"Aces of The Eighth" by Jack Fellows

First patch of World War II

On 8 April, 1943 Capt Edward “Porky” Cragg assumed command of the 80th Fighter Squadron.  The Squadron was then flying out of Port Moresby, New Guinea, fighting some of the toughest battles of the Second World War.  During these battles, many an 80th Fighter Squadron pilot was returned to the Allied lines by sympathetic local headhunter natives–who hated the Japanese because of their brutality towards the local tribes.  In tribute to these brave local headhunters, and to reflect the fighting spirit of the 80th, Capt Cragg decided to name the Squadron the “Headhunters“.  A simple patch representing the likeness of the proud Papuan Chief of New Guinea was also designed by MSgt Yale Saffro and was soon adopted by the Squadron.  The new design was based on photos of headhunters which were prominently displayed in every story about the New Guinea campaign in magazines coming from Australia.  Below the headhunter image was a broken bone positioned to form a “vee” which, as a Roman Numeral, signified the Squadron’s Fifth Air Force assignment as well as a “V” for victory.  It is still proudly worn today.


  1. Looking for info on who drew and when it was done the 80th Ftr Sqd emblem that depicts a cartoon blackbird in jungle native outfit , holding large shield with lightning bolt on it above head and ready to throw long spear, it was a Disney design and was in the May 1944 issue of Disney Comics Vol4 # 4 inside back cover top left.

    If you know anything about this one , background time etc etc , please contact me , thank you Very much !!!!

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