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Unidentified WWI Patch


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Hi All,

Last night, at the TMCA Christmas Party, I picked up a neat photo of a doughboy with a patch that has me stumped. I've gone through my references and looked on the forum but seem to be missing it. It looks like a modern day BIO Hazard Symbol on Diamond. As you can see from the photo the doughboy was in the Quartermaster Corps .Any ideas of the unit would be greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance.

Regards,

John

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Yeah. this was 701st Bioplogical Sannitary Company. A unit formed in October 1918 when rumors that the Kaiser was reanimating dead soldiers who would creep through no man's land to eat our boy's brains.

 

Sorry, but yes it does look a LOT like the Biohazard sign, which was developed in 1966/67. I think by Dow chemical of all places, but that design had no connection at all with anythign previous, so its just by chance it iwas used in WW1. It's a modified trefoil, so generally that would refer to a unit that has some sort of number 3 in it (3, 30, 333, etc.). Then again, it may have just looked cool to someone.

 

I have to say this is really quite cool, and I hope someone does recognize it.

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The patch pictured on the uniform is also seen on Dan Griffins website and the bullion version above which is very rare is also shown. This biohazard design is actually very rare. The more common 39th Div is the triangle design within a circle. Dan has the patch for sale at a very reasonable price considering its rarity. Mort

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  • 4 years later...

BigJohn:

 

I can't get a personal message through to you, so am posting it here in the hope you will see it:

 

Hi John,
John Adams-Graf here (editor, Military Trader). I have been working on an article to clarify the identification of the entwined crescent on blue background SSI found on some WWI quartermaster uniforms. Back in 2012, you had posted a detail from a WWI image that you had obtained that showed that insignia.
I was wondering if I could request permission to use the image. If possible, do you have a high resolution copy the full image?
Thanks so much for your consideration and all of the helpful comments you post on the Forum---it all helps to keep the hobby strong!
Best,
John A-G

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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I do not believe it is a 39th Division SSI.

 

There is a thread somewhere that ID's this as the SSI for a Services of Supply organization. If my memory is right, a uniform with that SSI along with the identifying information was sold on this forum. The soldier was identified along with the unit, a coffee roasting company located near Bordeaux. Documents that came with the coat told the story. I think it is the SSI for Base Section 2 of the Services of Supply. The image in Post #1 is of the soldier wearing the coat that was sold.

 

The more common version of the SSI is a white thread embroidered 3-crescent design on a blue diamond. These seem to be frequently available.

 

Here is an image of the SSI on the coat that is being worn by the soldier in the image in Post #1.

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I do not believe it is a 39th Division SSI.

 

There is a thread somewhere that ID's this as the SSI for a Services of Supply organization. If my memory is right, a uniform with that SSI along with the identifying information was sold on this forum. The soldier was identified along with the unit, a coffee roasting company located near Bordeaux. Documents that came with the coat told the story. I think it is the SSI for Base Section 2 of the Services of Supply. The image in Post #1 is of the soldier wearing the coat that was sold.

 

The more common version of the SSI is a white thread embroidered 3-crescent design on a blue diamond. These seem to be frequently available.

 

Here is an image of the SSI on the coat that is being worn by the soldier in the image in Post #1.

A correction to my post. Here is the image of the coat with the SSI that was sold being worn. It is a different soldier and image from the one in Post #1. I do not know who the seller or buyer was and I hope it is OK to use the image without attribution.

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Here is one from my collection that I posted here on the Forum a few years ago.It was tentatively ID'd as the 39th then.I seem to recall the "coffee roasting" thread,but can't locate it either.

 

 

 

Here is a link to the discussion about mine:


http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/171106-37th-infantry-division-variationnot-sure-about-the-id/?hl=%2B39th+%2Bpatch&do=findComment&comment=1305595

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High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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I have been working on the story for a bit. The reference to "coffee roasting" was from a soldier's recollections. He, along with 19 other soldiers were detached to work at the coffee roasting plant as Bassens. At the time, he was a member of the 329th Supply Co., QMC. The coffee roasting plant to which he referred was in the Base Section No. 2 area.

 

While it probably sounds cool to say that the patch represents the Coffee Roasting Unit, there was no such thing...It was a coffee roasting PLANT manned by various QMC personnel--in this case, 20 guys from the 329th Supply Co. The man returned to the 329th and when he shipped back to the United States (about the time the photo was taken?), he was still listed as a member of the 329th.

 

My suspicion is that the chiffre de Bordeaux insignia represents the five Transport Companies in Base No. 2, though I don't have enough data to support that as fact. Like the previous erroneous identifications of 37th Division and 39th Division, the Coffee Roasting Unit is a red herring as well.

