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Romanian pilot badges

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I came into possession of two original Romanian pilot badges, one pre or early war, the other inter-war.  They were allegedly brought to to U.S.A. by an OSS Officer that served in the Balkans during WW2.  Great story, yes?  Like every handgun brought back from WW2 was taken from the hand of a dead SS Officer.  Anyway, the WW1 badge has what I think is a name inscribed on the back - pilot's, his mother's, his girlfriend's?  Can anyone who perhaps has a passing familiarity with the Romanian Air Force comment on this?  Or pass the information along to someone in Bucharest?  I did try to register with the Romanian Military History Forum but after multiple failed attempts (they never sent me a password) I gave up.

Thanks much,


Romanian pilots badge back.2.JPG

Romanian pilot badge - inter war.JPG

Romanian pilots badge back.JPG


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Dan Vasilescu

Hi Shelly,


Not sure if you got an answer to your question or not, but I wanted to shed some light. BTW, I'm Romanian and passionate of aviation history.


1. I think the badges belonged to the same pilot, because of the names scraped on the back;

2. The name on the first one reads "Lily", quite frequent diminutive of a woman's name (Liliana in Romanian) and spelled in a mix between Romanian and English;

3. The names on the second one read "Lily and Sandu". Sandu is a diminutive of a gentlemens name, "Alexandru";

4. Most likely Sandu was the pilot and badges owner / wearer, while Lily was most likely his wife or girlfriend (I think less likely);

5. First piece is a military pilot badge, model 1915 - 1927, with King Ferdinand cypher. Was used up until 1947 and should be out of bronze with thin layer of silver plating;

6. Second piece looks to be a ww2 military pilots badge, because the crown has no red email filling, it may have been civilian pilot badge also (hard to tell, but both were worn in ww2 by the military). This badge was produced and worn between 1941 and 1947. It bares the country cypher of the Kingdom of Romania;

7. I believe the owner was a pilot officer (definitively military) who served before and during the ww2, when he switched from the old to the new badge, probably by chance;

8. I believe it is more likely the badges were sold or even dumped and found their way into the U.S.

9. After the war, in the Stalinist communist period of Romania's history, such badges could get one into jail or even branded as traitor, which could get the owner killed;

10. Many former ww2 pilots had a though life after the war, during comunism they were forced to sell everything they had to survive, which included among others their  pilot eagles.


I hope this helps you :-).


Warm regards from Bucharest,

Dan Vasilescu 


P.S. The name of both bages is "Pajura Regala" ("Royal Eagle").






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