Philip Hoyle sent me this clipping of a wartime Fort Benning Bayonet newspaper. It mentions gold jump wings that were not officially authorized to wear but were given to Sgt. Karl N. Best, 542nd Parachute Infantry Regiment and 501st PIB to commemorate his 50th Jump.
It’s worth noting here that the 542nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (later Battalion) had a rocky start and it’s prospects of ever seeing combat almost vanished. The 542nd was disbanded in July 1945. You can read a short history here.
The Fort Benning Bayonet has many Airborne related articles & photos. They cover 1943-1945 and beyond: https://www.benning.army.mil/Library/Bayonet/index.html. I will surely be mining them for further interesting articles!