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The ubiquitous Honorable Service Lapel Button aka Ruptured Duck

Started by jmar , Nov 30 2013 01:04 PM

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#1 jmar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:04 PM

Hello all!
 

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!

 

Joe

 

Army-Discharge-obverseLO.jpg



#2 jmar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:05 PM

Army-Discharge-reverse-LO.jpg



#3 Mitter2k1

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:41 PM

That mistake one is definitely interesting. Could we get a close up of it please.
Thanks for sharing,
Mike M.

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#4 Doomula5000

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:47 PM

Wow!! Great collection. I didn't know there were so many variants.



#5 jmar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:30 PM

That mistake one is definitely interesting. Could we get a close up of it please.
Thanks for sharing,
Mike M.

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Hi Mike,

 

No problem at all, thank you for reading and commenting. There is a bit if "scanner" flare on the pic where you see the prismatic effect of reflection. I was surprised when I found this in a mixed bag of these devices.

 

Best to you!

 

Joe

 

ErrorDetail.jpg



#6 jmar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:32 PM

Wow!! Great collection. I didn't know there were so many variants.

 

Thank you D5000 for stopping in and replying. I'm sure there are a lot more variants out there, hopefully other members will add more!

 

Best wishes to you,

 

Joe



#7 Mitter2k1

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 02:57 PM

Here's the few I have. I don't believe there are any variants between yours, at least to my untrained eye. There are 2 Meyer Metal ones in there though. They are the two on the bottom in the pics.
What is the story with the one with the large nut that looks like a hardware store replacement? (3rd row, 1st one)
Thanks,
Mike
Posted Image
Posted Image
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#8 jmar

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:15 PM

Hi Mike,

 

Thank you for adding your pics, I really enjoy seeing other members collections. The Meyers are VERY nice and not easy to find! I also like the one you have with the "acorn" style screw-back, the eagle has a long wingspan...beautiful! I also like the one with the "geared tooth" screw-back, that reminds me of the German occupation made attachments like the lucite ribbon bars.

 

As for the one I have with the nut. I like seeing vet modified items. It looks like the post had broken and quite a while back (with the oxidation evident) a vet repaired his device. There is nothing else remarkable about it, just someone's ingenuity!

 

Thank you again for your interest in my thread and for taking the time to add to it.

 

Best to you!
 

Joe

 

nut.jpg

 

 



#9 USAFnav

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:28 PM

These are great, I like that one with the European Campaign ribbon on it.  Here is one of mine, the smallest I've ever seen.  It's screw-back, no maker's mark.

Pete

 

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  • ruptured duck small.jpg


#10 USAFnav

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:30 PM

And here's a sterling silver ring, size 12.

 

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#11 USAFnav

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:30 PM

Another view.

 

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  • ruptured duck ring2.jpg


#12 ocsfollowme

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:30 PM

I have photos of about 50 variations that I have to find. Pot metal, brass, silver and gold.



#13 cutiger83

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 11:48 AM

Joe,

 

Very interesting and unique collection. I also love small items like this. There is beauty to be found in so many things.

 

Thanks for posting...Kat



#14 jmar

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 01:22 PM

Hello all!

 

I'd like to thank USAFnav for his fine additions to this thread! The very small one is the first I've seen and the ring is awesome! I

 

Thank you OCS and Kat for stopping in too and replying, kind support as yours is what keeps the posts alive. OCS if you ever get a chance please post what you have here too. I for one (and I'm sure many others) would enjoy seeing many variations. Don't worry about duplicating, I know that can be a pain when trying to compile a reply. Just post away what you have, I'm sure there will be a lot of beautiful things to see from your collection.

 

Thank you again!

 

Joe



#15 Brig

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:52 PM

Very interesting assortment. The mistake one is great...I love those types of pieces. The one with the saw-blade looking roller is quite interesting, as well!

 

I don't actively seek these out, but I do hold onto the variants that come my way. Probably have 15 or so...not sure if any are ones you haven't depicted, I'll have to snap some images and post them for you guys to see



#16 Brig

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:20 PM

Turns out I only have 12 variants...I don't keep any branch specific ones aside from USMC. I actually have more variants of USMC Honorable Discharge Buttons than I do of these

 

2 pinbacks, 2 unmarked screwbacks, 2 sterling screwbacks (1 a cut-out), 3 typical, one standard type unmarked I think may be unmarked sterling, a lead variant, and a tie clip

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  • 101_4050.JPG


#17 Brig

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:20 PM

rears

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#18 jmar

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:23 PM

Hello Brig!

 

I hope you're doing well. I've been away due to some computer issues, which are now (thankfully) resolved.

 

Thank you for adding some very nice examples from your collection. I like the tie clasp! It's really enjoyable to see so many variations as well as different uses for the " good 'ol Duck" It was interesting to see another lead cast piece, I've often wondered about those. They remind me of the lead cast bars for the AAC Tech badges. I've heard they are theater made Italian pieces, maybe the same for these?

 

Let's see more!! I hope others will continue to add here.

 

My best to all, have a Merry Christmas!

 

Joe



#19 Brig

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 03:48 PM

I've been going off the assumption that they're a late-war measure made in pot metal, much as many insignias late in the war, to save on brass after it was placed on the restricted materials list



#20 Wharfmaster

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:35 AM

The most unworn badge in history. I have never seen a WW2 vet ever wear one .

 

 

W



#21 Brig

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:09 AM

I've seen plenty wear them in modern pin or patch form on their hats. While button-hole devices are common around the world...I can't imagine them staying put very well without a pin of some type. This, I imagine, is why we never see the original issue ones worn.



#22 Mitter2k1

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:24 AM

Please forgive my ignorance, but what does the USMC version look like?
Mike

#23 Brig

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:40 AM

It's a circular lapel button with an EGA in the center, and a border that reads US MARINE CORPS HONORABLE DISCHARGE. The USMC, USN and Coast Guard issued these types along with the Ruptured Ducks...the USMC at least going back to at least the 1920's



#24 Mitter2k1

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:02 AM

Gotcha. I've seen the other but have obviously over looked the USMC version.
Thanks,
Mike

#25 USAFnav

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:17 AM

For what it's worth, I often wear button-hole lapel buttons (mostly historical military ones) in my sport coat and I've never had a problem with them coming out.  I wonder if Ruptured Duck lack of use is due to some other reason?
Pete




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