Bombardier Wings

Bombardiers had extremely difficult jobs in the days before smart bombs, GPS, and laser-guided munitions. Imagine looking through a rudimentary scope from a high cruising altitude in order to locate your target…all while being shot at by enemy fighters and ground crews! The lads entrusted with this job had to undergo stressful training and even more stressful application of their knowledge and skill once being awarded these. The Bombardier Wings badge is a military decoration of the United States Air Force. The badge recognizes extraordinary achievement in aviation and is awarded to pilots or aircrew who have demonstrated exceptional skill and proficiency in their flying abilities. The wings are worn on the uniform of the Air Force and represent the highest level of distinction that a pilot can achieve. The history of the Bombardier Wings dates back to World War II, when the USAAF (United States Army Air Forces) began using them as a means to identify and distinguish bomber crews from other aircrews. The original design of the wings was based on the British Royal Flying Corps’ Observer’s Wing, which had been used during World War I. The USAAF adopted the wings in 1942 and it has been used ever since. The Bombardier Wings badge is awarded to pilots who have demonstrated an unwavering ability to perform their duties at the highest possible levels while under immense levels of stress. Before the advent of modern stealth technology and laser-guided munitions, bomber crews were commonly exposed to hostile fighters and anti-air fire coming from the ground. This made life as a bomber crewman extremely stressful. The bombardier wings worn in their chests quickly became a badge of honor and distinction among their peers. Other pilots and aircrewmen would immediately know that they were in the presence of some intense guys! The wings are worn on the uniform of the Air Force and represent the highest level of distinction that a pilot can achieve. In order to be eligible or the badge, pilots or crewmen must be commissioned officers in the United States Air Force, complete a minimum of 1,200 flying hours and secondary training objectives, achieve qualification on multi-engine aircraft, and be assigned to a flying position in which they are regularly engaged in aerial bombardment missions and training exercises. Pilots who are awarded the Bombardier Wings badge have demonstrated their superior skills and abilities as a bomber pilot. This badge is a prestigious honor that recognizes the dedication and professionalism of the wearer. Life as a bomber pilot/crewman was never easy or simple. Those who have earned this badge will wear it with pride. They know the risks of their duties, but they choose to face the dangers anyway so that the rest of us can sleep soundly while they act as the tip of the sword of the air power of the United States. So, if you recognize these wings on someone’s chest, be sure to thank them for their service, because they have most definitely earned them!
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