By the time of the United States' entry into the Second World War, three Observer Badges were authorized by the Army Air Forces.
Between 19 the design of the Observer Badge remained unchanged, and was issued to both airplane and lighter-than-air ratings.However, as military aviation developed, changes in the concept of an Airplane Observer necessitated the redesign of the Observer Badge with a corresponding change in the eligibility criteria.On 20 February 1940 the rating was changed to that of Combat Observer, followed by redesignation as Aircraft Observer on 4 September 1942.The Technical Observer Badge was primarily awarded to flight engineering personnel assigned to assist the flight engineer.
The Observer Badge survived through the Second World War and into the 1950s, at which time the concept of an Observer Badge was phased out in favor of the modern Aircrew Badge and Navigator-Observer Badges. Those rated as Balloon Observers were also eligible for the badge, and the badge was typically referred to as both the Airplane Observer Badge and the Balloon Observer Badge.In addition to wings for Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers, the United States Navy still maintains an "Observer Badge" which is issued to flight-qualified mission specialists, such as a select number of meteorologists and intelligence officers in both the U. The design of the badge awarded was identical in both cases, and towards the end of the First World War was commonly referred to as the "Airplane and Balloon Observer Badge", although the ratings for which the badge was issued remained distinct.