Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Yet one more American that stood tall during World War Two [WW2]. Mickey Spillane the famous author of private investigator [PI] paperback books.
During World War II Spillane enlisted in the Army Air Corps, becoming a fighter pilot and a flight instructor.
Read this as told to me by an acknowledged aviation authority. those cap with the edges turned downward having a special significance.
"World War II officers wore what we called 'wheel hats' or officially, a service cap, due to their circular shape, with a patent leather visor. An flexible metal ring was placed inside the circular portion in order to maintain a neat, perfect shape without wrinkles--a necessity for military personnel. Pilots were required to wear the hats even while flying. They would remove the circular ring, called a grommet as I recall, in order to permit the wearing of headsets, necessary for radio communications while flying, resulting in the edges being crushed down close to the ears of the wearer. After quite a few missions, the crush became permanent, as the hat would not spring back into its original shape. It was known as a 'fifty mission crush' because it took quite a few missions to achieve that look. It was a desired look as it carried status for the pilot wearing such a hat--he was obviously a pilot and an experienced flyer at that, with the worn hat to show for it. New guys were easily recognizable since their hats would spring back into shape when the earphones were removed after flight."
Quite a few missions!
AND WOE TO THE INEXPERIENCED PILOT, THE NOVITIATE WHO TRIED TO WEAR HIS HAT THAT WAY! YOU WOULD BE SUBJECTED TO RIDICULE BY YOUR BROTHER OFFICERS AND MOST DESERVEDLY SO!!