Many of the WWII-era variations on the sweetheart wing now on the market were actually produced by the American charities engaged in raising money and supplies for the civilian victims of Hitler's aggression, even before the US entered the war. Groups like Bundles for Britain, the British War Relief Society (BWRS) and the British-American Ambulance Corps (BAAC) each produced their own fundraising pins trading on the reputation and allure of the RAF. These pins can make lovely additions to an RAF wing or sweetheart collection. But it is important for collectors to know exactly what they are buying.
So how to tell them apart from actual, British-made sweethearts and uniform badges?
Neither Silson nor Accessocraft, which made huge numbers of brooches for nearly every war relief group in the US, was so diligent about marking their charity pieces. Most of the British War Relief Society's Accessocraft pieces can be identified by the "BWRS" somewhere in their design. The Bundles for Britain Accessocraft V pin is only marked "BFor VictoryB" on the back, which couldn't be more obscure. Silson's wing-and-roundel designs for the BAAC's "Thumbs-Up Cavalcade" are only marked with the company's name on the back.
Because many of the American war relief pins were expensive at the time they were sold (with around 50% of the purchase price going to the charity), they were frequently carefully preserved and can be found on the market in near mint condition. Their lovely designs and excellent condition make them very collectible in their own right, or to round out a homefront, sweetheart or RAF collection.