A particularly interesting range of badges we have is our WW2 British RAF Brevet collection. All of our RAF Half Wings are only £2.95 each, making them easily affordable for putting together an impressive set or display. Here’s a little about the different Brevets and their roles.
The earliest Brevet we have at Epic Militaria is the Observers’ Brevet. It was created by the RFC in 1915, and was later adopted by the RAF. They were worn by Observers until 1942, when the role was split into two. They feature the O initial supporting the white wing on a dark blue background, but did not have the brown wreath of its successors. Their role was to guide the Pilot to their target or destination. They would use map reading and wireless position fixes to do this, and once arrived would also be responsible for the release of the payload.
The WAG Brevets were worn by Wireless Operator Air Gunners in the RAF. They were responsible for the monitoring of wireless signals during the flight, which were used to aid the Observer in his duties. These Brevets featured the brown wreath around the WAG initials, a distinct change from the Observer Brevets.
The Air Gunner Brevets were introduced at the beginning of WW2, and featured the AG initials at the centre of the wreath. Their role was to defend the Aircraft using the on board machine gun. Although the role as previously been done by Wireless Operators, it was later recognised individually for its complexity, as the Air Gunner would require knowledge of bullet trails, drift, range finding and harmonisation in order to make the most efficient use of the firepower.
Many new trades were introduced throughout the war, as the expertise required for increasingly complex missions grew. The RO Brevets were introduced in 1941, and were worn by Radar Operators in the RAF. The name was later changed to ‘Operator Radio’, and were responsible for communications during the flight.
In 1942 the role of Observer was split into two: a Bomb Aimer, or Bombardier, and a Navigator. The Bomb Aimer took over responsibility for the release of the payload. They would usually sit in a gun turret in the nose of the Aircraft, and would then return to the bomb sight for targeting and release. The Navigator took over the role of getting the Aircraft to its target or destination, using technology such as Radar which became increasingly prominent through the war.
Signaller Brevets were introduced in 1944, a year after the role was split off from that of Air Gunner. This allowed for the specific training for Wireless Operations, with these men usually no longer receiving Air Gunner training.
The Engineer Brevet was also introduced during the war, with the introduction of 4 engine Aircraft. They were usually men of experience and mechanical knowledge, and would sit next to the pilot to aid him in flight, especially during take off and landing procedures.
The Parachute Instructor Brevet was another introduced late into the war, giving the instructors honorary crew status due to many of them acting as air dispatchers in many missions. In place of the initial, a parachute was sewn in white thread.
We are always looking to expand our range, so if there is a Brevet you need which we do not currently sell please let us know and we will look into adding it to our range.