1. The AAF forum will close permanently on December 1, 2017. The forum archives, past and present, were successfully transferred to the Heritage League of the Second Air Division. Two conditions were agreed upon; 1) all user email addresses would be protected, and 2) all private messages would remain private. On Dec 1st, the AAF domain will convert to a simple landing page to stay out of spammer hands.
    Dismiss Notice

Insignia Aviation Cadet

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Medals, and More' started by DeborahS, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. DeborahS

    DeborahS New Member

    Hello all,

    It's good to see the new forum up and running!

    Since you've all been so helpful previously I turn to you with another question.

    I'm trying to find out the time frame for the attached picture. I know that the man pictured became a 2nd LT in March 1943 and a B-17 pilot. The cap shield doesn't look like an officer's shield (from what I gathered through the internet) plus he doesn't wear lieutenant bars so it must have been taken before March 1943.

    But the cap shield doesn't look like an aviation cadet one either. I'm also a bit confused regarding the lapel insignia: I would have expected to see simply "U.S." and not round ones.

    Could someone shed some light on the rank/position this man had at the time of the picture? Obviously I'm not very familiar with military insignia so I hope for your help!

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Darin Scorza

    Darin Scorza New Member

    In this photo he is a Sergeant, at least an E5 according to the three stripes on his sleeve. The cap insignia was common for enlisted men. I am not sure what the lower lapel insignia is.
  3. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  4. j.peters140

    j.peters140 Active Member

    Deborah...The round insignia is correct...the "simple U.S." was worn by officers only. Both the hat insignia and the round U.S. on a bronze circle WAS correct for enlisted personnel.

    Jim :)
  5. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    In this photo the "lower lapel" pins should be "Distinctive Unit Insignia" (DUI), and the one on "his lower right" sure seemed familiar to me but I'll be darned if I can find it now. Given that you know this enlisted man was later a commissioned officer it seems likely this image was taken during his training phase, and it is also most likely that "his lower left" lapel pin (nearly unseen in this image) is most likely the Technical Training Command DUI, see http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/64847-ttc-sustineo-alas/ another uniformed example displayed from the left side here http://www.danielsww2.com/page33.html

    It seems the lower right lapel pin is important. Short of a member here identifying this DUI in the meantime you may wish to post your image here http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ maybe in the new member area asking for support about this (lower right DUI) which might identify a training location. The original photo you posted here is wonderful as an overall example, however if you have the original photo it might be helpful to re-scan the image cropping down to just this "his lower right lapel pin" the scroll at the bottom (most likely in Latin is important). Please share these scans on this forum, as well as anything learned from the other forum if you choose to post there.
  6. Tex Longhorn

    Tex Longhorn New Member

    If you have his name, we might be able to find an enlistment date.
  7. DeborahS

    DeborahS New Member

    Many thanks for all of your comments, this forum is really great!

    I'll try my luck at usmilitariaforum.com as well, maybe they are an as helpful bunch as you are!

    Just one more thing: I was wondering about the aviation cadet insignia. In the following link: http://www.danielsww2.com/page10.html

    the aviation cadets pictured all wear caps with wings/propellor insignia as well as the "simple U.S." upper lapel insignia. Could this suggest that the questioned picture was taken before the actual aviation cadet training? After enlistment but before the classification stage (bombardier/navigator or pilot training?) ended?

    I don't have the original so unfortunately I can't re-scan. His name was Merl Leroy Schroeder and his serial number was O-739858.
  8. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  9. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    B-17F # 42-30860,96th BG/ 337th BS, 16 December 1943, MACR 1563
    Collision with B-17F # 42-3265

    1/Lt. Merle Leroy Schroeder - P
    2/Lt. Elbert W. Schanke - CP
    2/Lt. Henry A. Tracy - N
    2/Lt. Robert P.Girvin - B
    T/Sgt. Arthur L. Lemieux - E
    T/Sgt. Ivan J. Wade - R
    S/Sgt. Clarence E. Kelly - BTG
    S/Sgt. Anthony Carpentieri - LWG
    S/Sgt. Richard W. Rucker - RWG
    S/Sgt. John B. Hull - TG

    T/O Snetterton Heath,assigned target Bremen,Germany. While taking evasive action under fighter attacks two B-17's collided
    between the Dutch mainland and the Frisian Islands east of Texel at 14.20hrs.Aircraft 42-3265 crashed a half mile SW of Kimswerd,Friesland,Holland.
    The E,LWG and TG are on the WOM,Margraten US Cemetery,Holland. The other crewmembers were KIA.

    AIRCRAFT 42-30860 crashed into the Northsea about six miles off Texel Island. Five bodies were never recovered and are at the WOM,Margraten Cemetery.
    This being the P,E,BTG,RWG & TG. The CP was recovered on 25th May 1944 along the dike near Tzummarum,Friesland,the R washed ashore on 26th May 1944
    near the Battery of the German army near Pietersburen and the LWG's body had been recovered near Post 90 at Pietersburen on 14yh May 1944.
    All three were buried in the Pietersburen Cemetery. Lt. Tracy was washed up on a beech of Terschelling on 27th May 1944. Lt. Girvin was buried in the Cemetery Harlingen,after his body was recovered near Post 31 along the Afsluitdijk on 16th May 1944.

