world war I nerd Posted May 23, 2014 Share #1 Posted May 23, 2014 A.E.F. & U.S. Army Brassards & Armbands Part 1 1917 to 1918 Military brassards and armbands as used by the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and to a lesser extent by the U.S. Army for home service during WW I have been explored in a handful of separate postings here on the forum. Most have primarily dealt with the Geneva or Red Cross brassards, as well as those worn by the Military Police (MP). Miscellaneous brassards and other narrower ‘armbands’ also turn up on the forum from time to time, often with the question, “what is it?” attached. Therefore, I thought it may be useful to create a single reference containing as much information as I could obtain on the brassards and armbands that were used by the AEF and the U.S. Army that served stateside during WW I. Like the similar post on War Service Chevrons*, I’ve once again gone “off topic”, in respect to AEF shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI). I’ve also taken the liberty of including a number of foreign made brassards. Some of which, I know for a fact were used by the AEF, and others that I suspect were worn by members of the AEF. I included the brassards of foreign armies, primarily because prior to 1917, the U.S. Army employed just two or three brassards. There may have been more, but thus far, my research indicates that there were very few. The majority of the brassards used by the AEF ‘Over There’ between 1917 and 1919 were inspired, copied or borrowed from either the British or the French Armies. As was the case with aeroplanes, artillery and automatic weapons, it is my belief that when there were no brassards of U.S. manufacture to be had or if the U.S had yet to devise a brassard for a specific purpose, the brassards used by America’s Allies were pressed into service. I also submit that AEF troops that were seconded to the French and British Armies would have been issued brassards from the respective army with which they served. This would have been done so that the foreign troops, be they British, Canadian, Australian or French that were adjacent to the Yanks, Sammies, Doughboys and Leathernecks would instantly identify, and recognize the authority that a brassard or armband borrowed from their own Army represented. As always, everyone is welcome to post any relevant comments, questions, corrections or theories, and especially photographs that may improve our knowledge or otherwise advance or improve the topic. More importantly, this post is almost certainly incomplete. If I’ve overlooked any brassard that you know of, or think you know about, please post whatever relevant information you may have and if possible a photograph. Likewise, if you see any factual mistakes, errors or omissions, please don’t hesitate to set the record straight. PS, because this post as planned currently runs to almost 120 photos or groups of photos, I’m splitting it up into two or possibly three parts. This first part deals with early U.S. Army brassards and those used by the Hospital Corps and Medical Department. … World War I Nerd *If anyone’s interested, here a link to the War Service Chevron post: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/202900-world-war-i-war-service-chevrons/ Photo No 01: This illustration was painted by Private C. Leroy Baldridge who served for a year as a camion (truck) driver with the French Army, and another year as an infantry private in the AEF on special duty with the Stars and Stripes newspaper. The image depicts an American Military Policeman and his Gallic or French Gendarme counterpart patrolling the streets of Paris. Each, ever vigilant for even the slightest lapse in military courtesy or the smallest breach of military discipline made by the war weary Piolu and the high spirited Doughboy. The note written on the illustration in Baldridge’s own hand reads: One of the Agent-de-villes – M.P. teams of Paris patrolling the boulevard. They have authority over both Yank and Piolu; Paris 1919, If the artwork of C. Leroy Baldridge looks vaguely familiar to you, it’s probably because a number of his drawings and paintings were featured on the pages of the official newspaper of the AEF … the Stars and Stripes. A book containing Baldridge’s artwork, from which this illustration was taken, was also published after the war. The book titled I was There: with the Yanks in France can be viewed online or downloaded free of charge at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15937/15937-h/15937-h.htm Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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