals.com/vindex.html
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 5th, 2005, 4:39 pm #5

Ouch! That's a fair amount, probably about $150 Cdn, I know originals go for alot I saw one a site for about 1500$ Cdn.


Chris
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Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 6:54 pm

January 5th, 2005, 6:09 pm #6

The "emerald eyes for non-combat" - type award is an urban myth. The awards were and still are issued with ruby eyes. They are also very easy to research and provenance by contatcing the Caterpillar archive at Irvine Airchute. The other award was made by GQ which consists of a pin-back badge depicting a man descending under a winged parachute canopy and the letters "GQ" under the chaps feet. This too is still awarded. Most modern awardees also receive a Martin-Baker tie, awarded by the said company for successfuly using their product (ejector seat) in order to bail-out. One of my former fellow Captains at BA was shot down over Aden in a Hunter, ejected and was awarded a caterpillar, Martin-Baker tie and a goldfish club badge (his second, both post-WW2!).
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 5th, 2005, 6:59 pm #7

Well my grandfather told me emerald eyes were for jumping out of a wrecked aircraft over frienmdly territory and ruby eyes over enemy territory. On ebay a man was selling repro ones on material with bullion wire and one had emereald eyes the other ruby eyes. But my grandfather could be wrong.

Chris
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 5th, 2005, 7:02 pm #8

Here's the link for the repro caterpillar's I mentioned in earlier threads http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... eName=WDVW

Chris
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Joined: April 28th, 2003, 11:07 pm

January 5th, 2005, 8:37 pm #9

Chris,
As someone who has researched his subject well, (and indeed many others here have also done their homework) it is terribly unwise to call into question the answers you are given on this (or indeed any other) forum, without FIRST checking yourself that the answer you have been given is wrong!
Simply stating that someone is wrong because your grandfather said this or that, isn't what I would call "doing your research".
During "MY" research (which incidentally took some time to complete!) I have heard so many myths and legends about the Caterpillar badges, such as RED EYES for evacuating a burning aircraft, BLUE EYES for landing in the sea, GREEN EYES for baling out over friendly territory, YELLOW EYES for godonlyknows what, WHITE EYES for landing in snow. BLACK EYES for a replacement badge etc etc.
I can tell you for sure, that the ONLY caterpillar badges that were EVER issued by the IRVIN Parachute Company in recognition of a crew member evacuating an aircraft & saving his life by parachute, were fitted with a pair of RED RUBY eyes!
As an RAF Living Historian, I am sometimes seen wearing a caterpillar badge on my uniform. I wear the badge (as indeed the uniform) with pride, and yes, I have actually jumped with a parachute.
Ian F
57 RESCUE
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 6:29 pm

January 5th, 2005, 8:40 pm #10

I'm not implying my grandfather is wrong or right, I know there are people out there who know a lot more than I do on this subject. So what did emerald eyes mean, anything in particular. I was just told this by my grandfather, I'm not saying anyone is wrong about anything.

Chris
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