United States Navy Balloon Pilot Wing Insignia
Criteria: The Balloon Pilot Badge is a military decoration of the United States Navy that was issued to those service members who received training and qualification as dirigible pilots. The badge was first created in the 1930s, during which time the Navy was experimenting with lighter-than-air craft, as opposed to conventional, fixed-wing aircraft.
The Balloon Pilot Badge was issued well into the 1970s, with occasional awards, on a case-by-case basis, to the end of the 20th century. In the modern Navy, however, the Balloon Pilot Badge is considered obsolete, but still may be found on various insignia and badge charts promulgated through U.S. Navy instructions and publications.
The Balloon Pilot Badge appears as a "half-wing" version of the Naval Aviator Badge. Its design was based on early versions of the Observer Badge, used in the United States Army Air Corps.
© 2017 USAMM. All Rights Reserved