Parks Air College Pilot Wing
East St. Louis MO
Oliver Parks very early recognized the need for instruction in aircraft design, maintenance, and flight safety. In 1927, he founded Parks College and became the first federally approved school of aeronautics, receiving Air Agency Certificate #1. During the World War II era, th aviation college and its subsidiaries were responsible for training one of every ten Army Air Corps pilots, plus thousands of aircraft mechanics. After the war, Parks took a hard look at his college and the entire field of aviation. With characteristic vision, he realized that future aviation leaders would need a broader, more academic education. He felt the best way to ensure this breadth was to seek affiliation with a major university. In 1946, Parks gave Parks College to Saint Louis University, and thus the holder of Air Agency Certificate #1 became part of the oldest university west of the Mississippi.
Authors note: This is a 2" pin back wing. Probably a shirt wing. It is hallmarked Gold Filled and hallmarked "Natlinsignia NY Mfg 69" as best I can make out.