AWS badges belonging to a woman who was attacked by Chinese planes in 1937, and later a west coast pilot for this civilian service unit.
SKU: JM19-326 Categories: 20th Century, Distinctive Unit Insignia, Field Gear & Personal Items, Insignia - Metal, Medals & Shooting Badges & etc., Military, New Items
WWII Aircraft Warning Service badges once belonging to Grace Shecklen from San Rafael, California. She was the wife of George F. Shecklin, radioman from San Francisco, vice president of RCA in charge of the Shanghai station before WWII began. Grace Shecklin was aboard the S.S. President Hoover when it was attacked by Chinese aircraft in August of 1937, during the confusion during major attacks on Shanghai by the Japanese. Mrs. Shecklin was credited with the radio reports that came from China to various newspapers in the States. One such by-line came in the Sept. 1, 1937 Bakersfield Californian where she reported the attack and the death of one American sailor. Grace was listed in the 1940 U.S. Census as 42 years of age.
The two badges in this lot consist of a badge with three ladder bars, each showing 500 hours logged. The main brooch is blue enamel with orange lightening bolt piercing the center diagonally, unit identified to the 4th Fighter Command, which was based at Riverside, California. A pair of AAF pilot wings is mounted at the top, and a two engine aircraft affixed to the center. A silver chain links to a miniature pair of AWS pilot wings. Both pieces are hallmarked Sterling. “GRACE SHECKLEN” engraved on the reverse.
42mm high. No markings. Pin back.
The second badge may be a cap or beret badge, being 42mm high, and pin backed. The badge looks like sterling but not marked. The shield has the same colors used as in the brooch, with a different unit number (possible the 2nd Intercept Command?). This one does not have Grace’s name engraved on the back. These two badges came together out of an Idaho collection.
The Aircraft Warning Service (AWS) was a civilian service kept watch for specifically Japanese ships and planes entering American territorial airspace.
A chain connects a pair of mini AWS wings (30mm). The badge including the 3 ladders is 42mm high. The larger winged badge is 42mm also.
Excellent condition on both.