Royal Air Force - Insignia

Click on the images to see a larger version and the back of the wing/badge
Leading Aircraftman Badge
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3-3/4 inches (96mm)
1-1/2 inches (38mm)


Norman Williamson Collection
10/22/2001
"Worn on each sleeve of the uniform tunic, just above the elbow" - Norman Williamson
Tropical Service Dress Leading Aircraftman Badge
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3.5"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
The RAF CBI (China/Burma/India) Leading Aircraftman Badge
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2.5"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
This is an early Canadian eagle for RCAF or RAF trained in Canada for Khaki Great Coats, tropical jacket wear and by AOP pilots on Khaki BD.
RAF Shoulder Flash
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2-7/8 inches (73mm)
1-3/8 inches (36mm)


Norman Williamson Collection
10/22/2001
For the record, the Shoulder Flashes were worn on each arm, at the top of the tunic sleeve, just below the shoulder.

They were worn by all ranks underneath Warrant Officers, i.e from Aircraftman Second Class (AC2), through AC1, LAC, Corporal, Sergeant, and finally Flight-Sergeant.

Also for the record, all the aforegoing ranks wore uniforms made of blue serge. W.O's and above had their uniforms made of barathea. - Courtesy of Norman Williamson

An addition courtesy of Hylton Routledge:

The eagles are meant to be worn in pairs, with the both of the eagles facing backward. The unofficial translation of the RAF motto, "We have eyes everywhere", refers to the fact the wearer's own eyes are facing forward in combination with the eyes of the eagles that are facing rearwards. The Air Ministry Order(s) which authorized the introduction of these badges in 1918 make it absolutely clear that they are to be worn only in this manner. The official translation of the RAF motto is "Through struggle to the stars".

Another example of the RAF Shoulder Flash
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88 mm
38 mm


John Gowan Collection
12/26/2001
Tropical Service Dress Uniform Other Ranks Flash
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Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
The BCATP (British Commonwealth Air Training Plan) Eagle was issued to RAF types training in North America
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3.5"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
RAF Eagle
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4"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
This is an early Canadian eagle for RCAF or RAF trained in Canada for Khaki Great Coats, tropical jacket wear and by AOP pilots on Khaki BD.
RAF Warrant Officer Rank Insignia
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2-1/2 inches (63mm)
2 inches (53mm)


Norman Williamson Collection
10/23/2001
RAF Warrant Officer's Hat Badge
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2 1/2"
2 "

Cotter pin loops
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
RAF Other Ranks Hat Badge
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1 3/4"
1 1/2 "

Cotter pin loops
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
RAF Eagles
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2"


Wires
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
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2"


Pin Back
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
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2"


Pin Back
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
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2"


Cotter pin loops
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
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1 1/4"


Wire Prongs
A. L. Collection
11/25/2001
RAF Air Sea Rescure Patch
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Wires
A. L. Collection
11/30/2001
RAF Air Sea Rescure Patch
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3"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
The badge was introduced under Air Ministry Order (AMO) 17 of 1943, but abolished by AMO 368 of June 1st 1948. Those original badges were printed only (as here). Woven ones are late/post war.
RAF Officer Cap Badge
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2 5/8"
2 5/8"

Wires
A. L. Collection
12/5/2001
RAF Economy Issue Officer Cap Badge
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55 mm
62 mm

All metal construction on padded wool
John Gowan Collection
12/6/2001
RAF Wireless Operator patch
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100 mm
40 mm


John Gowan Collection
12/6/2001
RAF Wireless Operator patch
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4"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
Worn on the upper right arm. Originally introduced in September 1918 (under AMO 1066), but abolished at the end of WW1. Reintroduced in 1920, it is still worn today.
RAF Tropical Wireless Operator patch
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3.5"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
Worn on the upper right arm. Originally introduced in September 1918 (under AMO 1066), but abolished at the end of WW1. Reintroduced in 1920, it is still worn today.
RAF Wireless Operator patch
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Brian Pullen Collection
8/15/2004
RAF Flight Sergeant Crown
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30 mm
26 mm

Brass with 2 lug fasteners
John Gowan Collection
5/4/2002
RAF Flight Sergeant Stripes
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130 mm
110 mm


John Gowan Collection
110 mm
Sergeant wears stripes without Crown
RAF Corporal Stripes
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150 mm
110 mm


John Gowan Collection
5/4/2002
"Winged Boot" - Late Arrivals Club

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2"
1.5"

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Alex Bateman Collection
5/19/2002
Here is a 'Late Arrivals Club' badge, known to most as the 'Winged Boot'.  This one, along with the certificate were issued to Sgt John Harper after he force landed his Beaufighter in the desert and walked back with his navigator.   Other allied countries were awarded this semi-official badge, and were allowed to wear it on the pocket of their uniform.  It was first given out in June 1941.   There is evidence that identical ones were given for bail outs over Burma also.  They were sand cast in silver and made by local jewellers and silversmiths.
RAF Chaplain Insignia

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112 mm



Michael D Long Collection
8/15/2002
This was worn on the stole or scarf.
RAF Chaplain Insignia

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Michael D Long Collection
8/15/2002
Chaplain Cap Badge

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2.75"


