Canadian WWII Economy Cap Badges

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Canadian WWII Economy Cap Badges

David Gordon
David Gordon

March 27th, 2008, 2:04 am #1

I have been watching a few badges recently on eBay which were each listed as “an original WW2 Unknown BAKELITE Cap Badge” out of curiosity since I was unaware of their existence as economy pattern production. One was Royal Canadian Engineers and the other was Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps. I wanted to wait on posting anything until they ended so it wouldn’t affect the auctions one way or the other. I’ve collected British/Commonwealth Corps and Regimental WWII economy badges for a long time but have never even read about either of these having been produced so would like to hear what others might know about them. The backings are identical to the Canadian Airborne pattern economy badge which has been reproduced (faked) for several years so these seemed questionable to me. The one linked below ended for $688US. Item number if the link fails is 350038652857.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :IT&ih=022

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Joined: November 22nd, 2000, 12:29 am

March 27th, 2008, 2:24 am #2

I came across a file on these many years ago, at National Archives. There was some correspondence on plastic badges for several Corps, including mention that some RCE samples had been made. I don't remember reference to RCOC. I gave one of these to Ed Storey some years ago and I hope that he still has it. I believe it was original and maybe Ed can post it for comparison?
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Bill A
Bill A

March 27th, 2008, 10:22 am #3

See also Service Publication's INTO THE MAELSTROM by Ken Joyce. Beginning on page 86, Ken outlines the experimentation with plastic for badges during WW2. Included with the discussion of plastic Canadian Parachute Corps is some information on other Canadian plastic badges. The types on auction are mentioned on pg 87.
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

March 27th, 2008, 12:29 pm #4

AHH! Bakelite. They were not made of Bakelite. Bakelite is similar to plastic but lacks the component that makes it more flexible. Anyway, records clearly indicate that they were made. However were they issued on a large scale? I have no idea. All I know for a fact is that more than a few were produced. Why we do not see them, I can only guess on that one. There may have been sufficient metal badges available to get over the economy period between 1943 and late 1944. They may have remained in stores and never issued? Thanks for posting that Bill.

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David Gordon
David Gordon

March 27th, 2008, 1:35 pm #5

Really appreciate the information guys. My collection on the WWII economy badges is far from complete but I have 102 different Regiment and Corps badges so far. And just when you think you have a comprehensive list of what is known to exist, something new pops up to be watching for. I would imagine that the two badges I posted about will remain on the pricy side along with the Garrison badge and other Canadian issues that seem to have been produced in fewer numbers.
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David Gordon
David Gordon

March 27th, 2008, 1:48 pm #6

Guess I should add that I just ordered a copy of Ken's book from Clive's website.

Thanks again,

David
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

March 27th, 2008, 8:31 pm #7

AHH! Bakelite. They were not made of Bakelite. Bakelite is similar to plastic but lacks the component that makes it more flexible. Anyway, records clearly indicate that they were made. However were they issued on a large scale? I have no idea. All I know for a fact is that more than a few were produced. Why we do not see them, I can only guess on that one. There may have been sufficient metal badges available to get over the economy period between 1943 and late 1944. They may have remained in stores and never issued? Thanks for posting that Bill.
I too saw the badges on Ebay and bid on the RCOC badge, was Outbid in the end. I noted that the badge did not have the cross on top of the crown.

The badge was never issued to Canadian troops either in the UK or Canada. In fact, there is no mention in the RCOC history of its badges that such a badge existed so I can only surmise that some were made as trial but the decision was taken not to issue them.

DT.
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

March 28th, 2008, 12:51 am #8

These badges were made in large numbers. In fact, the so called Garrison badge in Plastic was made in very large numbers. It all boils down to little contact with Garrison Battalion veterans. It was not considered one of your primere units so may have escaped all the attention of other units. All the Corps plastic badges ordered were made in significant numbers, not just as a trial badge. I know this because I have the reviews of the trial badges and the order to go ahead with production. Even if the order was possibly cancelled later, I doubt that Ordnance and the Canadian General Rubber Company would have gone through the trouble not to have at least pumped out a few. There were tons of the plastic Cdn Para Corps badges made, possibly as many as 6000 or more, yet how many do you see today? The brass badges are actually far scarcer. So, who would have paid much attention to a bland plastic Ordnance badge? They may have only been issued to particular units, possibly those that only stayed in Canada? I dont really know. I have the trial data, the production data but nothing on who they were issued to. That said, we do know that the Garrison badge and Para Badge were part of the same series of orders, and they were made in large numbers and survive today.

The only odd thing about the badges in question is that they seem to be made in a slightly different way than the Para Corps example. I have not seen the back of a Garrison Bn badge to compare. However the Para Corps badge was made in a compression chamber. These badges, although they have the same lugs, appear to have been poured into a mould and the lugs applied at that time. This would be similar to the types made in the UK.
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

March 28th, 2008, 12:54 am #9

Guess I should add that I just ordered a copy of Ken's book from Clive's website.

Thanks again,

David
Thanks David, much appreciated!

Ken
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David Gordon
David Gordon

March 28th, 2008, 1:44 am #10

These badges were made in large numbers. In fact, the so called Garrison badge in Plastic was made in very large numbers. It all boils down to little contact with Garrison Battalion veterans. It was not considered one of your primere units so may have escaped all the attention of other units. All the Corps plastic badges ordered were made in significant numbers, not just as a trial badge. I know this because I have the reviews of the trial badges and the order to go ahead with production. Even if the order was possibly cancelled later, I doubt that Ordnance and the Canadian General Rubber Company would have gone through the trouble not to have at least pumped out a few. There were tons of the plastic Cdn Para Corps badges made, possibly as many as 6000 or more, yet how many do you see today? The brass badges are actually far scarcer. So, who would have paid much attention to a bland plastic Ordnance badge? They may have only been issued to particular units, possibly those that only stayed in Canada? I dont really know. I have the trial data, the production data but nothing on who they were issued to. That said, we do know that the Garrison badge and Para Badge were part of the same series of orders, and they were made in large numbers and survive today.

The only odd thing about the badges in question is that they seem to be made in a slightly different way than the Para Corps example. I have not seen the back of a Garrison Bn badge to compare. However the Para Corps badge was made in a compression chamber. These badges, although they have the same lugs, appear to have been poured into a mould and the lugs applied at that time. This would be similar to the types made in the UK.
The format of the lugs on those two recently sold badges was one reason I was doubting their being genuine since at the time I was unaware of their even having been produced. Especially since all three of the sellers Canadian economy badges were missing the pins. His Canadian airborne badge didn't make reserve and ended significantly below what you see them selling for nodays.
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