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116th Infantry DI - Unmarked


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#1 VMI88

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 05:12 PM

Given the construction and appearance of the enamel, I'm pretty sure this is a genuine 116th Infantry DI and not one of the modern copies:

 

DSC05016.JPG DSC05017.JPG

 

However, it doesn't have a maker's mark.  Does anyone know if this type dates to World War II, or could it be a post-war National Guard DI from the 1950s?



#2 tredhed2

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

WW II period examples are known to have been made w/o hallmarks. 



#3 KurtA

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:37 AM

With what I see on the reverse, I'd put my money on post WW2.  I would base that on  the reverse not having a pre war "look" (e.g., heftier rotating catch, a screwback, or particular maker hallmark that might suggest pre war manufacture) and not many non-sterling US-made DUI's produced during the war. It appears original and not a modern remake.

With these unmarked pinbacks of this type, in most cases, you really need provenance to accurately date them.



#4 VMI88

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:11 AM

Kurt,

Thanks - that makes a lot of sense. The DI obviously has some age to it but the back doesn't look exactly right for WW2.

#5 tredhed2

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:45 AM

The tr red and pebbly metal base tend to be characteristics of WW II vintage DIs, too.



#6 Allan H.

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:10 PM

I'm scratching my head here as I am trying real hard to figure out how this piece has been identified as definitively being a post WWII manufactured DI. My thoughts are as follows- the type of catch is one that I have always considered to be an earlier catch than a later one. Most of the later manufactured US insignia that I have encountered that has a pin back, has had what I call a "ball" type catch. That is, the sides of the catch are rounded rather than squared. I've noticed this on rank insignia, DI's, etc. I just went through a box of about 100 post war marked DI's and I didn't find any with this type of catch. I've always considered this type of catch to be an inferior design as the roller tended to fall out rather easily. This type of catch looks a lot like the catches on Juarez pattern wings- and those pieces always seem to be missing the roller catch.

 

The other thing is that so often, earlier vintage DI's have a glassine appearance- very clear and smooth. The later era DI's tend to have a more opaque look to the enameling.

 

Personally, I wouldn't have any heartburn at all putting this in my collection and calling it WWII.

 

Allan



#7 everforward

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 03:48 PM

Here is a pic of the original 1950s-era 116th Ridgeway Cap I picked up locally (Luray, Va.).....the cap is as it was worn in the 50's with the original DUI still attatched. There are tons of photos in the 1957 29th Division Yearbook of the 116th soldiers wearing these caps during drill and at summer camp.

 

The DUI on the cap has a Gensco hallmark.

 

86C6D6B0-EC02-453C-804E-E089F5AA302B_zps

 

62BFE971-6A6E-4FD3-BB32-F00BDD52E01A_zps

 

EA3077D9-0608-42EA-89EA-FF5A3B21BCDA_zps

 

All of the other pinback 116th DUIs I have are snowflake backed.



#8 Allan H.

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:17 PM

The photo of the Gemsco marked DI has the "ball" catch that I was trying to describe. Thanks for posting the photos of the cap and DI. I still assert that the Di that started this discussion is a WWII vintage DI.

 

Allan



#9 tredhed2

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:53 PM

Kinda like all those WW II 101st Abn Div patches issued to troops in the 60s......   ;)



#10 Allan H.

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:33 PM

No, Tred, I'm sure the army threw all the 1945 dated stuff away so they could issue new stuff for the new war. :rolleyes: 

 

When I joined the 89th ARCOM in 1985, we had a batch of "subdued" "Rolling W" shoulder patches that were cut edge. Some of them were even green backs!

 

Allan



#11 KurtA

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:34 AM

Based on all of our expert opinions, it's pretty safe to say this DUI is either pre WW2, WW2, or post WW2. 



#12 everforward

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 04:07 AM

Here are some pics of more pinback 116ths in my collection, to show the clasp detail....I'd say these two snowflake examples are almost certainly WW2 period. Note the clutchback DUI in the upper center of this pic.
 

4E6E2E55-8A77-4F18-B456-E43DDAB107F4_zps

 

And, the earliest 116th DUIs from the 1920's, front side and back....

