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WW I Shoulder & Helmet Insignia of the 35th Division, AEF


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#1 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:17 PM

My apologies, but the forum will not allow me to paste any text, which is a must on a long post like this, into the initial post. Therefore please ignore this "starter" post and move on the real first post, which follows.



#2 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:19 PM

Deciphering the array of colors within the circle that surrounds World War I era, 35th Division insignia continues to vex both historians and militaria collectors. Despite the fact that all of the “prescribed” color combinations have been identified, for the foreseeable future that division’s insignia will likely continue to exasperate those interested in it. The reason for this is because like many of the other reference sources devoted to the insignia of the 35th Division during the Great War, this post also falls short of being comprehensive. Viewers who carefully navigate this thread will notice that more than a few color combinations (eighteen, by my count) have to this day, eluded identification. If you can add to the meager amount of information contained within this post, or better yet, identify any of the 35th Division “unknowns” shown within its confines, for the sake of those with a future interest in the insignia of this division; please add whatever information you may have.

 

I know that there are at least three topics on this forum that are devoted to the insignia of the 35th Division. However, my searches led me to only two of the three links, either or both of which may be of interest to any of the viewers of this post:

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/131-35th-infantry-division/?hl=%2B35th+%2Bdivision+%2Bshoulder+%2Binsignia

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/14117-help-with-ww1-patches/?hl=%2B35th+%2Binfantry+%2Bdivision+%2Binsignia#entry92637

 

Photo No. 01: The shoulder insignia of the 138th Infantry Regiment, bearing two yellow and two blue quadrants within a yellow outer-ring, is prominently displayed in this post war portrait of AEF and 35th Infantry Division veteran, Major Alexander Rives Skinker.

 

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Over There collection

Attached Images

  • 01 35th Division Insignia.jpg


#3 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:20 PM

35th Division Insignia: Background

On October 29, 1918, a telegram sent by the Adjutant General, AEF, addressed to the Commanding General of the 35th Division was delivered to a clerk at that division’s headquarters. The eagerly awaited news contained within the missive was that the design submitted as the division’s official shoulder insignia had been approved by the Commander in Chief of the AEF. Thus the division logo that was adopted to mark division property back in March of 1918 became an official part of AEF service dress.

 

Photo No. 02: Three unidentified Company D officers wear the nearly all black insignia of the 140th Infantry Regiment comprised of two black & two yellow quadrants within a black outer-ring.

Photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

Attached Images

  • 02 35th Division Officers .jpg


#4 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:21 PM

Just as so many other AEF organizations had done before them, the design that would become the 35th Division’s official shoulder patch was selected, approved and stenciled onto division property long before that division ever set foot on French soil. In other words, at the time the design was chosen there was no such thing as an Army, Division or Regimental “shoulder, sleeve insignia” (SSI) in either the U.S. Army or in the recently formed AEF. The adoption of such an insignia would not occur until the autumn of 1918.

 

The 35th Division’s symbol was selected in the spring of 1918, during the final stages of the division’s preparations for overseas deployment. That event was noted in one of the division’s many regimental histories. The same post-war publication also stated the utilitarian purpose for which the emblem was to be used. It also elaborated on the emblem’s future transformation into a SSI:

 

The insignia of the division was a Santa Fe Cross within a circle. When the men went overseas, this sign was stenciled on trunks and baggage. When later on in France, it became a shoulder insignia, curiously enough the breaks in the circle necessary for the stencil became permanent in the cloth insignia, although obviously incorrect.

 

From Doniphan to Verdun the Official History of the 140th Infantry Regiment, 1920, Evan Alexander Edwards, page 13

 

Photo No. 03: The insignia adopted by each AEF infantry division was initially used to identify that division’s baggage and later its transportation. One of the very few period photos of AEF equipment bearing a newly minted unit symbol is this 4th Division marked crate.

 

Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Attached Images

  • 03 4th Division Marked Equipment  .jpg


#5 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:22 PM

Photo No. 04: Personal baggage belonging to 35th Division personnel that was shipped either to or from Europe was also stenciled with the division logo. The Santa Fe Cross in the colors of the 138th Infantry Regiment is displayed for all to see on this officer’s trunk.

 

Photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

Attached Images

  • 04 35th Division Marked Officer's Trunk.jpg


#6 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:23 PM

Photo No. 05: The 35th’s Santa Fe logo in blue for Division HQ is more than conspicuous on this squad surplus bag, which is further labeled as being the property of “Squad No. 22”.

