Canada - World War I Wings

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Chris Langley Collection
4/13/2014
The origins of the CAF were in UK and synonymous with the development of the RAF. Two squadrons were formed in UK and it was called the Canadian Air Force in Great Britain, comprising members of the RFC who were Canadians. It was not planned out too far into the future....just a political decision to create it at the same time as the RCNAS was being established. The RCNAS was quickly abandoned but the CAFGB continued till February 1920, was folded and immediately became the CAF in Canada. The CAF in Canada was not intended to be a permanent military air force, but was created to provide training and an outlet for pilots of the RFC/RAF who were Canadian and trained to fly, a means to keep them current and to provide sundry services within Canada.

The wings and dark blue/black uniform was created but not widely distributed until 1919. The CAF was perpetuated in Canada until 1924 when it was terminated and on 1st April 1924 the Royal Canadian Air Force was formally established as a permanent military force. By 1923 the force had only 45 officers. These wings are very hard to come by.

These wings are clearly part of the first production of CAF wings, it being possible to discern the rebate in the maple leaf intended to accept the anchor of the RCNAS wing. Both the RCNAS anchor and the CAF logo were attached through the leaf and held by a single point rivet. Wings of the later production were made by and marked to Caron inside one of the rear feathers. It is also interesting to note that the same company made another version of these wings in which the wing elements drooped downward significantly more. It is not known as to why this came about but photos exist of both wings being worn simultaneously by different individuals.

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Aviation Wings and Badges of the World Wars