United States Navy Aviation Officers are authorized to wear this gold belt buckle featuring the Naval Aviator insignia of a winged, fouled anchor surmounted by a shield. Although the insignia was first issued in early 1918, the story of its development goes back to 1913 and the move by Army aviators to begin wearing badges indicating their status as pilots or observers.

Navy aviators rightly wished for their own insignia that would reflect their assignments in this new and groundbreaking field, and it appears that some of them may have contacted a medal manufacturer and suggested they in turn suggest to the Navy that an Aviator insignia was necessary. In any event, after receiving a comment from the G. F. Hemsley Company along those lines, the Chief of Naval Operations noted in a letter dated 19 July 2017 that it would be fitting for Naval Aviators to receive some badge or device to display their qualifications to other aviation services; the letter had a rudimentary winged design for consideration.

At this point, Lieutenant Commander John H. Towers asked for Lieutenant Harry Reuterdahl to help him design Naval Aviator wings. Numerous changes were suggested to Towers’ concept of a “winged shield,” including the placement of the letters U.S. on the anchor without a shield as well as on the shield and the inclusion of stars in the shield, but in the end these extras were removed—and one of the most simple yet powerful insignias ever designed was eventually approved for distribution in early 1918.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.