Articles

 

Însignele de observatori aerieni Români (1915-1947)

Air Observers Badges (1915-1947)

 

1914-1927 (Ferdinand I)

Observer 1

Though being not a breast badge, an arm patch of balloon observers is worth mentioning here to provide information on air observers insignia as broad as possible.

This distinctive cloth patch in a form of trapezoid was worn by crew members of observation balloons (Observator aerian din balon) on the upper part of the left sleeve of their tunics. It represented a pair of horizontal spread wings joined by the crowned letter “O” (standing for “Observator”) with a cipher of the king Ferdinand I turned upside down and an anchor.

An emblem was embroidered with golden thread on the black cloth background.

 

1915-1927 (Ferdinand I)

Observer 2

This badge was issued to graduates of the Air Observers School (Şcoala Observatorilor Aerieni) that was founded in January 1915. The number of these badges wasn’t numerous due to lack of the qualified personnel on the initial stage.

Air observer badge represents a pair of spread round vertical wings joined by a crowned cipher of the king Ferdinand I (two letters “F”). The badge (37x48 mm) was made of silvered bronze and had a vertical pin and a catch on its reverse.

It was worn above the right pocket of the tunic.

Miniatures of this badge were also manufactured but unlike the badge itself they were not of cut out pattern.

 

1928 (Mihai I regency)

Observer 3

A special version of this badge limited to five pieces was issued in 1928 to commemorate the victory of the Romanian squadron at the air contest between teams from the “Little Entente” countries and Poland (Little Entente was an alliance formed in 1920 and 1921 by Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia with the purpose of common defense against Hungarian revision and the prevention of a Habsburg restoration).

Unlike the ordinary badge this one was made of silver had an additional horizontal gilt laurel leaf. Five Romanian air observers were decorated, namely squadron leader lieutenant colonel Protopopescu, captain Emanoil Ionescu, captain Caşolteanu, lieutenant Gheorghe Iacobescu and lieutenant Cantemir.

 

July 1927 – June 1931 (Mihai I regency years, Carol II first year of reign)

Observer 4

During the first reign of the king Mihai I (regency period, July 20, 1927 – June 08, 1930) Air observer badge with his cipher was privately issued. It was manufactured in small jewelry workshops by overlapping blue enameled “M I” letters on Ferdinand’s cipher. This simplified process led to the presence of two royal crowns – that of Ferdinand I and that of Mihai I beneath.

The outer rim and crown were not silvered and retained bronze color.

It was worn above the right pocket of the tunic.

 

June 1931 – September 1940 (Carol II)

Observer 5

Unlike the new design of the Carol II-era Military pilot badge instituted in June 1931, Observer badge obverse wasn’t changed significantly.

It represents a pair of spread round vertical wings joined by a crowned cipher of the king Carol II (two bound letters “C”).

The badge (35x44 mm) was made of silvered bronze and had three attachment clips on its reverse (two on the upper part of each wing and one at the bottom).

It was worn above the right pocket of the tunic.

The miniatures of the badge made of silvered bronze were also manufactured.

 

September 1940 – June 1941 (Mihai I)

Observer 6

Next type of the Air observer badge was issued after Mihai I returned to the Romanian throne on September 06, 1940. Transitional type of the badge was manufactured by the change of the royal cipher in jewelry workshops.

It represents a pair of spread round vertical wings joined by a cross formed with four crowned blue enameled royal ciphers of the king Mihai I (“I” within bigger “M”).

The outer rim and four crowns were not silvered and retained bronze color.

The badge was attached to the tunic by three clips on its reverse (two on the upper part of each wing and one at the bottom).

It was worn above the right pocket of the tunic.

June 1941 – December 1947 (Mihai I)

Observer 7

 

The final version of the Air observer badge was instituted in June 1941 and remained unchanged until the abolishment of the monarchy on December 30, 1947.

The obverse represents a pair of spread round vertical wings and a crowned Romanian escutcheon with a centered black-and-white Royal House shield.

The badge (39x47 mm) is made of silvered bronze while escutcheon and shield are enameled. It was attached by a vertical tube and blocking device.

The badge was worn above the right pocket of the tunic.

The miniatures of the badge made of silvered bronze and enamel were also manufactured.