 

What I know for sure: The three or four attributable insignia trace back to Base Section No. 2. Whether the insignia relates exclusively to the Base, Bordeaux-stationed units, or directly to individual Supply Companies, I have been able to figure out. The most recent identified patch that I have been able to work with belonged to a guy who shipped to France as a member of the Butchery Co.#329--that throws a wrench into my "Supply Company theory!" When he shipped back to the US, he was assigned to a Bordeaux Casual Company...another common trait of soldiers wearing the patch.

 

PATCHCOLLECTOR: I have records of one other soldier wearing the style patch you own. He, too, served in the 329th Supply Co. Would it be possible to use your patch in my finished research?

 

I have sent a note to Forum member ROLFI. He has identified at least 5 different shapes of this patch. I am hoping he can shed some more light on the project.

 

Thank you, all, for your input and info...compiling all into something logical and readable is the next step!

 

John A-G

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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At the time of the armistice, there was only one coffee plant in operation ("Coffe Roasting Plant No. 1") at Corbeil-Essones). They could grind approx. 1.5 million rations of coffee PER DAY!

 

Two other large plants were under construction at the time of the Armistice at Bordeaux Gievres (where the above-referenced soldier worked). A fourth plant was contemplated to be built at St. Nazaire, but not constructed. All were staffed by QMC personnel. I don't think The Coffee Roasting Plant was a unit, but rather a location. In the case of Coffee Roasting Plant No. 1, it was staffed by 300 French civilians, 3 officers and 215 soldiers. It was a "Quartermaster manufacturing operation" under the direction of the Chief Purchasing Officer. (Source: "Obtaining and Roasting Coffee for AEF in France," Simmons Spice Mill, August 1919).

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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While it probably sounds cool to say that the patch represents the Coffee Roasting Unit, there was no such thing...It was a coffee roasting PLANT manned by various QMC personnel--in this case, 20 guys from the 329th Supply Co. The man returned to the 329th and when he shipped back to the United States (about the time the photo was taken?), he was still listed as a member of the 329th.

 

 

At the time of the armistice, there was only one coffee plant in operation ("Coffe Roasting Plant No. 1") at Corbeil-Essones). They could grind approx. 1.5 million rations of coffee PER DAY!

 

Two other large plants were under construction at the time of the Armistice at Bordeaux Gievres (where the above-referenced soldier worked). A fourth plant was contemplated to be built at St. Nazaire, but not constructed. All were staffed by QMC personnel. I don't think The Coffee Roasting Plant was a unit, but rather a location. In the case of Coffee Roasting Plant No. 1, it was staffed by 300 French civilians, 3 officers and 215 soldiers. It was a "Quartermaster manufacturing operation" under the direction of the Chief Purchasing Officer. (Source: "Obtaining and Roasting Coffee for AEF in France," Simmons Spice Mill, August 1919).

 

Interesting info.I agree,a Coffee Roasting Unit would be cool but that being a function rather than a specific unit does make more sense.An important function no less,as Armies fought on Coffee(and tobacco) many times when properly prepared food was inconvenient,or unavailable.

 

 

 

 

 

PATCHCOLLECTOR: I have records of one other soldier wearing the style patch you own. He, too, served in the 329th Supply Co. Would it be possible to use your patch in my finished research?

 

 

 

PM sent

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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The 3 crescent symbol is an older design of the coat of arms of the city of Bordeaux, that alluded directly to the old port of Bordeaux, the "port de la lune" (Lune translate to moon is english).

It's also been used on some French Army metal badges,mostly for colonial units based in Bordeaux.

Definitely an indication of the where these US units were based.

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Years ago I had multiple people try to tell me this was an early variant of a 37th div. patch. I never believed that or saw any proof.

 

I seriously doubt it's a 39th variant as well.

 

The QM aspect seems more likely...

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Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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  • 7 months later...

I bought a grouping for a soldier that belonged to the 329th Butchery Co. His name was SGT Charles Staiger. Has this name come up in any research? He served (obviously) as a butcher and a warehouseman at the QM Depot #3, Base Section #2. His uniform has a bullion version of the patch shown above.

WANTED: I collect materials of any age related to the US Army Quartermaster Corps and from the long-defunct Commissary / Subsistence Corps. Anything goes and it doesn't have to be identified to a vet. If it's weird or unusual, please PM me! ASMIC #5650

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a grouping for a soldier that belonged to the 329th Butchery Co. His name was SGT Charles Staiger. Has this name come up in any research? He served (obviously) as a butcher and a warehouseman at the QM Depot #3, Base Section #2. His uniform has a bullion version of the patch shown above.

When Sgt. (then Corporal) Staiger shipped TO France, he was a member of the 329th Butchery Co.

 

When he returned to the US in 1919 (at the time he would have been wearing an SSI), he was part of the "QMC at large" and traveled as part of the Bordeaux Casual Co. No. 2035.

 

I think the patch on Staiger's uniform points to his service at Bordeaux in the QMC, and not to the 329th Butchery Co. But that's just a theory!

 

John

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

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  • 1 year later...

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