 

6ECD7102-D1D8-4031-B9AD-5D5D34706C55_zps



#13 KurtA

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:28 AM

Nice collection you have there!  Once you have distinguishing characteristics, such as drop-in catches, "snowflake" reverses and early maker hallmarks, it makes it easier to estimate the era of manufacture.  I've always viewed "snowflake"- backed insignia as pre-WW2.   



#14 VMI88

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 09:30 AM

Allan,

Thanks for the information on my DI.

Everforward, great collection - thanks for sharing!

#15 everforward

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:01 PM

My pleasure, VMI88. No arm-twisting here when we can talk 116th or VaARNG.... :)



#16 Allan H.

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 06:05 PM

I am reposting this photo from one posted by Everforward. This is one RARE DI and I think that it deserves to be mentioned on its own merits. Look at the blue and grey stripes on the DI. Do you notice the fact that there is not a white border on either side of the blue and the grey? This variation is REALLY tough to find. It is actually a pre-war DI. You can see the white stripes in the bottom right hand edge of the photo as there is a more common example partially visible. I believe this DI with no white stripes to be one of the first if not the first 116th Infantry DI that was struck for the regiment.

 

It is really fun to get to see rare pieces like this!

 

Allan

Attached Images

  • 116th.jpg

Edited by Allan H., 16 April 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#17 everforward

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:52 AM

Yes it my understanding that this style was the first 116th DUI available back in the 1920s.... Some have said that the lack of a white border on these DUIs may be an error, and these sources were active duty 116th at the time and connected with Regiment history.

The crest was adopted by the Army Institute of Heraldry in 1924.

Edited by everforward, 17 April 2014 - 01:54 AM.


#18 VMI88

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 03:39 PM

I recently acquired one of these early DIs on a cap so I thought I'd post it for the group:

 

DSC05852.JPG DSC05853.JPG

 

Unfortunately the cap, a private purchase example made of officer-quality material, isn't named.  I got this from a collector who lives in the Shenandoah Valley and found it there years ago.  The catch is a drop-in ball type, and the crest is marked "American Metal Crafts Co. Attleboro Mass."

 



#19 VMI88

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 03:43 PM

Here's the front of the DI:

 

 

Attached Images

  • DSC05851.JPG


#20 everforward

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 04:42 PM

Great looking cap and DUI, VMI88...!

The pair that I have like that are both made and hallmarked in the same manner.

Edited by everforward, 23 February 2016 - 04:44 PM.


#21 hink441

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:06 PM

Great looking DI !!

Chris

#22 David D

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Posted 23 February 2016 - 05:21 PM

Wonderful DUI's posted here!

#23 militbuff

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 04:39 PM

I'm scratching my head here as I am trying real hard to figure out how this piece has been identified as definitively being a post WWII manufactured DI. My thoughts are as follows- the type of catch is one that I have always considered to be an earlier catch than a later one. Most of the later manufactured US insignia that I have encountered that has a pin back, has had what I call a "ball" type catch. That is, the sides of the catch are rounded rather than squared. I've noticed this on rank insignia, DI's, etc. I just went through a box of about 100 post war marked DI's and I didn't find any with this type of catch. I've always considered this type of catch to be an inferior design as the roller tended to fall out rather easily. This type of catch looks a lot like the catches on Juarez pattern wings- and those pieces always seem to be missing the roller catch.

 

The other thing is that so often, earlier vintage DI's have a glassine appearance- very clear and smooth. The later era DI's tend to have a more opaque look to the enameling.

 

Personally, I wouldn't have any heartburn at all putting this in my collection and calling it WWII.

 

Allan

I’m reviving this thread as I recently picked up a 116th DI and I’m wondering it’s a WWII DI.  It has the square type catch that Allan describes above.  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Attached Images

  • 730A87E8-BFAB-45CE-896C-D4C138E68505.jpeg
  • BF27846F-F262-4684-A318-4F69F1CFCC81.jpeg
  • 9E7243CA-707D-43F9-B25B-429592DFD8D9.jpeg


#24 Allan H.

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 05:36 PM

You've got a nice WWII DUI there. It looks like the grey enamel is broken out of it however. It is still a desirable piece.

 

Allan



#25 militbuff

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 06:43 PM

Hi Allen, thanks for your reply.  I was wondering if the grey enamel was broken out or gone.  It seems strange that all of it would be gone as opposed to just parts of it.  Maybe it’s a manufacturer’s error?  
 

Best,

Dan




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