Concept

Auxiliary Pilot Badge

Summary
The Glider Pilot, Liaison Pilot, and Service Pilot badges were qualification badges of the United States Army Air Forces issued during the years of World War II to identify a rating in one of three specialized, limited-duty pilot categories whose selection and training differed from that of the traditional military pilot. The badges denoting these respective ratings were similar to the standard USAAF Pilot Badge with one of three upper-case letters superimposed upon the badge's shield (formally termed escutcheon) denoting the wearer's rating: G (Glider Pilot), L (Liaison Pilot), or S (Service Pilot). The individual awarded these ratings were selected on the basis of civil flying experience and pilot certificates gained prior to their induction into the U.S. Army. Further training tended to be focused within a narrowly-defined set of missions for which their previously-acquired skills and experience were considered directly applicable. In addition, less-restrictive medical standards and broader age limits applied at initial entry. In contrast to the Aviation Cadet Training Program, medical standards for initial entry into the Glider Pilot, Liaison Pilot or Service Pilot ratings were less restrictive. As opposed to the USAAF Class I medical examination required of all prospective Aviation Cadets, prospective Glider and Liaison Pilots meeting only USAAF Class II standards were allowed into those respective training programs, while the still less restrictive Class III standards were permitted for entrants into the Service Pilot rating. The most significant difference in standards between each medical class was visual acuity (all values for each eye separately): Class I. Distant and near: 20/20 or better uncorrected. Applied to applicants for the Aviation Cadet Training Program only (effective 1942, the Class II medical below was allowed for Aviation Cadets classified for Navigator and Bombardier training only). Class II. Distant and near: 20/40 (later 20/100) uncorrected, correctable with spectacles to 20/20 or better.
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