 

Photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

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  • 05 35th Division HQ Marked Squad Surplus Bag.jpg


#7 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:24 PM

It is said that the National Guardsmen from Kansas and Missouri selected the Santa Fe Cross as their division’s insignia, because that symbol was used to mark the route of the historic trail for which it was so named. Also, the jumping off point for the old Santa Fe Trail, which played such a vital role in the settlement of the American southwest, originated near the Missouri – Kansas border.

 

At the time of posting, no information regarding the individual, or individuals, responsible for selecting, and, or designing the division’s emblem have been singled out. However, it has been said that the fingerprints of Lieutenant Colonel Walter J. Scott, then 35th Division Quartermaster, were all over the birth of the division’s logo. I was also unable to locate any information that adequately explained how the cross within a circle came to be associated with the legendary trail that opened up the old west.

 

Photo No. 06: Once overseas, the 35th Division’s logo was promptly painted onto all of the division’s horse and motor drawn vehicles as soon as they became available. Here, the insignia of the 110th Supply Train (three maroon & one yellow quadrant within a green circle) adorns the side of one of that organization’s heavy trucks.

 

Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Attached Images

  • 06 110th Supply Train Marked Truck .jpg


#8 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:26 PM

Photo No. 07: Not long after its arrival overseas, the 35th Division’s symbol migrated onto sign boards identifying the division’s whereabouts. In this case, the logo and lettering painted on a placard placed near the building’s entrance publicized the whereabouts of the 35th Division’s Supply Train.

 

Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Attached Images

  • 07 35th Division Sign .jpg


#9 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:27 PM

35th Division Insignia: Painted Helmets

The 35th Division insignia is unique in that it was one of the few AEF divisional insignia to be painted onto steel helmets worn in combat prior to the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918.

 

By the middle of June, 1918, elements of the 35th Division, under the command of the 33rd French Army Corps, began their on the job training in the Benoit and DeGalbert subsectors of what was called the Wesserling Sector, east of the town of Wesserling in the Vosage Mountains of northeastern France. The mountainous area, once the playground for rich Alsatians and Germans from across the Rhine River, was now a quiet area where weary French troops were sent to rest, and untested Yanks were dispatched to learn. Research indicates that sometime between June and August of 1918, the Santa Fe Cross emblem was stenciled onto steel helmets worn by the men of the 35th Division during their stint in that area of Alsace.

 

Photo No. 08: This image taken by Signal Corps photographers was captioned, “Recreation in the trenches. 1st Bn. Scouts, 137th Reg. Inf., Camp Jordan, near Amphersbach, Alsace, Germany*, August 30, 1918.” At least two of the poker playing scouts look to be wearing helmets bearing Santa Fe Cross emblems with faded yellow outer-rings. The faint outline of a ring with stencil breaks is just visible on the helmets worn by both the seated and standing Doughboys on the right hand side of the photo.

 

Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum

 

*The photographer responsible for writing this caption was likely in error when he assumed that Alsace was a part of Germany in the summer of 1918. Despite the fact that the inhabitants of Alsace largely spoke German, at that time, Alsace was situated on the French side of the Rhine River. This geographic certainty made Alsace a part of France, not Germany.

Attached Images

  • 08 Scouts 137th Infantry Regiment August 30 1918.jpg


#10 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:28 PM

Photo No. 09: The red arrows point out the location of the partially visible outer-ring portion of the 35th Division’s logo in this close up of the two card sharks from the 137th Infantry Regiment. The inset is an enlarged view of the standing soldier’s helmet. Note that the position of the insignia on both helmets is more or less identical.

 

Photos courtesy of the National World War I Museum

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  • 09 137th Infantry Painted Helmets August 1918.jpg


#11 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:29 PM

Photo No. 10: Helmets painted with the insignia of the 110th Sanitary Train (one green and three maroon quadrants within a green outer-circle) are worn by men of the 137th Ambulance Company during their training in the De Galbert sub-sector of the Vosage Mountains. The label on this photo proclaimed it was taken on August 31, 1918.

 

Photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum

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  • 10 110th Sanitary Train Helmets I .jpg


#12 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:30 PM

Photo No. 11: In what is arguably a staged photo shoot, men from the 110th Sanitary Train bind the imaginary wounds of a fellow soldier. The inset provides a better view of the helmet bearing the insignia of the 110th Sanitary Train.

