With the exception of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, USAF General Officers in the grades O-7 to O-10 wear service caps featuring lustrous silver bullion embroidery of the clouds and lightning bolts and (“clouds and darts”) on the black cloth covering the cap’s visor. While clouds and darts are also used on the caps worn by Field-Grade officers, the designs of the insignia are different and a single pair is used on each side of the visor (General Officers have three). Our USAF General officer service cap ships with the cap insignia (the Great Seal of the United States unbordered by a circular frame) already mounted in the front center of the cap’s crown.
In the days before crash helmets, Army Air Forces pilots wore their service caps in the cockpit, removing the cap’s wire frame so their radio headsets would fit comfortably over their ears. After doing this several times the crown of the cap would retain its mashed-down shapes—dubbed the “50-mission crush”—and along with fur-lined leather flight jackets these “customized” caps became the hallmarks of veteran pilots. Keep in mind that these pilots were officers, many of whom went on to become Field-Grade and General officers—and they brought their 50-mission crush caps with them to their new ranks.
The advent of cockpit helmets and streamlined communications devices spelled the end of the 50-mission-crush cap, though its distinctive appearance means that authentic 50-mission-crush caps from World War II are still sought after on eBay and military auction sites.

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.