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Guest IAGuardWife

Breaking of the Wings

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Guest IAGuardWife

This is a pretty dumb question as far as questions go. Did any of you guys who have already graduated from UPT purchase "The Breaking of the Wings" from your base frame shop? (I know that Laughlin had it, I assume the others do, as well.) I never purchased a copy and have searched the internet to find the story about it. I would really appreciate if anyone who has this would contact me. I am trying to get a copy of the story in it. Thanks!

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Guest C-21 Pilot

The story...

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The Breaking of the Wings

Since man started flying, he has taken to the air a certain amount of risk. To counter that risk, a tradition was established years ago when the Army Air Corps first started issuing pilot wings to their young aviators. This tradition is called "BREAKING OF THE WINGS."

At every UPT graduation, the Air Force issues the pilots their pair of wings. As tradition has it, the pilot should never wear that first pair of wings. To bring good luck, the pilot should break the wing into two parts. The pilot should keep one half, the other half should be given to the pilot's best friend or relative. To preserve good luck, the halves should never be brought together while the pilot is alive. After death the two halves are once again united with the pilot for good luck in the next life.

********************************

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Guest IAGuardWife

Thanks guys! That saves me a phone call to the frame shop at Laughlin!!

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Guest THE10MAN

Go ahead and call them, at least to say "hi"...they'll appreciate it and you'll feel better, too!

Seriously, though...we did it at my ceremony and I gave the other half to my Dad. It's neat being a part of the tradition, and everyone involved will remember it forever.

Good Luck

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Thread Revival:

Do the other services do this as well, or is this an Air Force-specific thing?

For all of you Corpus grads out there, do they have that ceremony here? If not, is there an online site that sells a plaque or anything that you can custom order for the recipient of your other half?

Thanks!

[ 13. February 2006, 11:16: Message edited by: PhlashNU04 ]

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First answer:

Nope. Air Force tradition.

Second answer:

Notice this post was back when my name was PEGdriver24 (as in Pegasus). And I was commenting on what my broken wings sheet said. At least when I was there, we were still breaking the wings. I don't see any reason why they would stop doing it.

Aeroriginals does sell the poem with the wing in a frame if you want to pony up for it. Maybe just buy two is you want one for the other half.

HD

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Originally posted by C-21 Pilot:

At every UPT graduation, the Air Force issues the pilots their pair of wings.

Hmmmm...I seem to recall buying my own.

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Yeah, and I had to go to friggin Randolph to get mine b/c Navy Corpus didn't have any AF wings due to a lack of a re-order...go figure!

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I think my class all got one set of wings, but you had to buy the ones that we brough to the auto hobby shop to use the butter-knife sharp band saw to score them within an RCH of breaking so you could actually break them.

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I broke mine at graduation. I then had a "UPT aviation themed" print that I found framed, with my class' scraf and patch in it. At the top, I have the broken wings, with the pieces separated by about 1/4 inch. Makes for a nice conversation piece.

[ 17. February 2006, 02:23: Message edited by: Huggyu2 ]

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Guest acoolname

I'm having a little trouble finding anything on the "wing breaking" tradition for new pilots. Any info or links to some would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm having a little trouble finding anything on the "wing breaking" tradition for new pilots. Any info or links to some would be greatly appreciated.

This is where we got our "broken wings" plaques. I think they used to actaully have a text of the poem, but the website has been redesigned.

http://www.aeroriginals.com/shadow_boxes/brokenwings.html

This is also where we got our "shadow boxes" for graduation.

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Maybe I missed something along the years, but I don't remember a 'breaking the wings' tradition.

Rainman, is this a true tradition in the AF over the years? Or did someone come up with this 'tradition' to make $ or carry this over from another service?

Just curious. TIA.

Batman

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“The United States Army’s Broken Wing Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates a high degree of professional skill while recovering from an in-flight failure or malfunction requiring an emergency landing”.

The requirements for this award, as stated in Army Regulation 672-74, specify that, “An aircrew member must, through outstanding airmanship, minimize or prevent aircraft damage or injury to personnel during an emergency situation. The aircrew member must have shown extraordinary skill while recovering an aircraft from an in-flight emergency situation.”

Seems to me this is the only type of broken wing that I know of, and I think perhaps it should stay that way.

My opinion.

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It is bad luck to wear your first pair of wings according to tradition...So you break your first pair, and give the other half to someone special. Tradition says that they are never to be put back together until after you pass on.

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Guest alfakilo

Never heard of it. Maybe it became a tradition about the time folks started saying 'awesome' and 'dude'...that way I missed it.

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Seems to me this is the only type of broken wing that I know of, and I think perhaps it should stay that way.

My opinion.

That's all well and good, but you're going to have to call everyone who's been to Vance AFB from at least 2003 on (to include me) and let them know they need to solder their first pair of wings back together.

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i thought the deal was you break your wings so that you won't break your next set of wings (read: aircraft). you're to give half to somebody you care about and when you're dead they're supposed to give you the half back so you'll have your wings on the other side. i dunno though. that's what my bro said when he tossed me half of his. he went through in '98 or '99 i think.

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That's all well and good as well (and good). I'm just saying for me I wouldn't make some big plaque and production of it. Although I don't have any real pressing problem with the guys that do it, if they want to break their wings in some Air Force tradition then thats fine. For me however, having worked with a number of Army guys who have earned the Broken Wing Award and should be dead having done so, I won't make any production of it.

Of course it is different services and different traditions with a different meaning to both, so carry on troop.

Fair enough. :beer:

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Guest mjk5401

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Here is the wording they have at Laughlin. I don't know if it has changed over the years or not. In regards to it being about money, I know pilots who just break their wings and give it to their person of meaning with out spending a $100 bucks on a plaque. It's a way to say thank you to someones relentless support through UPT.

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Guest LocoF16

It's not a big production. Don't know how it's done at other bases, but at Sheppard we went back into one of the meeting rooms and only winged pilots were invited to attend. I broke mine standing next to Robin Olds, then we shot some Weed and then he led us in a few songs probably too irreverent for the masses outside. Definitely an experience I'll never forgot. There were no big plaques, and what you did with the other half was up to you. Some guys ordered the shadow boxes, others didn't. I thought it was a cool tradition...

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I broke mine standing next to Robin Olds

There you go. The tradition is Robin Olds-approved.

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