We Take a Look at Some of The Most Interesting Patches In our Collections .
Chances are, if you’re an aviation fan, you’re also an aviation patch collector. As founder and editor of TheAviationist.com, David Cenciotti, observed in our Instagram Live broadcast about patch collecting last week, the number of patches that aviation units have designed and made available has grown with the interest and demand from patch collectors. In fact, while squadrons designed few patches years ago, nowadays most units produce multiple pieces each year, for exercises, deployments, airshows etc. The same patch is possibly produced in both high-visibility and low-viz version, in 2D or 3D or in different materials (PVC or embroidered): in other words, collecting them all is almost impossible (and surely expensive).
Here is a look at some of our favorite and most interesting patches collected over the years. David’s collection of F-104 Starfighter patches alone is noteworthy, including several incredibly rare patches unlikely to be housed anywhere else in the world in a single collection.
Most of the patches in these collections were acquired directly from the unit that designs and wears them. Some are commercially available, as with speculative designs (the B-21 Raider patches) and promotional airshow patches from events all over the world. Howevoer, during our Live Story, our readers agreed that to be sure you are getting original pieces, you have to buy from the squadrons, from the manufacturer or from repubable and trusted collectors, as the number of fake, repro patches sold on eBay or Facebook make online purchases unreliable.
It’s difficult to say what makes a patch valuable to specific collectors. It could be a personal connection or prior service with a unit. It could be an academic interest in the subject matter, and it may just be excitement generated by books or movies. But whatever makes a patch valuable to collectors, the sure thing is that, as long as there are patches, there will be patch collectors.
Here’s a look at some of our personal favorites or interesting from our collections based on the comments we got during and after the Live Instagram Story. There are many more rare pieces and we will share photos and details in a future story:
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.
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