1964 Trans Australia Airlines TAA Pilots Wings / Lapel Pins


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T.A.A. Pilots Wings from Trans Australia Airlines and associated lapel pins from Cocos Club in the Cocos Islands and Qantas from the pilot who collected and wore them.

Captain Roderic F. Broome flew for T.A.A. in the mid 1960’s and his story is recounted in this blog from March 2014

T.A.A. was renamed Australian Airlines in 1986.

Captain Broome’s personal recollections of his time flying across Australia and to the Cocos Islands are really very interesting and makes for compelling reading..

Aviation enthusiasts should delight in this item as an absolute must have. Your chance to own a small slice of history.

Very rare in this condition and even more rare that the providence and past ownership has a pedigree. 

Additional information



An Aviator Badge is an insignia used in most of the world’s militaries to designate those who have received training and qualification in military aviation.

Also known as a Pilot’s Badge, or Pilot Wings, the Aviator Badge was first conceived to recognize the training that military aviators receive, as well as provide a means to outwardly differentiate between military pilots and the “foot soldiers” of the regular ground forces.

Original issue T.A.A. pilots wings and a lapel pin from the Cocos Islands an Australian Territory and privately owned at the time of purchase by Captain Broome by the Clunies-Ross family.

An additional Flying Kangaroo Qantas pin from the same era rounds off the collection.  



Trans Australia Airlines or T.A.A., call sign “TRANSAIR”, (renamed Australian Airlines in 1986) was one of the two major Australian domestic airlines between its inception in 1946 and its sale to Qantas in May 1996. During that period TAA played a major part in the development of the Australian air transport industry. The establishment of TAA broke the domestic air transport monopoly of ANA (Australian National Airways) in the late 1940s, and taking over the Queensland air network from QANTAS. It was also at the time TAA supported the Flying Doctor Services of Australia by providing aircraft, pilots and engineers to ensure every emergency was answered quickly. The airline’s headquarters were located in the City of Melbourne.TAA was the first airline outside Europe to introduce the Vickers Viscount ‘propjet’ in 1954, and in 1981 it introduced the Airbus A300, the first wide-body aircraft to be purchased by an Australian domestic airline. Qantas revived the Australian Airlines brand between 2001 and 2006 to serve the low-cost leisure market of visitors to and from Australia.

The Territory of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia, located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Christmas Island and approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka. The territory consists of two atolls and 27 coral islands, of which two, West Island and Home Island, are inhabited with a total population of approximately 600.

In 1609, Captain William Keeling was the first European to see the islands, while serving in the East India Company, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century.

In 1814, a Scottish merchant seaman named Captain John Clunies-Ross stopped briefly at the islands on a trip to India, nailing up a Union Jack and planning to return and settle on the islands with his family in the future.

However, a wealthy Englishman named Alexander Hare had similar plans, and hired a captain – coincidentally, Clunies-Ross’ brother – to bring him and a harem of forty Malay women to the islands, where he hoped to set up his own private residence.[2] Hare had previously served as governor of a colony in Borneo and found that “he could not confine himself to the tame life that prosy civilisation affords”.  When Clunies-Ross returned two years later with his wife, children and mother-in-law, and found Hare already established on the island and living with a private harem, a feud grew instantly between the two men. Clunies-Ross’ eight sailors, “began at once the invasion of the new kingdom to take possession of it, women and all”. After some time, Hare’s women began deserting him, and instead finding themselves mates amongst Clunies-Ross’ sailors. Disheartened, Hare left the island. He died in Bencoolen in 1834. 

Clunies-Ross’ workers were paid in a currency called the Cocos rupee, a currency John Clunies-Ross minted himself that could only be redeemed at the company store.

A landing party from the German Navy cruiser Emden leaves Cocos (Keeling) Islands via this jetty on Direction Island.

On 1 April 1836, HMS Beagle under Captain Robert Fitzroy arrived to take soundings establishing the profile of the atoll as part of the survey expedition of the Beagle. To the young naturalist Charles Darwin, who was on the ship, the results supported a theory he had developed of how atolls formed, which he later published as The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. He studied the natural history of the islands and collected specimens. Darwin’s assistant Syms Covington noted that “an Englishman [he was in fact Scottish] and HIS family, with about sixty or seventy mulattos from the Cape of Good Hope, live on one of the islands. Captain Ross, the governor, is now absent at the Cape.”

*All biographical details taken from Wikipedia for educational purposes only.

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