The Pathfinder Eagle

The Pathfinders, the RAF’s only elite Force, had a special emblem of an eagle badge. The badge was worn on the left-hand-side breast pocket of the RAF uniform, under any decorations. In the photograph below, the winged ‘O’ stands for Observer, the insignia for a navigator.

dudley archer uniform

The Path Finder eagle was awarded on a temporary basis after six successful operations in the Path Finder Force. Its award became permanent only on completion of the standard Pathfinder tour of forty-five operations.

Symbolising the unique identity of the Pathfinders within the RAF and Bomber Command, it was a sign of excellence.

Photograph: the post-war uniform and impressive decorations of Dudley Archer, a distinguished navigator in the Pathfinders. The tiny rosettes meant that he had won those particular decorations twice. RAF PATHFINDERS ARCHIVE COLLECTION. 

pathfinder badge