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Coast Guard CPO Cap Devices


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I picked this anchor up on E Bay the other day.. It appears to be of the early style with the cable fouling and smooth anchor and 15 pieces on the shield.. The back is what caught my interest..

 

The 1916 CG Uniform regulations call for the anchor to be mounted to the cap with a center screw post... By 1922 the CG shifted to the larger diameter crown and should have been using the latch pin design. Any thoughts, does the work look like something that would have been done in that era to convert an existing USN pin to a CG pin ??

 

 

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I picked this CG CPO anchor up yesterday. It was listed as WW2 and I'd bet you've seen this style and would know the manufacturer. I thought the backside photo was special. It shows how the additional fouling and the U and N were cropped off and the shield fixed onto the shank. The shield has a unique style. Maybe the same manufacturer produced the WO cap device and used the same shield..

 

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I picked this CG CPO anchor up yesterday. It was listed as WW2 and I'd bet you've seen this style and would know the manufacturer. I thought the backside photo was special. It shows how the additional fouling and the U and N were cropped off and the shield fixed onto the shank. The shield has a unique style. Maybe the same manufacturer produced the WO cap device and used the same shield..

 

I have one that is identical. It was found in a Hilborn-Hamburger box.

 

 

 

Wharf

In Peace and War, US Merchant Marine. WARNING: Dangerous Cargo. No Visitors, No Smoking, No Open Lights.

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Thanx Wharf,

 

After taking a good look at the backside of the older CG anchor with the center screw post, I think I can spot small spaces where there is solder residue indicating a different cable may have been re-routed.

 

If it is all authentic, then it would match the description of the device in the 1916 CG Uniform regulations. The bell style cap prescribed for warrant officers and first class petty officers specified a grommet above the mohair braid for the screw post mounting of the cap device. Old CG photos show the anchor placed vertically and not inclined as per USN descriptions..

 

If so, this would be the cap insignia of the 'Petty Officer of the First Class', the predecessor of the CG CPO. I will be sending a note to the CG Museum in New London and asking if they can send a description or photo of the insignia they have on display..

 

Will post any reply they send along.

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Well, tonight I pulled a real rubber crutch act and did some damage to the CPO anchor up in post #76. I was attempting to slightly tweek the stock of the anchor and the thing sapped just below the syock and the top of the shield. It is all together with the small break in what would be the shank of the anchor.

 

The appears to have been some silver soldering to originally assemble the insignia.

 

So my question them, just who or what type of craftsman would I be looking for to take on a job of repairing the fracture ???

 

I have no idea what to be looking for. I don't think it is just a simple solder repair..

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Found this combination cap badge at the flea market the other day. Based on the locking catch and rope, it probably dates from the very early 1940's before they switched over to a chain in 1942.

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Hi Kurt,

 

Hard to say 100%, could be earlier than the 1940's. I don't always rely on using the hardware as the only indicator of manufacturing date as I've seen open catches used later on as well as these ball style locking catches prior to WW2.

 

I have two of these Coast Guard CPO cap anchors similar to your example, both utilizing the flat open style "c" catch. The top example has a solid back shield and the bottom is more hollowed out similar to yours. Like yours, the fouling design is rope.

 

What does catch my interest is, the way the fouling hugs the bottom of the anchor from fluke to fluke, more below.

 

A nice example nevertheless! :)

 

Tim

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Comparing the design of the rope fouling with other period insignia, here are two comparable devices, both with the design where the rope hugs that bottom anchor. The Navy CPO device is considered circa WW1 to 1920's and the Meyer "droop eagle" EGA is circa 1926 if my memory is correct.

 

Not 100% positive here but you can see the similarities between these and the CG CPO devices above. Manufacturers did often stick to same patterns when producing items within a certain period, but again, only an observation on my part.

 

Tim

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I did finally manage to pick up one of those "Navy style" anchor devices discussed back around post #50. I would place it somewhere mid-WW2 to 1947 or thereabouts with that hardware setup.

 

What was interesting for me was that it also was of the style shield that is mounted to the anchor utilizing two pins that go through the holes predrilled into the anchor shank. I've only seen a few of these with the shield mounted that way and tend to think it was attributed to one manufacturer, though I do not know who at this point as they are unmarked.

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My only other anchor with this setup is IMO, circa 1930's, based on that coiled or twisted wire type fouling similar to those pre-WW2 Navy CPO anchors we often see.

 

Tim

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Hi Kurt,

 

Hard to say 100%, could be earlier than the 1940's. I don't always rely on using the hardware as the only indicator of manufacturing date as I've seen open catches used later on as well as these ball style locking catches prior to WW2.

 

 

 

Yes, tough to date for sure. I tend to think" later than earlier" when it comes to locking catches, but I've seen WW1 era insignia with locking catches.

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Kurt,

 

I've seen the patent sheet for that style catch and it shows the patent was initially filed in October 1935 but who knows how much earlier it may have been in use. That particular EGA sold on Ebay back in December 2013 and was mounted on the peaked hat. Forgot how much it sold for but I don't own it unfortunately.

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Well, tonight I pulled a real rubber crutch act and did some damage to the CPO anchor up in post #76. I was attempting to slightly tweek the stock of the anchor and the thing sapped just below the syock and the top of the shield. It is all together with the small break in what would be the shank of the anchor.

 

The appears to have been some silver soldering to originally assemble the insignia.

 

So my question them, just who or what type of craftsman would I be looking for to take on a job of repairing the fracture ???

 

I have no idea what to be looking for. I don't think it is just a simple solder repair..

