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Thread: Medal pin question

  1. #1

    Default Medal pin question

    My old friend left his cap at my place years ago. There are two pin badges on it dating from the Vietnam war. Does anyone know what the represent please? He was US Air Force.

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  2. #2

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    Top pic seems to be Colonel's rank insignia, and the bottom look like a pin representing the POW Medal - was he a Colonel and had he been a POW at some point in his military career?

    All the best,
    Matt

  3. #3

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    The first is a set of military wings for the rank of lieutenant colonel, and the second pin is a small representation of the prisoner of war medal, which personnel would wear in lieu of the actual awarded decoration. It seems your friend, may have been captured during his time in Vietnam.

  4. #4

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    Thank you now it makes sense to me. The cap belonged to Col. Robert Forche and he was a POW. He must have given it to my friend who was a sergeant. I was proud to know them both.

  5. #5

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    Nate, LTC insignia is a silver version of a Major's bronze leaf insignia - full bull is the eagle, so this would be an O-6/Colonel's rank badge.

    All the best,
    Matt

  6. #6

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    Excellent, thanks for the clarification, Matt!
    Cheers,
    -N

  7. #7

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    Nate got the correction in first. However you did say Military Wings and as Matt pointed out they are the rank of COL not pilot of crew member wings. Actual flight wings are much bigger.

  8. #8

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    I met my friend and the Colonel over 20 years ago. I also met their families and have no reason to doubt their military service but cannot find any verification on-line. Both are now deceased. I often wonder how much history has been lost to us through inadequate or missing records and the modesty of those who were directly involved. This is the hat I found the other day when I was delving into nooks and crannies looking for something else. It has no name on the inside band.

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    Last edited by Baxter; 02-07-2019 at 16:53.

  9. #9

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    Ahhh, it's an after-market private purchase sort of thing. I was hoping it might have been the USAF sidecap...ah well. The 'scrambled eggs' on the bill indicate it would have been a major's rank or higher (officially), but one could buy this sort of hat with the extra decoration on the bill...

    It is a neat conundrum - one worth trying to find more info on.

    All the best,
    Matt

  10. #10

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    Gary, I checked a list of Viet Nam POW's and there is no one by that name listed. He may be wearing that for someone he knew that was a POW but should not even if in support of someone that was a POW.

  11. #11

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    Well I have a brother who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, but as I said I have no reason to doubt the Colonel. He also said he ferried planes for Cessna around the US and worked for the FBI doing prisoner transport. The concept of anyone lying about their service is a bit alien to me. Why would anyone do that? It an insult to those who served. I was lower deck Australian Navy Reserve and would never tell anyone I was an Admiral.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobP View Post
    Gary, I checked a list of Viet Nam POW's and there is no one by that name listed. He may be wearing that for someone he knew that was a POW but should not even if in support of someone that was a POW.



    he couldve been a long serving vet that was a pow during ww2 or korea.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    Well I have a brother who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, but as I said I have no reason to doubt the Colonel. He also said he ferried planes for Cessna around the US and worked for the FBI doing prisoner transport. The concept of anyone lying about their service is a bit alien to me. Why would anyone do that? It an insult to those who served. I was lower deck Australian Navy Reserve and would never tell anyone I was an Admiral.


    sadly there is a whole subculture of idiots that either highly embellish their military career (such as refrigerator repairmen that claim to be "recon rangers") or outright invent their military service (putting together uniforms with hilariously mixed insignia and decorations of multiple services and even other nations) referred to as "stolen valor". look up the channel of fromer navy seal don shipply to see what i mean.

  14. #14

    flash's Avatar South of England Squadron Leader. (ret)
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    Default

    Someone left a tribute to a Col Forche on this site here proves nothing of course, may not even be the same bloke but the background info is similar to that Gary has. Sounds like he had a quite a life story.
    Friday, August 25, 2006
    TRIBUTE FOR: Robert Forche (San Antonio, TX)
    TRIBUTE LEFT BY: William F Mayne (Holiday, GA)
    Colonel Robert Forche (Ret) USAF, a genuine hero, fighter pilot, attorney, Chief of Police, FBI Agent and POW in two conflicts (Vietnam and WW2).Over 30 years service in the USAF. "Bob" is solely missed by all of his friends and family..A true American hero in every sense of the word..

    "He is wise who watches"

  15. #15

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    Gary you would be surprised on how many people try to pass themselves off as vets. Here in the States the was a congressman and governor who clamed to be Viet Nam vets. One was never in the military and the other was in the National Guard and never left the states. There are people here you look for people like this.

  16. #16

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    Dave looking at what was said. Over 30 years in the USAF, fighter pilot in WW2 and Viet Nam. Why is Korea not mentioned ? Maybe that is when he went to law school and didn't fly. So if he was 20 (born in 1922) in WWII (1942) and did 30 years he would have retired in 1972, age 50. Not sure if the FBI hires people at age 50. Then he was also a lawyer, Chief of Police, ferried Cessna aircraft and transported prisoners for the FBI. Please don't think I am trying to degrade this man but some of the things just don't add up to me.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Someone left a tribute to a Col Forche on this site here proves nothing of course, may not even be the same bloke but the background info is similar to that Gary has. Sounds like he had a quite a life story.
    Thats him. William F Mayne was my ex sergeant friend who died a few years ago. Robert Forche was the Colonel and related to him by marriage.

  18. #18

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    A few months ago someone else posted something about someone. Everything they said didn't make sense. He was a Korean War vet but everything said about him seemed strange. He was CPL and platoon Cmdr. Then he was in the Air Force but in an Army unit. When you see things that seem strange make me wonder.

  19. #19

    Default

    Glad Dave was able to find the tribute to post, Gary. I was having no luck tracking him down myself. As you say, quite the storied life he led - it still bothers me a tad that he is not on the official US Military's list of returned Vietnam USAF POWs, but mistakes do happen...unless for some reason he was intentionally left off so as to have a smaller digital footprint.

    All the best,
    Matt

  20. #20

    Default

    Guys don't get me wrong that was some life he lead but like I said some things just don't make sense to me. Sometimes though the friend might embellish the person they are talking about.



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