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Women’s Pilot Training Patch
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Women’s Pilot Training Patch

Catalog #: 70292M    Accession #: 1999.0323
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 3" H x 3" W

Physical Description

Leather patch measuring four inches across and five inches high with the details painted on the leather. It shows the fictional character "Fifinella," a winged female gremlin, coming in for a landing with a red disk in the background. The small figure has horns, wears a yellow flight cap, a red top, yellow slacks, long black gloves, red high-top boots, and goggles. The patch is trimmed closely around the figure, wings, and the disk. The patches were hand made by the AAFTD students themselves. As a result there is some variation for each patch. Disney Studios retains the copyright on the Fifinella design.

Specific History

The Fifinella patch was worn by women pilot trainees, and included the 318th AAFTD and the 319th AAFTD, the two training units to which the women were assigned. After the summer of 1943, the WAFS and the women pilot trainees and graduates were merged into the WASP organization.

General History

Fifinella is based on a character in The Gremlins by Roahl Dahl. In 1943 the women student pilots asked Disney Studios for a permission to use a Disney character. Disney gave them permission to use Fifinella on training detachment insignia for two years and later extended permission to use the character to the WASP veterans’ organization.


Keywords

Country: United States
War: World War II
Services: Army, Air Force
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