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Post WW2 VMF-323 Death Rattlers patch


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#26 Jeffro

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 07:36 PM

I am sorry but can not let this incorrect information go unchallenged. There are not plenty of patches in the 1950's and early 60's with merrow edged. There was only a handful during WW2 and they were a different type of marrow edge. It is commonly accepted that use of the current style merrow edge did not start until 1968 roughly.


The VMF-323 patch and the VS-24 patch do not have the modern (post 1968) merrowed edge you are talking about. They both exhibit a type of flat merrowed edge used on many USN squadron patches from the mid to late 1950s. If you collect patches from this era, then the VMF-323 is definitely worth having. It does not luminesce under blacklight. Personally, I think the patch is likely from the 1956-1959 era but that goes against Mule's book stating 1962. Jeffro

#27 mortaydc60

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:46 PM

Yes there were merrow edge type borders found on Naval patches in the 50's but they were not of the type shown on this patch. The unit was redesignated from VMF to VMA in June 1952 and changed to VMFA in the early 60's. Did not see where they say it does not glow with blacklight. The art work style is not consistent with the 50's but much later in my opinion. So for this patch to be period made it would have to be before  June1952 and the WW2 version was a decal without the number designated. Checkout the two period Korean War patches I posted and check the border; it is not what you see on the patch border that started the post and is consistent with later made borders in the 60's. Believe this to be a reunion piece. Hate to disagree with Jethro who I feel is very expert in this area but it is a good discussion and hopefully instructive and leads to further investigation. 



#28 Jeffro

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:11 PM

Hey Mortaydc60, I appreciate the compliment, but I'm no "expert" and always trying to learn about the patches I collect. I think the problem is that the photos posted by the OP don't clearly illustrate the edge we are talking about. It is my opinion that these patches may have only been used by one or more manufacturers and may have not been an industry-wide standard during the 1950s as opposed to the standard merrowed edge that was adopted in the late 1960s and is still used today. I have narrowed this type of edge down to at least 1955 based on my own research of various squadrons from that era. For everyone's benefit the edge we are discussing is better illustrated by this VA-15 patch used during their 1955 World cruise aboard the USS Midway. The edge I am referring to is clearly seen at the 12 O'clock position in the photo. However, if you look at the 10 O'clock position, the same patch appears to have the modern type merrowed edge you believe the VMF-323 patch has. This is caused by some slight twisting along the outer edges of the patch that causes the outer edge of stitching to move to the flat-stitched reverse side of the patch edge.
image.jpeg
I don't think the WW2 version of the patch was part of the discussion since the OP said it was Post war, but wondering if it was KW era. I think we all agree that the WW2 version was decal. The post WW2 version was US embroidered with no unit designation (not including patches made overseas) but pretty much identical to the decal WW2 version except for the angle of the snake's positioning relative to the corsair silhouette. During the KW, the squadron was designated VMA-323. I have a version of the early VMF-323 embroidered patch that had yellow paint applied by the veteran with the new unit designation and "Death Rattlers" painted in the same manner of the later patches. Post Korean War in 1956, the unit was re-designated VMF-323 and remained so until 1963 when it became VMFA-323. That's why I believe the OP's patch is from the 1956-1962 era , but I think it may be earlier than Mule Holmberg's actual reference of 1962. Maybe the OP can state how he obtained the patches, but I know they were sold on eBay and included a KW era VF-74 Bedevilers patch, the VS-24 patch, and the VMF-323 patch. If they came from the same person, it would also be likely that he served from the KW throughout late 1950s into the early 1960s, but that's pure speculation on my part without having any other info. I do know that the patch does NOT glow under UV light and I think it's minty condition lead a number of people to believe it was a reunion piece or of more modern manufacture. I'm not trying to throw darts here, just trying to learn and share with the group. Hope this helps the discussion. Jeffro

Edited by Jeffro, 23 May 2019 - 08:15 PM.


#29 Jeffro

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:22 PM

This photo is from the Lost Worlds website and is supposedly from a flight surgeon during the KW. Adds another dimension to the discussion I guess.😉Jeffro
image.jpeg

#30 MilitaryPicker1941

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:19 PM

That flight jacket is beautiful! Looks like this patch definitely dates to some time in the 50’s

#31 mortaydc60

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:41 PM

The patch on the Lost World jacket looks identical to the one that started the discussion except that it has VMA designation and perhaps the brown background is  darker on the VMF patch. Great info and discussion,never too old to learn.



#32 mortaydc60

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 01:03 PM

Checked multiple sites and Wikipedia omitted change of VMA to VMF but found in one other site  that  in Sept 1956 it changed to VMF from VMA and that in July 1963 changed to VMF(AW) and than in 1964 changed again to VMFA. So it is possible that the patch that started this discussion could have been made between late 1956 to summer of 1963. Glad we nailed it down.



#33 Pbaczuk

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 11:22 PM

Nice work gents. A great study and some neat contributions were provided by you guys!


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