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WWI 34th Division Patch Project


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#1 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:50 AM

Hi Guys,
My brother and I recently wrote Emblems of Honor: Airborne and we're working on a new series of books about US Divisional SSI (patches). One area of study that seems to have escaped much notice are the colors that the 34th Division used in WWI to denote different units. I was hoping I could enlist the help of WWI collectors to try to figure out the color schemes they used.

 

For example, we now know that the green border variation (shown below) was used by the 109th Engineer Regiment (with a bullion soutache border for officers). There are quite a few others we have little or no information on. I'd like to create a color chart like you see for 2nd and 35th Divisions.  Hopefully, we can figure this out together.

The information could come from anywhere: an identified photo, an illustration on the cover of a book, an identified uniform or something painted on a steamer trunk.

I'll post a few pics after this to get things started.

Thanks ahead of time.

Best regards,
Bill Keller

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#2 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:52 AM

Unknown #1

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  • 34 rwb a.jpg


#3 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:54 AM

A similar one on a uniform.

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#4 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:56 AM

Possibly from the 334th FA.

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  • 34th Div Patch 331fa.jpg


#5 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:57 AM

Probably Trains but which one?

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#6 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 04:02 AM

There are 2 kinds of Medicals and the reverse (red background black skull) for the ammo train and what about the ones with the dots? who used them? and a yellow skull on black. I'm probably missing a few. Sorry I don't have pics handy of these right now. Any comments I'd love to hear them. Thanks, Bill

#7 MWalsh

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 05:31 AM

Possibly from the 334th FA.


This is my patch.

It has nothing to do with the 334th FA.

Not sure what I said about this patch in the original thread I posted it in years ago, but I believe that the metal 3 and the 4 are cyphers and were removed from German uniform shoulder straps. The original owner of the patch had served in the 88th Division in France if memory serves me right.

The artillery units in the 34th Division were the 151st (assigned to the Rainbow Division in WW1), and the 175th and 185th, if memory serves me right.

The origin and use of this patch will likely forever remain a mystery. I believe the owner of the patch was pre-WW1 National Guard from northern Iowa, which was 34th Division, that he ended up in the 88th in WW1, then back to the Guard and 34th post-war. It came from his elderly daughter, she knew little about his wartime service.

#8 MWalsh

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 05:37 AM

Not sure what the red white blue combo means, I have never heard anything about it, in fact, I just thought or figured it was someone's artistic license sort of thing, I have seen it I think mainly in officers uniforms and have had it in one or two, I believe one uniform was a 135th Infantry collar brassed example.

The one with the German cyphers, that guy was an enlisted man actually. While from northern Iowa, I think he had actually been in a southern Minnesota National Guard 135th unit.

Good luck on this project, I hope others can weigh in with some "known" evidence regarding the color combos and such, I have always wondered about it but have never had the gumption to research it!!

#9 panzerbait

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 10:16 AM

Bill, your inbox is full.



#10 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 02:27 PM

This is my patch.

It has nothing to do with the 334th FA.

Not sure what I said about this patch in the original thread I posted it in years ago, but I believe that the metal 3 and the 4 are cyphers and were removed from German uniform shoulder straps. The original owner of the patch had served in the 88th Division in France if memory serves me right.

The artillery units in the 34th Division were the 151st (assigned to the Rainbow Division in WW1), and the 175th and 185th, if memory serves me right.

The origin and use of this patch will likely forever remain a mystery. I believe the owner of the patch was pre-WW1 National Guard from northern Iowa, which was 34th Division, that he ended up in the 88th in WW1, then back to the Guard and 34th post-war. It came from his elderly daughter, she knew little about his wartime service.


I figured the unit # was wrong, just hoping it would jog someone's memory. 3 series are all National Army.Did you happen to get a name? I can do an ancestry search see if it comes up with anything. I'd agree on the cyphers. Thanks for the reply. Bill

#11 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 02:28 PM

Bill, your inbox is full.


