Today, I stopped by a new park that had exceptionally large trees on the grounds. The trees were so large that it would take two or more persons hand to hand to encircle some of the trees. Permission was granted right away from the grounds keepers. They had no idea how old the park was. I could see that there were two rows of trees that led to what looked like the spot for a house. An old set of cement steps with the rails long gone led up to this area. I hunted under the large trees in front of the steps. First hit was a quarter reading at 1/2 inch. This turned out to be a large piece of aluminum pipe. Next, a brass spike of some sort...so large and hammered in the ground that I couldn't dig it out. Coins were very scarce. A few pennies and finally a clad quarter popped up. Nothing old was showing up. I made my way over to a large tree near the highway. I received a solid quarter reading at 1/2". Probing down I could hit nothing. Running the coil back over the area indicated a quarter. Digging down to 3 " I found this WW II Army Air Force Aerial Gunner Wings.
The badge is made of sterling silver and is missing the pin on the back. This missing pin is probably why I found it in the first place! WW II Airmen would train at gunnery school to qualify for one of these badges. Kingman, Arizona and Tyndall Field, Florida were two such places to earn the gunner wings. At gunnery school, Airmen would learn the ins and outs of the 50 caliber machine gun. For qualification the Airmen would go up in an aircraft such as a B24 and live fire at a target called a "canvas sleeve" that was towed by another aircraft. Hits were recorded for qualification for the Aerial Gunner Wings.
A search on the internet has revealed that they currently open at a minimum bid of $50 and some are over $100, depending on the condition. I am open to offers on these aerial gunner wings.
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