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parachute brooch

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Appears to have been a presentation pin to those whose life had been saved by an Irvin parachute.

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Seems strange - the Caterpillar Club has a different style award badge , possibly something to do with trained chute packers - no failures ,,

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the caterpillar club I believe was was for those who had bailed out over occupied country and returned

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Baz is correct, the caterpillar club was for bailing out and surviving with the Irvin chute. I have a gold caterpillar badge and the I.D. card that went with it to a Fl. Sgt. Adams. dated 1943. The badge is actually that of a silk worm with ruby eyes and the name of the airman on the reverse. It was not an official award and most airmen wore them under the lapel of their SD tunics. They are faked and some have green eyes, meaning being ditched in the sea and the red eyes from a burning aircraft but that is all tosh. The original ones are made of gold and have ruby eyes and you would have to have survived the bailout using the Irvin chute, nothing to do with the aircraft on fire and also it would be down to the individual to asked for the badge and become a member of the club.

As for the badge in question at the beginning of the thread, I've got two. One is in the blue colour as shown and I also have one the same but in red. I have always thought they were just an award for some sort of service within the Irvin factory. Would like to know if they were actually awarded for anything. They are not made of any sort of precious metal.

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A number of companies during both World wars issued staff with such badges/ buttons so that they could show they were doing an essential war job. This was to avoid jibes that the person was skiving and not doing there bit.

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My mother and her friend where both presented with one each after the parachutes they packed where used successfully by there crew 

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