 

Dana,

 

I was looking at this anchor and called up the seller's photos. It appears this example also utilized the type of shield that was pinned through the anchor shaft similar to the two examples I shown earlier. Your example appears to have had the pins cut flush at the shaft and my guess would be the pin either broke off or loosened up in use and in the process, the shaft broke at that point as well. Someone added solder to keep the shield and shaft in place.

 

Unfortunately, when twisting the shaft, you re-broke the shaft at the solder point. Do note my 1930ish example also has a twist to the top shaft; maybe they were designed that way back then?

 

I might suggest trying to reheat the solder in place and see if that might be enough to reattach the break. Certainly worth a try IMO and you wouldn't be adding anything new.

 

Interesting device with those two securing/stabilizing pins. Can you add a photo with the screw disc off? I would like to see underneath it.

 

Tim

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Great! Looking forward to seeing this and I have some thoughts on it but will wait to see your photo/s beforehand.

 

Tim

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Not the best photo, but, you are correct on the positioning pin. Gave it a good look onder a magnifying glass and it does look like a pin was snipped off. The upper pin is where that "glob" of solder is. That is the position of the break. The screw shaft and the position pins are all of the same coloration sldoer and smoothness of application. Another anchor I have of the same design, but with a solid single piece of wire twisted into cable has the solid shield with the top and bottom mounting pins and rotating pin catch on the crown. It is interesting that the solid shield has 13 pieces on the shield and this on pictured has 15 pieces on the shield..

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Morning Dana,

 

Thanks for posting those photos! Here's what I personally think at this point on this anchor.

 

If you compare your badge with the two examples I shown above, the ones with the pin holes in the anchor shaft, you example appears to have a much thinner anchor. If you look at the side views in posts #'s 85 & 86, both of mine are quite robust in construction. I can tell you, you are not going to bend these easily. It's possible that was a lesson learned from the manufacturer after some of these were breaking under use. Only speculating here as we still don't know who made them or if they are in fact from the same manufacturer but, you don't see these examples, with the pin-thru shield, as much as all the others.

 

The longer threaded shaft tells me for sure it was meant to be used on a combination style cap and in my opinion, an early period cap that used a screw mount type of attachment! That type of roller is commonly seen on WW1 era through 1920's devices, notably the Marine EGA's. So I would say, considering the Coast Guard CPO rank wasn't established until 1920, your badge probably dates from the early 1920's. If the device was worn prior than that, say for 1st Class PO's, I can't say.

 

As far as the break is concerned, I think the cap probably got snagged and broke at the weakest point (where one of the holes were drilled) and was period repaired with whatever was available.

 

Concerning the number of stars on the shield, I still do not know that one. I would like to see that other device you mentioned, the similar one to this one being discussed and maybe we can find out more.

 

Tim

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Thanx a whole lot.. That fills in quite a few of the blanks. the very early 1920 would fall in nicely. There is a CG photo out there of the black and white crewmembers of the cutter YOCONA, a sternwheeler on the Mississippi.

 

In the photo, dated 1925, you can see 3 CPOs with the wider crown 'new' style combination cap. They would have needed the pin on style anchor. Hidden in the center of the black crewmembers is a CPO wearing the pre 1922 style Bell crown cap. That style cap had a grommet on the center of the crown for the screw post mounting on the insignia. Most uniform regs held a provision that existing whatever could be used until stocks were depleted.

 

CPOs being naturally 'frugal', I'd bet that this guy was not going to change caps until it wore out or the change date hit.

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I got a note from a long time CG history specialist. He believes that the differing number of stars and stripes MAY be a hold over from the very founding time of the USN. The early shields added stars and stripes on the shield as states were added to the union. When the USN was established ther were 15 states. The 16th being added after the USN was established.

 

He could not find anything specific, but it ties in with the establishment of the national shield and a whole lot of early history..

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Most uniform regs held a provision that existing whatever could be used until stocks were depleted.

CPOs being naturally 'frugal', I'd bet that this guy was not going to change caps until it wore out or the change date hit.

 

Absolutely and back then, most wouldn't try to tell a chief he had to change it either. I see several examples of this throughout WW2 and I honestly can't say I would argue the point either. You know us old goats!! :P

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Another series of photos of the two with the tabs holding the shield in place. The one with the single heavy twisted wire looks just like the one you've posted.

 

Sorry for the focus, just not good at camera operations..

 

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I got a note from a long time CG history specialist. He believes that the differing number of stars and stripes MAY be a hold over from the very founding time of the USN. The early shields added stars and stripes on the shield as states were added to the union. When the USN was established ther were 15 states. The 16th being added after the USN was established.

 

He could not find anything specific, but it ties in with the establishment of the national shield and a whole lot of early history..

Yes, I'm just not sure about that though as there are later examples that also have the 15 vertical stripes. There just doesn't seem to be any hard indicator of when exactly they used 13 or 15 vertical stripes that I can see.

 

If you compare the style of device that used the Navy's anchor with the Coast Guard shield, the version the CG wanted eliminated from use in the late 1950's, (examples shown in post's 52 through 54) you see 13 alternating stripes. But, then look at the similar era device I posted in post #85 above, that example has 15 as does another one I have coming.

 

I thought of the possibility of this being a sole manufacturer issue but I no longer think that is the case either. Need more research!

 

Tim

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Dana,

 

Another case in point; clearly a WW2 USN pattern anchor fouled with chain, in use sometime post 1942 and prior to 1959. 13 stars and 15 stripes.

 

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A friendly reminder that my images and material posted here are not to be considered "fair use" or "public domain". If you want to legally use my material outside this forum, for any purpose, my express written permission is requested and required beforehand.

 

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