 

Photos courtesy of the National World War I Museum

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  • 11 110th Sanitary Train Helmets II .jpg


#13 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:31 PM

Photo No. 12: Likely from the same series of Signal Corps photos, two men also from the 110th Sanitary Train adjust a mule’s “Horsepirator” as the British called the equine gasmask. Once again, helmets with stenciled insignia are being worn by 35th Division medical men in August of 1918. Note that an additional, and unknown, symbol has been painted on the back of the helmet worn by the soldier clad in a leather jerkin with his back to the camera.

 

Photos courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Attached Images

  • 12 110th Sanitary Train III .jpg


#14 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:32 PM

The only written reference in respect to 35th Division painted helmets being worn in actual combat was located in the official history of the 140th Infantry Regiment. The following passage refers to the debris of battle that littered a field near Charpentry, at the close of combat on the second (Friday, September 27, 1918) of five days of bitter combat by that regiment during the AEF’s initial push towards the Argonne Forest:

 

 Near Charpentry on this day I saw helmets bearing the device of the 139th, of the 138th, and a few of the 137th, which was in support of the 138th. But in Charpentry and to the west the loss fell heavily upon the 140th.

 

From Doniphan to Verdun, 1920, Evan Alexander Edwards, page 64

 

Photo No. 13: This undated photo by war correspondent Otto P. Higgins depicts three wounded 35th Division officers in a shell hole calmly awaiting the arrival of an ambulance. The image was likely taken in the early days of Meuse-Argonne offensive during the 35th Division’s bloody assault on Charpentry. The painted helmet worn by the lieutenant on the right bears either the all-white insignia of the 110th Engineer Regiment or the all-yellow insignia of 69th Infantry Brigade HQ.

 

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Over There collection

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  • 13 Wounded Officers 35th Division 1918.jpg


#15 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:33 PM

Photo No. 14: The lower insignia stenciled onto this helmet is smaller in diameter and situated much closer to the helmet’s rim. It is thought that helmet insignia of this type was used by the 35th Division prior to the signing of the Armistice. Note the size similarity of its placement and size to the insignia painted onto the officer’s helmet worn in the previous photo.

 

The size and placement of the larger diameter insignia situated above its smaller counterpart closely matches the size of the insignia painted onto the majority of 35th Division steel helmets that were painted after the cessation of hostilities in November of 1918. Could this be an example of a post-war emblem painted over a war-time emblem?

 

Photo Courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

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  • 14 Double Stencil 110th Engineer Regiment.jpg


#16 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:34 PM

Photo No. 15: Other than the green correspondents brassard, Otto P. Higgins, correspondent for the Kansas City Star newspaper is attired, more or less the same as any other officer holding a junior rank in the AEF. Among his AEF officers’ accoutrements is a steel helmet bearing a painted 35th Division insignia whose colors cannot be positively identified.

 

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Over There collection

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  • 15 War Corrospondent Otto P Higgins Kansas City Star.jpg


#17 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:35 PM

Photo No. 16: Although the practice was never authorized by GHQ, it was not uncommon to see division insignia painted onto gasmask satchels carried by individual soldiers. Here, the emblems of the 129th FA Regiment (left) and the 130th MG Battalion (right) have been stenciled onto each gasmask’s haversack.

 

Photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Attached Images

  • 16 35th Division Painted Gasmask Satchels.jpg


#18 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:36 PM

Photo No. 17: The final stage in the evolution of the 35th Division’s Santa Fe Cross emblem during the Great War was its transformation from a stenciled symbol into that of a cloth insignia whose purpose was to be worn on the shoulder of every officer and enlisted man serving in the division. Several examples of the Santa Fe Cross as a SSI, cropped from period photographs taken during 1918 and 1919, are presented here. Clockwise from upper left, the insignia represent the: 137th Infantry Regiment, 138th Infantry Regiment, 137th or 130th MG Battalion, 60th FA Brigade HQ, and Division HQ (?).

 

All photos except lower left courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

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  • 17 35th Division Insignia Close Ups .jpg


#19 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:38 PM

35th Division Insignia: Physical Appearance

Regardless of the symbol’s roots or what it was painted on, the 35th Division’s insignia was composed of a central, circular disc on which an equal-armed cross divided that disc into four separate quadrants. The central disc and quadrants were surrounded by a narrow outer-ring. As previously mentioned, in order to create stencils which allowed the design to be easily painted onto division property, baggage, division transportation, signs, gasmask satchels, and later helmets, it was necessary for the emblem’s outer-ring to be broken at the 45, 135, 225 and 315 degree marks to connect the outer-ring to the inner-disc. The stencil breaks were later inadvertently transferred to, and in many instances, became a permanent part of the logo when it was converted into an insignia worn on the sleeve of the service coat.

 

Photo No. 18: An example of a 35th Division SSI with (right) and without (left) stencil breaks. The left hand SSI is a hand embroidered 138th Infantry Regiment SSI. Next to it is the insignia of an unknown unit presumed to hail from Division HQ (blue outer-ring).

 

Left hand photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right hand photo courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

Attached Images

  • 18 With & Without Stencil Breaks.jpg


#20 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:39 PM

35th Division Insignia: The Road to Approval

On October 19, 1918, at precisely 10:58pm Telegram No. M-674, from General Headquarters (GHQ), AEF was dispatched to all Commanding Generals serving in the AEF. The telegram instructed each general to carry out the following:

 

Each division will adopt and procure immediately some distinctive insignia cloth design which will be worn by every officer and man of the division on the left arm, the upper part to be attached to the shoulder seam. Report will be made to these headquarters by telegram as to designs adopted in order that there be no duplication. Approval of design will be made by telegram from these headquarters.

 

Telegram No. T-647, GHQ, AEF, dated October 19, 1918

 

Busy with the Meuse-Argonne offensive, Major General Peter E. Traube, the Commanding Officer of the 35th Division, made time to respond to GHQ’s request two days later on October 21, 1918. In his return cable, Traube informed GHQ that the Santa Fe Cross design, in various colors, was currently stenciled onto all the division’s transportation, much of its equipment and on just about every division signboard. Because of the insignia’s current widespread use, Traube expected GHQ to immediately approval of his division’s insignia. This, however, was not to be, as GHQ’s reply informed him that it was still necessary to submit samples of the division’s Santa Fe Cross design before it could be approved. Thus, on October 23, sketches of the Santa Fe Cross design, along with a written description of the insignia, was dispatched to GHQ for further consideration. The sketches of the shoulder insignia design submitted in late October were accompanied by the following description:

 

Within a blue circle 2” in diameter, 1/8” in width quadrated at a 45 degrees to the lines of disc, a blue quadrated disc 1 ½” in diameter, the inner ends of the lines rounded by arcs 1/8” radius, all white lines 1/8” in width.

 

Letter from HQ, 35th Division to the Adjutant General, AEF, October 21, 1918

 

Photo No. 19: At left is the original sketch, rendered in blue pencil, of the intended 35th Division’s sleeve insignia that was received by GHQ in October of 1918. Opposite is an early illustration of the 35th Division HQ Detachment’s all blue shoulder insignia as found in the National Archives. Note that the inner corner of the four quadrants, on the right hand image, lack the radius corners called for in the insignia’s original description.

 

Photos courtesy of Schiffer Publishing

Attached Images

  • 19 Early 35th Division Insignia Illustrations.jpg


#21 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:40 PM

Photo No. 20: Here manufacturer variations of the inner quadrant radius on different 70th Infantry Brigade HQ SSI are shown. From left to right: with radius corners as called for by the original design – without radius corners, which is how the majority of SSI were fabricated – and with a concave, rather than convex radius. Insignia of the latter type were the exception rather than the rule, and presumably made in error by vendors who did not completely understand the original concept of the design.

 

Left & center photos courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

Attached Images

  • 20 Quadrant Radius Variations.jpg


#22 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:42 PM

35th Division Insignia: When Issued

Despite having been approved by GHQ, AEF, on October 23, 1918, the wearing of shoulder insignia by personnel of the 35th Division was technically not permitted until it was endorsed in General Orders – This event did not occur until two weeks after GHQ’s initial consent.

 

The Santa Fe Cross design was made 100% official on November 14, 1918, while the 35th Division was under the command of the First Army. On that date, General Orders No. 34, issued by HQ, First Army proclaimed that the 35th Division’s Santa Fe Cross insignia, then comprised of twenty-four recognized color combinations, would henceforth be worn as that organization’s shoulder insignia.

 

Additional information concerning the forthcoming 35th Division’s SSI was published by Colonel H.S. Hawkins, the 35th Division’s Chief of Staff, in Bulletin No. 11, dated December 2, 1918. In addition to informing the various organizations within the division that the Division Quartermaster would be issuing material from which the insignia could be fabricated, parameters regarding exactly how, and where, the shoulder patch was to be situated on the service coat were defined:

 

The symbol will be worn on the left sleeve of the service coat and overcoat, one and one half (1 ½) inches below the shoulder seam. The cloth on which the symbol is made, to be cut in a circle. The lines forming the cross will be vertical and horizontal.

 

35th Division Bulletin No. 11, dated December 2, 1918

 

At the time of posting, the exact date on which the 35th Division insignia first began to be sewn onto division service coats is not known. However, between November 1918 and February 1919, AEF Signal Corps photographers took official portraits of many of that division’s officers, chaplains, and the enlisted men of HQ Troop. Each portrait was carefully labeled with the name of the officer or enlisted man, the location and the date on which the image was taken. In most cases, the photos also showed whether or not if the division’s recently approved insignia had, or had not been, sewn onto the service coat worn by the men photographed.

 

Photo No. 21: The following selection of portraits depict, from left to right:

  • 2nd Lieutenant James W, Heess, Quartermaster Corps, 35th Division Sommediue, Meuse, France, November 6, 1918
  • Captain R.M. Whaley, HQ Troop, 35th Division, Lerouville, Meuse, France, November 12, 1918
  • Chaplain W.V. Meredith, 139th Infantry Regiment, 35th Division, Commercy, Meuse, France, January 14, 1919

The left and center photographs show that neither man was wearing a 35th Division shoulder patch. However, Chaplain Meredith on the right, along with a few others, but not all of the men photographed during the January 14, 1919 session were wearing 35th Division shoulder patches.

 

Photos courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Attached Images

  • 21 35th Division Officer Portraits .jpg


#23 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:43 PM

Photo No. 22: This selection of 35th Division portraits taken between the end of January and the latter half of February 1919, depict, from left to right:

  • Private Albert B. Miller, HQ Troop, 35th Division, Commercy, Meuse, France, January 27, 1919
  • Major Carl Phillips, 35th Division Surgeon, Commercy Meuse, February 18, 1919
  • Colonel G.A. Taylor, Commanding Officer of the  128th Field Artillery Regiment, 35th Division, Commercy, Meuse, France, February 18, 1919

In these images, each man is wearing a division SSI. Based on the small sample shown, and the sixty or so other images of 35th Division personnel taken during the above mentioned photo sessions that were viewed, it would appear that 35th Division insignia was not worn before January 14, 1919, as no division insignia was visible in any of the official portraits taken prior to that date.

 

Photos courtesy of the National WW I Museum

Attached Images

  • 22 35th Division Officer & EM Portraits .jpg


#24 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:44 PM

35th Division Insignia: Placement

AEF regulations stipulated that all division shoulder insignia was to be worn on the left hand sleeve of the service coat. 35th Division HQ further dictated that the division’s insignia was to be positioned so that its upper edge was adjacent to the shoulder seam, and that the arms of the cross the dividing the central disc were to be positioned so that they were horizontal and vertical, not at a forty-five degree angle, as they were sometimes incorrectly sewn.

 

Photo No. 23: Not only does the diameter of this lieutenant’s SSI, which may represent one of the artillery regiments (left), exceed the prescribed dimension of 2 inches in diameter, by at least 1 ½ inches, but it’s also sewn onto the service coat incorrectly. In this instance, the insignia is placed so that the four breaks in the outer ring are in the vertical and horizontal positions. When correctly placed, the arms of the cross within the central disc were to be in the vertical and horizontal position.

 

The 139th Infantry Regiment SSI worn by the CO of the regiment (right) is of the correct diameter, and properly positioned 1 ½ inches below the shoulder seam – per the bulletin issued on December 2, 1918 by Division HQ. However, the fact that 35th Division SSI were not placed adjacent to the shoulder seam was a direct violation of the orders issued by GHQ, AEF on October 19, 1918.

 

The two Division HQ insignia separating the period photographs illustrate the correct (top) and the incorrect (bottom) position in which 35th Division insignia were to be worn.

 

Left hand photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

Center top photo courtesy of the SMWinter collection

Center bottom photo courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

Attached Images

  • 23 Insignia Placement.jpg


#25 world war I nerd

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:45 PM

Photo No. 24: According to the December 2, 1918 bulletin issued by 35th Division HQ, the backing cloth on all division shoulder insignia was to be cut into the shape of a circle. Although it’s relatively uncommon, 35th Division insignia were, on occasion, trimmed into the shape of a square before being sewn onto the service coat. An example of this, in the form of a 110th Engineer Train SSI, is shown on the left. The right hand image is, depending on the quadrant colors, a 138th Infantry Regiment SSI (yellow & blue) or a 129th MG Battalion insignia (yellow & black) with its backing cloth cut into the prescribed shape of a circle.

 

Left hand photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Right hand photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

Attached Images

  • 24 Backing Cloth Shapes.jpg



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