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My Air Corps Cloth Badge Collection

 

Corps Badges

Corps Badges

The Air Corps badge was introduced in the mid 1950s and replaced the "Army Troops" badge of the 1940s series. A RED version was worn for a period mid 1950's to early 1960's by Apprentices.
It is not clear if the badge was an error in design or was intended to identify the Aptce Class. 

Wings

Pilot Wings

Since the introduction of Pilot wings in 1923 there has been numerous slight design changes which was mainly to the manufacturing process. It was only in the 1941 that the wings were officially written into regulations. 
The Green Bullion wing was for wear on the Service Dress Tunic but in the absence of alternate versions it was worn on Jumpers and Flying Suits.
In 1994 the wing changed colour to match the new uniform. In 2009 the GOC Air Corps and clothing committee standardised all the examples of pilot wings to match the metal version.

Pilot Wings Variations

There was no standard for flying suit wings until November 2006.  It was a case of whaterver was ordered at the time.  SAR Squadron tried to standardise the wing in 1999 . In November 2006 a new standard wing was introduced for the flight suit/jacket. 
This wing size and colour matches the enlisted ranks wing and the aircraft badge.

Air Crew Wings

Prior to 1994 there were two half wing designs worn.  Officers wore the bullion half wing (same wing shape as the pilots wing) on  No.1 Dress Tunic. Enlisted ranks wore the thread version (different design).  Officers also wore the thread enlisted version on flight suit, jacket and sweater because there was no thread pattern of their design. In 1994 a thread pattern half wing (same shape as the pilots wing) was introduced for the new blue uniform. It was never produced in subdued so officers wear the enlisted pattern subdued. In 2007 a bullion half wing was introduced for enlisted personnel. In 2009 an officers new design bullion half wing was introduced (same shape as the pilot wing). In 2009 a new bullion half wing was introduced for enlisted personnel .

OFFICER WING

There is photographic evidence to show that the wing was worn in 1923 but was only approved in regulations in 1941.

ENLISTED WING

Flight Suit Wings

The below named wings have only been introduced since 1996.  These cloth versions came into being because I saw the one worn by Sgt. Kevin Newman and felt it was a good idea.  I put the idea to the crews who would actually wear them and the rest is history. The wing worn by  Kevin Newman was one of eight privately made for NCO's and Officers who worked in Engineering Wing at the time. The last three wings were introduced on 06 November 2006.   Design idea was by Sgt. Darren Cash and F/Sgt. James Perkins.  The badge which measures 100mm x 50mm with a velcro backing is worn on the left front of the flying suit.  The badge with "Tech Crew" is a general catch all, it will be used by personnel who are awaiting their named badge.

Casa Crew

CASA CREW BADGES

The badges shown on this page are all associated with the Maritime Patrol Aircraft "Casa". In 1993 the Air Corps sent personnel to Canada to be trained as Airborne Radar Operators.  The white Casa badge below was worn by those who completed the course. At that time the CASA in operation was on lease hence the colour scheme (white with red stripes). This set of four badges were introduced in Nov 1998.  The crew functions on board are indicated by each badge.  Pilots opted for a general badge  "MARITIME SQUADRON"

SENSOR AIRBORNE RADAR OPERATOR  (SARO)

The badges are named (except 2nd) to the individual member.  Not all personnel who completed the course in Canada returned to actual SARO duties therefore there is a lesser number wearing the 1st course badge.

Flight Training

FLIGHT TRAINING SCHOOL

In August 2002 the badge of Flying Training School was introduced for the flight suit / jacket. Cadets were for a period permitted to wear it after they have qualified solo on their wings course.

August 2002 also saw the introduction of the QFI badge for instructions in the Flying Training School. They choose to have their own QFI badge.  The badge depicts the wearer as a Marchetti QFI. The Marchetti Cadet badge was worn by Cadets who qualified as EHT(Elementary Handling Test). That is around 50 hrs flying time. With the introduction of the PC9 aircraft in April 2004 these badges ceased to be worn.

Qualified Flying Instructor

The QFI badge was worn by all Qualified Flying Instructors on the flying suit. The badge with the maple leaf was for QFI's who completed the course in Canada. This badge was introduced in May 2004.

AIR CORPS CADET CLASS - NAME BADGE

This badge was introduced in late 2007 by the 26th Class.  It is worn on the flight suit / jacket in the same position as the pilot wing and is a means of identification.

Pilot Courses

YOUNG OFFICERS COURSE

As the name implies students on this course were 2nd Lieutenant's.  They chose a flying career but completed the full cadet portion of their training in the military college and were commissioned.  They then came to the Air Corps as Young Officers.  If you asked me why change the type of course for 2nd Lieutenants the easy answer would be that it is "due to the exigencies of the service".

REGULAR AIR CORPS CADET CLASS

The Air Corps Regular Cadet Class  is made up of students who have spent seven months in the Military College as part of a Cadet Class and then progress to flying training. It is only on successful completion of their flying that they receive their wings and are commissioned. In general the badge would be worn immediately after the wings ceremony but in some cases it could be months later.  Approval was given in 2007 allowing the class to wear the badge during the cadet training period. The first class to do so was the 26th and the badge was worn from July 2007.