  10. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

  11. Tex Longhorn

    Tex Longhorn New Member

    That's what I'm thinking. I do not know how long it takes to make E5. From what I can tell, he was born around 1921 in Nebraska. As of the 1940 census, he was still living at home and not in the military. I was not able to find an enlistment record for him. He could have enlisted after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and then been accepted for Air Corps training after an enlisted stint of ~ one year.

    Attached is photo of my grandfather's primary class from Dec. 41/Jan 42. Note that some have stripes on their shoulders. Not sure if these are prior enlisted or if denotes rank in the squadron. AviationCadetClass.jpg
  12. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    The stripes indicate rank within the Cadet Squadron. Our rank until graduation from Bombardier, Navigator or pilot training was "Aviation Cadet". On graduation we became officers and the uniform, patches etc. changed. I enlisted on July 8, 1943 and graduated from Bombardier School September 14, 1944, fourteen months. At the time of my training the approximate time for Navigators was 15 months and Pilots 18 months.

    As a cadet our pay was the same as a Private in the Army $21.00 a month. We did receive an additional $75.00 when the training included at least four hours of flight time in a given month.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  13. DeborahS

    DeborahS New Member

    Thanks Jaap for the links. I already did some research on LT Schroeder since I 'adopted' his name on the Walls of the Missing in Margraten. For people who don't know about it: as an 'adopter' you promise to regularly bring flowers to your 'adoptee's' name and of course on important dates like Memorial Day. It's a way of showing our gratitude for our liberation.

    Thanks Bill, that was all very enlightening. I didn't realize that the rank of aviation cadet entailed future bombardiers and navigators as well.

    Tex, thanks for trying to find his enlistment date and the further info you provided.

    From his personnel file, the 'Finding of Death' and the 'Report of Death' could be retrieved. From these, I have a 'Date of Entry on Current Active Service' listing March 10 1943. I always assumed that this was the date of his commission as 2nd LT.

    Is it correct that you would receive your commission after Advanced Flying School? How long would it take from pre-flight to Advanced Flying School?

    When the air corps had a lot of new volunteers after Pearl Harbor, were you put on a waiting list for new openings in training? And were you in uniform/active service in the time between enlistment and start of pilot training?

    I realize that there are many ways that lead to Rome and without any more information from his personnel file, it's very hard to say anything with certainty. But I appreciate any kind of input!
  14. Tom22

    Tom22 New Member

    Gooday Deborah & Scott,

    Sgt. Schroeder may not be in the Air Corps in the photo. The left lapel branch of army insignia is to oblique for me to read. And I have not found an Air Corps group DUI like this one. It looks to me to be an army regiment DUI and they are dozens and dozens of them.

    It’s a beautiful portrait.

    All the best to you all,

  15. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    Commissions were received at the graduation ceremony from flight school. The transition from Cadet to Officer entailed receiving an Honorable Discharge from the military service the day before graduation.

    The official training time for a pilot was nine months. This time included about three months of pre-flight.

    In my case I was sworn into the service on July 9th, sent back home and then ordered to report for duty on August 2,1943. I was in civilian clothing during the period at home.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  16. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Deborah will see you probably on Memorial Day at Margraten. I have adopted 2/Lt. Denis J. Alison 20th FG, MIA at Legden,Germany on the WOM
    and 2/Lt. Paul A.MacWilliam of the 94th BG. I have always tens of booklets with me, because family asking for that.
    Yesterdag Anthony Destro asking if I will lay flowers at the grave of Joseph Pavelko,who was KIA with his uncle.

    Never Forget
  17. DeborahS

    DeborahS New Member

    Bill, many thanks for your reply. That was all very
    enlightening and it cleared up my confusion about the timeline of training and commission.

    When a cadet was honorably discharged because of graduation, would these papers also land at Veteran's Affairs? Could this mean that Veteran's Affairs also has a file on LT Schroeder?

    Tom, many thanks for your comment about him being with an actual Army outfit. I never thought about this possibility. I'll have to try and get a re-scan of the picture, unfortunately I don't have the original.

    Does anyone know if it was easy or usual to change from being an enlisted man in the Army to being an Aviation Cadet? Could an enlisted man request such a change?

    Jaap, that's great to hear. Good to see a fellow Dutchie here! See you on Memorial Day!
  18. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member


    The Cadet discharge was supported by a formal document (I have mine) so I would assume Veteran's Affairs would have a copy.

    Regarding the ease of transfer to the Cadet program, as long as the individual could pass the Academic and Air Corps 64 Physical tests and be no older than 26, I wouldn't think it to difficult. If the applicant held a higher than private rank in the Army, they probably would take a loss in pay to $21.00 per month.
    Note: Prior to August 1, 1942, the individual had to have two years of college.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  19. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Deborah my phone number is : 06-40473693. Iam always early at the Cemetery,because its 3 hours driving for me.
    Probably we can met.
    De Dutch Navy investigate the area around Texel. They found an B-17 but dont know wich,because there were more
    B-17's ditching in the Texel vicinity. I can keep you inform by personal mail if you like.

  20. Dwilma01

    Dwilma01 New Member

    The lapel pin is a bit odd since that location was usually for the branch, e.g, Air Corps, Infantry. I suspect this uniform predates the move of the DUI to the epaulette. A detailed search of Army uniform regulations would be necessary to find a range of dates.

    The chevron could also indicate a technician grade.

Share This Page