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From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Blood Wings is a tradition in ALL the services
Date: Sun, 09 Feb 1997 16:26:01 GMT wrote:

>Erik Shilling wrote:

>> Not all services have such a stupid tradition, certainly not the Air
>> Force.
>It is not often that I come out of my "lurk" mode and post.  But I am
>curious about the basis for your statements. (If you have posted your
>bio, forgive me, but I missed it.)  I am sincere in my request to know
>the basis for your conclusions about the Air Force being exempt from
>that tradition.  

Erik is a WWII fighter pilot. I'm a Vietnam-era pilot with 23 years in
the USAF (1964-87). During that time I spent four years as a UPT
instructor, watching a lot of wings awarded besides my own. NOT ONCE
in that time did I see or hear of such a "tradition."

The awarding of AF silver wings (or USN Wings of Gold) is a proud time
for the recipient, not a moment for demeaning, immature behavior. The
wings are usually pinned by a family member, spouse or close friend.
Often the wings themselves are heirlooms or of particular

The only tradition that was in effect at the time I received my wings
was that after the initial pinning on graduation day, the wings were
never worn again. The original wings were referred to as "crash and
burn" wings with the superstition that if you wore them you would meet
a bad end. 

My wings had the stubs clipped off and were mounted in a frame
containing the award of aeronautical rating for display.

 Ed Rasimus                 *** Peak Computing Magazine
    Fighter Pilot (ret)     ***    (
                            *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                            ***    (

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