I think the buffalo head patch is the product of some post-war person's imagination. Obviously the buffalo patch shown is a fairly modern one. As far as I've been able to ascertain, the only official patch for El Toro is the bull patch. Now, the original Disney rendition, pictured below, differed in one major respect than that finally adopted by the Marines. That is, as you can see in the picture, the bull possessed a huge set of testicles. The patch was quickly modified that same year, 1944, neutering the bull. No doubt some guy on the approval board was jealous!!
Also, there was a reason a bull was chosen for that design. The bean field of the Irvine Ranch in Orange County which became the site of MCAS El Toro was located at the mouth of Canada Del Toro (Canyon of the Bull). No buffalos there.
I spent a lot of time on that base as a young man. My dad retired out of there and we lived nearby in Santa Ana. I was there a lot, and had a good deal going with the base thrift shop getting a crack at all the old uniforms and insignia that came in, and there was a lot of it. Those were nice days. I went back to the base a couple of months before they closed it. By then, many of the buildings, many dating back to WWII, were already gone. It was pretty sad.
Edited by themick, 21 June 2008 - 04:59 PM.