I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a nice one, I certainly did and will have to work off the extra pounds next week.
I'm very pleased to see this new section on the forum, I've always enjoyed various lapel devices, the Honorable Service Button being high on my list. It's an often overlooked insignia imho, but if one looks closely there are a lot a variations in style, materials and design which make it very interesting area to collect. I posted a group of them a while back, but there have been several additions to my collection since then and thought I'd start here with the good old "ruptured duck".
Materials range from plastic and brass to sterling silver and, even on rare occasion, 10k gold. The device can be solid or cut-out, many have awesome detail. Fasteners that I've seen include the usual lapel button, pin-back, screw-back and single clutch-back.
In the attached photo, check out the 7th row, first pin, it is stamped with the eagle upside down! So like coins, there are even errors. It's a fun collection to build, and for the most part, very easy and inexpensive to obtain.
Now for the background according to WIki:
The award served several purposes. It served as proof that the wearer was an honorable discharged veteran returning from duty. Unofficially, it was also used as an identifier to railroad, bus, and other transportation companies who offered free or subsidized transportation to returning veterans.
During World War II, members of the armed forces (unless under orders) were forbidden to possess civilian clothing. This not only made desertion more difficult but also insured that any captured service member would be treated as a prisoner of war under the rules of war (soldiers captured in a combat zones in possession of civilian clothing were liable to be treated as spies and summarily put to death). In pre-war conditions, discharged veterans typically donned civilian clothing when returning home, but this was logistically difficult during wartime and immediate post-war America. Approximately 16 million men and women served in the uniformed services during the crisis, most of whom were scheduled to be discharged within a short period of time during the general demobilization at the end of the war. Clothing was already in short supply due to cloth rationing, and the immediate clothing needs of millions of returning veterans threatened to crash an already overtaxed system. Federal law however prevented civilians, even veterans, from wearing military uniforms under most circumstances. The Honorable Service Lapel Button was created to allow returning veterans to legally continue to wear their military uniforms while at the same time identifying that they were no longer active duty personnel.
The discharge insignia, embroidered onto a cloth lozenge and sewn on the right breast of the tunic, allowed its wearer to continue to wear his or her uniform for up to thirty days subsequent to discharge. Some veterans wore the pin on their civilian lapels for many years after the war's end. It also appeared on a postage stamp honoring veterans and is widely used as an unofficial symbol veteran's pride.
The usage of the term "ruptured duck" later expanded to also refer to the individuals wearing it, as in "that ruptured duck is flying space-available." Presumably because these individuals were usually in a great hurry to return to their homes in the United States, the term later came into use when describing somebody or something which was moving quickly.
I hope you enjoy the thread. If you have any questions about any that you see here please feel free to ask. Also I have insanely high resolution pics of these so if anyone want's them to see them in detail please shoot me a PM.
Thank you for your time in reading my post, my best to you all!