Alex Bateman Collection
10/14/2002
RAF Shoulder Title

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75 mm
30 mm


John Gowan Collection
9/13/2002
Worn by RAF British Aircrew training in USA, Canada and S. Africa early in WWII
RAF Officer Shoulder Title

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
Gt Britain is an officers title, worn whilst training or serving abroad, often in North America
RAF Officer Shoulder Title

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
Gt Britain is an officers title, worn whilst training or serving abroad, often in North America
RAF Officer Shoulder Title

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
Gt Britain is an officers title, worn whilst training or serving abroad, often in North America
RAF Shoulder Title worn by volunteer officers from Bermuda

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by volunteer officers from British Latin American

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
Basically British ex-pats in South America
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Dutch volunteer officers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Dutch Officers

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10 cm
2.3 cm


Frans Scalé Collection
8/16/2004
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Dutch Other Ranks

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7.5 cm
3.7 cm


Frans Scalé Collection
8/16/2004
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Dutch Other Ranks

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9.5 cm
2.5 cm


Frans Scalé Collection
8/16/2004
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Dutch Personnel Training in Canada and USA

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7.5 cm
2.5 cm


Frans Scalé Collection
8/16/2004
RAF Shoulder Title worn by French volunteer officers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Newfoundland volunteer officers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by British West Indies Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Channel Islands Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Jersey Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Kenyan Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by North Ireland Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by South American Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Swiss Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by U.S. Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/22/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Jamaican Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
RAF Shoulder Title worn by Barbados Other Ranks volunteers

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
Title worn by Polish airmen and sergeants. Still on serge cut from tunic.

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75 mm
25 mm


John Gowan Collection
11/18/2002
Title worn by Airmen Attached to RAF Volunteer Reserve.

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Niels Pedersen Collection
10/15/2004
Title worn by Officers attached to RAF Volunteer Reserve.

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Niels Pedersen Collection
10/15/2004
Title worn by Czech officers attached to RAF Volunteer Reserve.

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Niels Pedersen Collection
10/15/2004
Title worn by Rhodesian officers attached to RAF Volunteer Reserve.

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Niels Pedersen Collection
10/15/2004
RAF Helmet Decal

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
The image is reversed because this is a decal. You are seeing the back of the decal.
RAF Full Dress Badge

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1.75"


Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
Before the war the RAF, RCAF, RNZAF and probably RAAF had a full dress, which was worn by some officers and was private purchase.  The headwear, which was apparently very uncomfortable was a small busby.  This is the cap badge, brass and silver worn on it.  The full dress was discontinued when the war came and never reinstated.
RAF Plastic Cap Badge

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1.5"


Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
RAF other ranks cap badge worn with tropical dress.  It is in 'economy' black plastic, with two horizontal brass prongs to be bent over.  The problem was that when the prongs had been bent two or three times they tended to snap making the badge useless.  A later version had a piece of brass that could be replaced. 
RAF Plastic Button

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Alex Bateman Collection
10/28/2002
Worn on tropical uniform
RAF Air Officer Cap Badge

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2 1/2"


Alex Bateman
10/30/2002
These cap badges were worn by Air Officers in the RAF, RCAF, RNZAF and RAAF, on the peaked cap.  Air Officers are the top five ranks in the RAF (Air Commodore, Air Vice Marshal, Air Marshal, Air Chief Marshal and Marshal of the RAF). This image was scanned from the cap of Air Commodore Noel Stanley Paynter, Chief Intelligence Officer, Bomber Command during the war.  At the end of the war he resigned his commission in protest at his close friend and chief of Bomber Command Air Marshal Arthur 'Bomber' Harris not being given a place at the victory celebrations.  Within a year he was made a Director of MI5.
RAF Ferry Comman Button

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7/8"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/11/2002
RAF A.T.A. Button

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7/8"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/11/2002
The Air Transport Auxiliary ferried aircraft from the factories to the squadrons. These buttons came in three sizes, 7/8 inch, 1 inch and 1 1/8 inch presumably for pocket, tunic and greatcoat.
Caterpillar Club Badge
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6/8"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
The caterpillar badge was issued by the Irvin Parachute company to those whose lives were saved by an Irvin Parachute. Recipients were then members of the 'Caterpillar Club'. Every badge is named on the reverse with the owners name and rank.
QC Parachute Club Badge
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1 5/8"
6/8"


Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
The GQ badge was given for the same reason, by the GQ parachute company. These are also named on the reverse (mine is plain), and is in gold. There were other versions in hallmarked silver (given to friends and guests of the company), Chrome with white, red and black enamel (originally given to parachute packers at the RAF Parachute training School, and are still given out today as promotional items), and Gold with blue enamel (given to company employees with 15 years service).
The Deferred Service Badge
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1 2/8"
1 2/8"


Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
The Deferred Service Badge was a lapel badge given to men who had been accepted into the RAF, but for various reasons their service had been deferred. This badge prevented them being labelled cowards or the like! Each one was individually numbered.
RAF Bomb Disposal Badge
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2.5"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
Introduced by AMO 69 published on 23rd January 1941. Abolished in June 1948, it has been brought back and is still used today.
RAF Tropical Bomb Disposal Badge
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2.5"



Alex Bateman Collection
11/27/2002
Introduced by AMO 69 published on 23rd January 1941. Abolished in June 1948, it has been brought back and is still used today.
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Aviation Wings and Badges of World War II