Cloth Para Wings - There was a cloth Para Wing made after 1980 and obviously made after the war ended. These were made on camouflage material and made in South Africa, sometime in the early to mid 1980′s. They were not made by Paramount as is sometimes stated. They are therefore not official or unofficial and in my opinion should be regarded as commemorative. There were NO official cloth para wings for the Selous Scouts.
Bronze Para Wings - The Selous Scouts Para Wings were made from bronze and made by Reuteler Manufacturing. There has been much discussion about the number of Wings that were issued. My research has shown that there were duplicate Wings issued to some individuals. In other words some Scouts received more than one Wing and one Scout in particular received three Wings. This was usually as a result of Africans applying for a Wing under their Christian name and then applying for their Wing under their tribal name.
In fact there were more than 1500 of these Wings stamped with a number. I have also been reliably informed that there were 532 issued Wings, possibly more. The Wings Roll in the book “Pamwe Chete” by Lt.Colonel Ron Reid-Daly doesn’t show this as for whatever reason it was not fully updated.
During the late 1970′s collectors were looking for these Wings to buy. As they couldn’t obtain them, Werner Reuteler made Wings from the same dies, but they were never numbered even though they were of the same construction and made from bronze. They were then sold to collectors and many of these Wings are on the market today. These un-numbered Wings are genuine although they have never been stamped with a number.
The Qualifications for Selous Scouts Paratrooper Wings.
To qualify for either Class I or Class II Qualification Wings, a member must have successfully completed a Parachute Course and be qualified in the following criteria:
a. Class I (Selous Scouts Qualification Wings worn on a brown backing) one of the following:
(i) Be an original volunteer who helped pioneer the Selous Scouts Operational techniques prior to the introduction of the Selection Course System.
(ii) Has successfully passed a Selous Scout Selection Course.
b. Class II (Selous Scouts Qualification Wings worn on a green backing). Any member of Selous Scouts not already qualified to wear Selous Scouts Wings who has taken part in an operation or operations where, to an exceptional degree, he has displayed some or all of the qualifications of courage, determination, initiative and leadership in a manner befitting an outstanding member of the Selous Scouts.
There were only a small amount of Selous Scouts Para Wings that were awarded with the green backings.
This is an article that I wrote for ‘Chute and Dagger’ magazine in 2007.
Rhodesia – Issued Selous Scouts Wings – a Re-evaluation