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WW II Marine Discharge Insignia Question


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I have a couple of WW II Marine uniforms with the white lozenge shaped insignia that I understand to be an Honorable Discharge insignia, used prior to the adoption of the "Ruptured Duck" insignia. Does anyone know what are the time frames these were in use? When was the "Ruptured Duck" insignias adopted?

I just acquired a USMC Dress Blue uniform with the Third Marine Division SSI on the left sleeve and the Honorable Discharge Insignia on the right sleeve. Also has PFC rank, a 1/2 inch size ribbon bar with ribbons for the Purple Heart, Asiatic Campaign with two stars and the American Campaign. unfortunately, the collar insignias are missing. Oh, well! It was made by "Battleship" Max Cohn, who had shops in Long Beach, CA., Brooklyn, NY., and Honolulu. Marine's name is "L.H. Francis, uniform was made, March of 1942.

TIA

BKW

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Brian, If I recall correctly, the proper term is "Prior Service" -- I believe these were worn by Marines previously discharged and back on active duty.

 

Can someone else confirm this?

 

G


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As far as I can recall, the lozenge was for discharged Marines only, and not for re-enlisted men, althought I may be wrong on this. It is in the 1937 dress regs and seems to have been used up to the war or at least into the early part anyway.

I believe it was superseded by the ruptured duck and no longer used by 1945, although again, one can never say never with insignia on uniforms.

 

CB

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Hmmm... I hadn't heard that before. I thought I read it somewhere that it was for Honorable Discharge. I hadn't been able to confirm it in any of my reference books. Thanks for the thought. Off the top of my head, I don't remember which sleeve the other one I have is on. Interesting.

BKW

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CB,

Your reply came just as I was responding to Gil. Thanks for the info.

BKW

 

Since it is pretty obvious that my memory could be off, I consulted John Stacey, AAMUC's resident sea services expert and author, and he was kind enough to reply.

 

Gil, They are for honorable discharge also but were used long before the (Ruptured) Duck, 1920's.

John

 

So there we have it.

 

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The white and black diamond patch denoted wounded discharge, I believe it was phased out sometime in 1943. The Purple Heart would account for the lozenge on the uniform's right shoulder. Here are some pictures of the patch. There was a thread on this awhile back, but I can't find it.

 

 

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Looking for 100th Infantry Division items from WWII. Particularly the 399th Infantry

www.MenoftheCentury.com

 

www.Facebook.com/100thInfantryDivision

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I have one of these on a uniform that I got from a marine who was discharged in June of 1944. He had been wounded on Guadalcanal and after recouperating in Navy and VA hospitals, was discharged due to his physical disabilities. He told me that he was allowed to wear his uniform after discharge so long as that white lozenge was on his right shoulder. He wore the Old Breed 1st MarDiv patch on his left.

 

This man went on to attend the University of Kansas and in the Fall of 1944 was "forced" to wear the beanie worn by freshmen since the turn of the century or earlier. This man told me that there were a lot of WWII veterans in the same shape he was in that resented wearing the beanie so they decided to stop wearing them. This would normally get a freshman's butt kicked by upperclassmen if the offending freshman was caught on campus without this hated cap. However, all of the veterans got together and decided that they weren't going to play the "wear the beanie" game.

If a veteran freshman was getting grief from upperclassmen, he would holler "Geronimo!" (must have come from a paratrooper) and other veterans would come running.

The Fall of 1944 was the last year that freshmen wore beanies at the University of Kansas.

I just thought some of you might appreciate the story.

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Thanks for all the replies, it is obvious to me there hasn't been much published about this particular SSI. I have several "patch" books and two pretty good WW II marine books (one is Jim Morans), and neither mentions these (unless I missed it).

I need to dig out the other uniform I have that has this SSI and see if it has ribbons on it, I don't remember right now. I would have to imagine this SSI on a Dress uniform is a little less common that on the standard uniform.

I also need to do the research on the Vet. He may have been from Indiana.

I enjoy this forum.

I'll try to get some photo's up.

BKW

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They are indeed much less commonly seen on dress blues, one reason being is that the blues were not issued during the war (other than for certain purposes such as recruiting, displays etc.), but could be privately purchased.

These discharge diamonds were not very commonly worn to begin with as apparently most discharged Marines no longer wished to wear their uniform anyway and did not bother to have them sewn on. I am now quite certain that these diamonds were replaced by the ruptured duck. I, nor anyone I know, has ever seen them on a Marine discharged at the end of the war or later.

 

CB

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  • 11 years later...

Everything I have seen or read about the USMC honorable discharge patch(used prior to the ruptured duck) refers to a white wool diamond shaped patch on the blue or green uniform. Has anyone ever seen or heard of a green wool diamond patch on khaki( I am assuming this would be for a shirt)?

 

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Always looking for USN WW2 era Bullion Chief Petty Officer Rates, any Chief Petty Officer Airship Rigger Rates, Liberty Cuffs, WW2 USMC Insignia and Distinguishing Marks, and WW2 Civil Defense and Civil Air Patrol Insignia


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  • 2 weeks later...

Any USMC collectors out there?

Always looking for USN WW2 era Bullion Chief Petty Officer Rates, any Chief Petty Officer Airship Rigger Rates, Liberty Cuffs, WW2 USMC Insignia and Distinguishing Marks, and WW2 Civil Defense and Civil Air Patrol Insignia


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Yes, I have seen reference to a green diamond being worn on the khaki coat and white on the green and blue coat. I just cannot remember where I saw it. I will look. I do have one green on khaki diamond that has a finished edge and appears to have been removed from a coat, I will try to find it and take a picture. The white on green is very common as all Marines had the green uniform issued, however far fewer had the time, money or interest in purchasing the blue and khaki uniforms. Semper Fi - Jeff

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Thanks for your comment Jeff. I have a white diamond on green and on blue, and wondered if this green one could be the real thing. I am feeling better about it now after reading your information. If you do find the reference you mentioned, I would really appreciate you posting it.

 

fritz

Always looking for USN WW2 era Bullion Chief Petty Officer Rates, any Chief Petty Officer Airship Rigger Rates, Liberty Cuffs, WW2 USMC Insignia and Distinguishing Marks, and WW2 Civil Defense and Civil Air Patrol Insignia


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Very attractive example of a green discharge diamond on khaki. Love the stitching as well. Thanks for digging it out Jeff.

Always looking for USN WW2 era Bullion Chief Petty Officer Rates, any Chief Petty Officer Airship Rigger Rates, Liberty Cuffs, WW2 USMC Insignia and Distinguishing Marks, and WW2 Civil Defense and Civil Air Patrol Insignia


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