Silver Swallows - Aerobatic Display Team

TEAM BADGES

Badges that were worn by the Display and Technical Teams.
In 1985 the first badges were introduced. One for the DisplayTeam and the other for the Support Crew.

 

In 1986 the formation badges were introduced. Three variations exist.

 

The Fouga CM170 Super Magister.

This was the aircraft that was flown by Light Strike Squadron and was in service with the Air Corps from 1975 until 1998. In addition to being a jet trainer for student pilots it was also the aircraft that the Silver Swallow display team flew.

PIN BADGES

These pins are merchandising items that were produced for sale at air shows.

Squadrons

No.1 Operations Wing


106 Squadron, 1 Ops Wing.

No.3 Operations Wing

No.5 Support Wing

Light Strike Squadron

Maritime Squadron

The reason that there are four Maritime Squadron flashes is quite simple.  Back in 1984 I was involved in the production of the 1st badge,  then at some stage someone in the Squadron decided to reorder and went at it without getting a sample or the original. The results were badges 2 (late 1980's) and 3 (early 1990's).  I was approached in late 1998 by the Squadron and it was agreed that the 1st badge was the standard.  I also had it remade to a much improved quality (notice the text and black border).

Search and Rescue Squadron

I was involved in the production of the first S&R squadron badge and as you can see it was individually named. At a later stage a number of badges appeared with the Irish Air Corps having replaced the crew name but this version was not widely used within the squadron. In 1999 I was approached about getting the badge reordered and I made the suggestion of staying with the "Irish Air Corps" because the named crew wings were beginning to be introduced therefore no need for the individuals name to appear on two breast badges. My idea was agreed and so the current badge is the standard.

Units

Unit Badges Pre 1994

With the introduction of the blue uniform in 1994 unit badges ceased to be worn.

Unit Badges 2012

These seven badges were introduced on 3 January 2012. Unit badges had not been worn in the Air Corps since 1994 when the Corps changed to the blue uniform.  These new badges were designed by me and some of them incorporate features of the original designs.
Irish was used in the badge because that was the guideline for badges at that time (if a badge contained English it must also contain Irish. It could contain Irish without English)  

Aircraft Badges

Aircraft Badges

This series of badges started to be introduced on 6 Nov 2006.  They are flight suit badges and are worn on the front right of the suit. 
The colour and shape is a match for the named wing which was also introduced at the same time.
Sgt. Darren Cash and I designed the three heli badges and then I in consultation with the squadrons designed the remainder. The badge measures 100mm x 50mm and has a velcro backing. Note: You will have noticed that there are two badges for "Alouette III" The incorrect spelling is because of the way the logo on the front of the aircraft is written, it looked like an extra "L" existed.  The badge was worn for about two weeks before the mistake was noticed.

Air Corps Apprentice Classes

Air Corps Apprentice Classes

The title concept on my recommendation in 1983.  The title was worn above the Training Wing unit flash. Each class continued to wear a title up to the 57th.  The 58th class in 1994 were issued with the blue uniform and badges were not worn on it.

Other Air Corps Badges

AIR CORPS PIPE BAND

The pipe band title was introduced in October 1999 and worn for a short time it was only discontinued when the new band tunic was introduced as it did not suit the shoulder design shape of the new tunic. Design idea was myself and Pipe Major J.O'Donnell.

AIR CORPS Para Wing Variation

Air Corps version of the Para Wing and also worn for a time by Naval Service personnel.

AIR CORPS FIRE SERVICE

The fire service introduced this badge as a non-uniform item in April 2005 but it subsequently found its way on to their t-shirts and jackets.  Design was myself and Fire Chief.

ALOUETTE III (COMMEMORATIVE)

This badge I designed to commemorate the Trojan work the Alouette III gave to the Irish Air Corps over it's 44 years service. It was introduced in May 2007 worn by crews in the lead up to the last flight of the Alouette III in September 2007.  Diameter is 85mm.

Marchetti Flying Hours

The Breman Flight Commemoration Badge

Attempting the first successful east to west crossing of the North Atlantic by airplane, two Germans, Baron Ehrenfried Guenther Freiherr von Huenefeld (aka. The Crazy Baron) and Captain Hermann Koehl, along with Irishman Major James C. Fitzmaurice flew their Junkers W33 monoplane named "Bremen" from Baldonnel Aerodrome, near Dublin in Ireland, bound for New York on the American East Coast. Taking-off at 06:38hrs on the 12th April 1928, the flight lasted some 36 hour 30 minutes before the pilots were forced to land on a frozen lake at Greenly Island, Newfoundland, but by this time having now successfully completing the first east to west transatlantic flight. The above badge was first worn by the four man crew of a Beech King Air 200 aircraft renamed "Fitz" who recently retraced the flight of the "Bremen".  
The crew of the "Fitz" was Brigadier General Ralph James,  Lieutenant Colonel Gerard O'Sullivan,  Captain Eamon Murphy,  and Sargent Anthony Conlon.  They departed Baldonnel Aerodrome on the 12th April 2003 at the exact same time as the "Bremen" and retracing it's historic journey to Newfoundland.  A second aircraft accompanied the "Fitz" on it's flight.  It was a single engine TBM 700,  piloted by Lieutenant Paul Kelly and the German women, Margrit Waltz. 
This badge was designed by 2nd Lieutenant Niall Goff and 2nd Lieutenant  John Butler of the Irish Air Corps.