*Click on any picture to see full size.
Insignia of the Romanian Air Force
The Romanian Air Force for its size had a very robust history and tradition of insignia that dated from prior to WWI. Most of it was based on other Romanian royal military insignia with the cypher of the regent being the primary icon. The designs featured a the national eagle and the royal crown as well. With the fading of the regents powers (this is a sad chapter in Romanian history which I won't go into detail here) and the ascendensy of the fascists and the military, the air force designs took on a more nationalist apperance. The cypher was replaced with the National coat of arms. Of course, once the Russians came and the communists took over, the crown was replaced by a red star. The only thing that remained was the shape of the Romanian eagle.
The Romanian Pilot badge during the reign of Michael I, the boy king. This wing would have been current from 1927-1930. It is actually a King Ferdinand wing (the double 'F' cypher barely visible in the background) with the Michael badge applied. Click on image to see front and back. The Romanian Pilot badge of WWII. The royal cypher has been replaced with the Romanian coat of arms. This badge was current from 1940-1945. Click on image to see front and back.
The King Carol pilot badge was worn during 1930-1940. It is a different design than the traditional Romanian badge. (badge courtesy of Ernesto Vitetti)

<The Romanian Air Force was its own unique fighting force separate from the army. As such it had its own unique awards for flying merit. The chief among these was the Order of Aviation Merit (Virtutea Aeronautica) and the accompanying medal. Instituted in 1930, this award came in four classes for the order and one for the medal. The medal is pictured at left with the 'war ribbon' (with central gold stripe.)
This is an unofficial badge made custom for members of the 8th fighter group, or Grupul 8 Vanatoare in Romanian. The group flew one of the few domestically made successful models of fighter aircraft, the IAR 80.

For more on the G8V, please check out this great site:


The Romanian Observer badge. Same style as before the war but again with the national coat of arms vs. a royal cypher. This badge was current from 1940-1945.Both the pilot and observer badges were co-opted into the soviet style where a red star was added to the basic design in place of the crown.

The Romanian officer's cap device was embroidered in bullion. Officer rank on the dark blue service dress was indicated by sleeve braid, very similar to the Italian Air Force. This pair of epaulettes was worn with the shirt dress. This is the rank of Lieutentant.

Two different versions of the Romanian Air Force button.
these rank tabs were worn at the sleeve cuffs of the flying suit and the leather flying jacket. Again, similart to the Italians. The original rank for these was lieutenant, but braid has been removed to make the captains ranks to the right (worn by same man)
<This is the belt buckle for the King Carol Military Academy and was worn by a cadet. The cypher at the top shows this is for the King Carol period. These epaulettes were part of a later style of leather flight jacket similar the German short waisted style. The ranks is for Captain.
Three different grades of the graduates from the King Carol Military Academy. These have been described as flight graduate badges but in fact are only general military education related. (badges courtesy of Ernesto Vitetti)

Directory / Exhibits / Links / Bookstore / Mail / Info / Donations / Thanks
All images © 2000-2002 Tod Rathbone