Italian Air Force - Pilot

Click on the images to see a larger version and the back of the wing/badge
Below you will find pictured several variations of the Italian Pilot wing. The first wings shown will be the 1923-1935 pattern wings. Next will be the 1935-1943 pattern wings. Italy surrendered in September, 1943. The Germans set up a puppet government in the North, the RSI (Republica Sociale Italiana). The Italian pilots that went north to fly with the Germans, cut the crown off their normal badges. Later these badges were manufactured without the crown. Those pilots which went south and flew with the Americans converted their pilot badges by cutting off the fasces. The Italian term for this symbol is "Fascio Littorio" which tanslates to the Lictorian Fasces. The symbol consists of a bundle of rods symbolizing strength in unity. The ax blade meant the administration of required discipline and sentence by the old Roman Magistrates since this was the symbol of justice in Roman courts. Mussolini added the lion's head often seen slightly above the top of the axe blade. The lion being the symbol of strength. There are two types of fascios. The early type has the axe blade coming out of the TOP of the bundle of rods. The second pattern, used after 1930, has the axe blade on the side of the fascist bundle. Enjoy all the variations of Italian pilot wings.
1923-1935 Pilot Badge
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Kris Johnston Collection
11/13/2002
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Kris Johnston Collection
11/13/2002
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Kris Johnston Collection
11/13/2002
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Kris Johnston Collection
11/13/2002
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Ronald Burkey Collection via Rudy D'Angelo
1/2/2004
Pre-Fascist 1935 Variation Italian Early 1920's wing - between 1923 and 1929
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Rudy D'Angelo Collection
1/2/2004
Civilian dress first pattern 1923 Royal Air Force pilot's wing. This wing is smaller than the miniature wings that were worn on the dress uniforms. These civilian wings were worn on the civilian jacket of the time to signify that the person was an active pilot.
1935-1943 Pilot Badge
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Warren Carroll Collection

Please see Mr. Carroll's wonderful book on British Commonwealth wings in the Resources section.
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75.9 mm
23.6 mm
10.3 grams
S Johnson, COP Nuova 15, Milano
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12/12/2001
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Tod Rathbone Collection
3/13/2002
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72 mm
25 mm


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6/18/2002
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74 mm
23 mm

S Johnson, COP Nuova 15, Milano
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6/26/2002
Post 1943 Pilot Badge - South Wing - Allied
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75.5 mm
22.2 mm
10.9 grams

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12/12/2001
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72.7 mm
22.1 mm
10.3 grams

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3/1/2002
Here's another interesting variation of the badges worn by the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force after the Armistice. It simply has the axe blade filed off as a symbolic rejection of the Fascists.
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Tod Rathbone Collection
3/13/2002
Post 1943 Pilot Badge - North Wing - Axis
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73.1 mm
14.7 mm
6.2 grams

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12/12/2001
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/7/2002
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72 mm
15 mm


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6/18/2002
1944 RSI Pilot Badge
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
3/12/2002
This is an extremely rare badge. Less than 300 were ever made. It was designed and sent to the Republican Airforce (Mussolini's Republic of Salo after the surrender of the Royal Italian Armed Forces on 8 September 1943) Secretary of Defense in October 1944. It was approved on 17 November 1944 and issue began. It became obsolete as of 1 May 1945. The wreath and upraised Roman sword (called a "gladius") are the official collar emblems of the RSI Armed forces. It is an honor to display this wing on my site.
Pilot Swords
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
11/16/2002
This sword is for Generals and Air Marshals. It is an extremely rare piece. The grip is made of real ivory. The handguard is extremely wide and in the shape of a wing. It also has a clam shell section in front that hinges down and then clips to the scabbards so the sword does not fall out. The Portapee (knot) for Generals was all gold.
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Rudy A. D'Angelo Collection
11/16/2002
This is the pilot officer's sword. The grips are black ebony. At the top of the scabbard throat is the model 1935 pilot wings. Swords prior to 1935 carried the model 1923 wings (see above). The hand guard basket is in the form of an eagle's wing. The Portapee (knot) for all officers other than Generals was gold and blue. Black grips were used for all officers under the rank of Colonel. For Colonels and above the grips were ivory, white celluloid, white leather and so on. These swords were worn with the dress uniform.
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Aviation Wings and Badges of the World Wars