Just emptied it out-

#12 gomorgan

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:20 PM

Bill the reversed color is 109th ammo trains, comes in two sizes, one for tunic and larger one for over coat. The red white and blue, the jury is out on this one, I've looked for years to try and ID this one with no success. There is also more than two varieties of medical that I've observed. Not much help but not much information available on this one.george

#13 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:10 PM

I've also wondered if there was any significance attached to the various colors (and shapes) of the 34th Division insignia from WW I.

 

I can't shed any light as to what those tow things might have meant, but here are some variations of the 34th Division SSI:

 

With a black background ... Note that one of the water jugs has been outlined in white, is this merely decoration or does it have meaning?

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  • R 34th Division-Black.jpg


#14 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:11 PM

With a green outline ...

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  • R 34th Division-Green.jpg


#15 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:14 PM

With a red and red & blue background ... Why is the skull on the red background black rather than white?

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  • R 34th Division-Red-White & Blue.jpg


#16 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:18 PM

Shield shaped backgrounds comprised of red & blue and white & blue ...

 

I put a 38th Division insignia in the center because its design was so similar. Did the 34th and 38th Divisions intersect in any way?

 

Also why is the skull on the white & blue patch red?

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  • R 34th Division-Shield.jpg


#17 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:19 PM

Misc. 34th Division insignia ...

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#18 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:28 PM

So far the color and shape variations include:

 

1.  Red, white and black cow skulls

 

2. Green and white outlines inside or surrounding the water jug

 

3. Blue, black, red, and red & blue water jugs

 

4. Red & blue and white and blue shields

 

5. Water jug shaped, shield shaped and rectangular shaped

 

 

 

Also here is a 34th Division 'Liberty Loan' style patch, which I have only seen made in one color.

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  • 34th Division Liberty Loan.jpg


#19 Bill K

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 06:54 PM

I've also wondered if there was any significance attached to the various colors (and shapes) of the 34th Division insignia from WW I.
 
I can't shed any light as to what those tow things might have meant, but here are some variations of the 34th Division SSI:
 
With a black background ... Note that one of the water jugs has been outlined in white, is this merely decoration or does it have meaning?


The one with the outline is also for the 109th Engineer Regt. I have one in a grouping. It seems this manufacturer's version of green shows as more of a blue, plus you have to figure in almost 100 years of chemical fading. Bill

#20 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 07:18 PM

After posting the images, I noticed that the so called white outline was actually more of a gray, which made me think that maybe it was originally light blue for infantry, but as you posted it could and probably was originally green.

 

Thanks for the clarification.



#21 world war I nerd

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 07:24 PM

I forgot to mention that the lower right hand SSI with the  red skull on a black background in post no. 13 was on a service coat identified to Bugler H.W. Fibiker, Company B, 109th, 109th Ammunition Train.



#22 dirk-dig

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:41 AM

Here are a few of mine with color variations:

 

First is an engineers without the full green border.  Next is a blue/white background like the one above.  Third has a purple/maroon border, presumably a medical association.  Then there is one with a white background and black border. 

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  • 34th Engrs3.jpg
  • 34th wool44.jpg
  • 34th wool20.jpg
  • 34th wool47.JPG


#23 dirk-dig

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:44 AM

Here are my last two.  First is a black background with white bull (HQ??).

 

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  • IMG_8626.JPG


#24 dirk-dig

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:44 AM

Finally, here is a red liberty loan to answer the above comment.  I also have a pink one and the threads one back are nice and bright and match the same on front, so I don't believe it's a red that faded.  

 

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  • IMG_8626 - Copy.JPG


#25 dirk-dig

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:46 AM

Here are a few others I've seen on the web that I don't own.  First are the purple ones. 

 

 

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  • 34th purple.jpg
  • 34th wool30.jpg
  • 34th wool33.jpg



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