I thought it might be useful to start a thread showing the various insignia as painted onto AEF vehicles. I’ll start things off with the photos that I have access to, some of which feature insignia that needs to be identified.
If any forum member or visitor knows of, or is in possession of a period photo or photos showing AEF vehicles, motorized or otherwise, with any type of insignia please post it or them along with a brief description …
Let’s see how many AEF Division, Corps, Army and other smaller unit insignia we can gather here in one spot.
It would also be nice to add some official information about the evolution and use of AEF vehicle insignia. The topic of which seems to remain an unexplored area of AEF research. Collectively we can change that.
Also if you run across any mention of division or regimental insignia as used on vehicles in period diaries, letters, unit histories or other published works please post whatever information may come to hand.
Finally if you can identify any of the unknown insignia posted below or care to take a shot in the dark as to what it represents, feel free to post actual information or your best guess.
Thanks for looking … World War I Nerd
A.E.F. Vehicle Insignia
In 1916, prior to the Punitive Expedition, scattered all across America, the U.S. Army had approximately 100 motorized vehicles of all types at its disposal. For the most part, the Army relied on horse and mule drawn transport, along with the railroad, to accomplish the majority of its transportation needs.
Due to a dispute over the use of Mexico’s Northwestern Railway system, the Army was forced to employ motor trucks to convey supplies to the troops of the Punitive Expedition in the deserts and mountain of Chihuahua, Mexico. As it turned out, compared to traditional general service wagons and pack mules, motor vehicles were found to be a more efficient means of transportation. By the time General Pershing and his troops were withdrawn from Mexico in January of 1917, the Expeditions motor transport had expanded from two motor truck companies to 22 motor truck companies. The reliance on motorized transport during the Punitive Expedition also heralded the beginning of a love affair between the Army and motorized vehicles that continues to this day.
Photo No. 01: This photo captioned, “Going on patrol”, depicts either National Guardsmen on the border or Army regulars on the move in a new motor truck somewhere in Mexico circa 1916.
Photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection