Shoulder Sleeve Insignia
1918 to 1919
This post is not intended to be the last word on the topic of First World War era First Army insignia. It is instead, the beginning. It is hoped, that present and future members of this forum will provide both the middle and the end.
The following information and catalog of First Army insignia that I’ve cobbled together, is far from complete. I am certain that it lacks many of the known examples of First Army shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI). I am equally certain that this post is also missing an unknown number of First Army shoulder patch variations that have not yet been discovered.
To ensure that the content of this post reaches its maximum potential, please post any relevant First Army images … be they period photographs - loose shoulder patches – shoulder patches sewn onto military garments – or any other WW I era article, such as a sign, vehicle, piece of field equipment, etc., bearing the First Army’s iconic block letter “A” emblem.
The assembly of so many First Army SSI in one place was accomplished by a number of like-minded individuals. Therefore, any reader who finds this post informative, helpful or interesting needs to extend a virtual handshake to the following forum members, all of whom generously contributed images, information, or both – Jagjetta – GoMorgan – Military Engineer - McCooper - Rusty Canteen, Militariaone, Bill and Kurt Keller, as well as Dave & Steve Johnson.
I should also add that there’s no way for me to possibly know if every First Army shoulder patch depicted in this topic is authentic. Without having seen the majority of them in person, I am comfortable with nearly all of the images I’ve used. There are, however, a very few that I just can’t make my mind up on. Readers of this post will have to decide for themselves if they are good, or not. I also sincerely hope that no post WW I First Army patches appear in this post. Despite my best efforts, it’s also equally impossible for me to guarantee that each of the patches shown below dates to the First World War era. If I’ve gone astray anywhere, please let me know. Thanks to all for looking.
World War I Nerd …
Photo No. 01: Two of the many permutations in which the First Army insignia can be found. At left, the First Army logo has been combined with those of the Motor Transport Corps & the HQ Detachment of the First Army. Opposite is the rather unlikely combination of a First Army insignia with the “Bloody Hand” variation of the 93rd Infantry Regiment’s SSI.
Left hand photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com
Right hand photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Public Library