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U.S. Army Brassards & Armbands 1898 to 1918 Part 2


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From "Special Regulations No. 41; REGULATIONS FOR THE UNIFORMS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY 1917".

 

"28. MOURNING.--The badge of military mourning will consist of a straight band of black crepe or plain black cloth 5 inches wide, worn around the left arm above the elbow; also, when the sword is worn, a knot of black crepe on the hilt; but no badge of military mourning shall be worn with the uniform, except at funerals or for occasions prescribed by the War Department. As family mourning, officers may wear the arm band prescribed in the foregoing."

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Ok, this is not Army, but I thought it was a good example that we probably need to look at the pertinent General Orders to gain more insight into photos of (usually General Officer) Officers wearing mourning bands. If you don't want to read the order in it's entirety, scroll down to the bottom of the post for the excerpt that concerns the topic.

 

"General Order Navy Department,

No. 258 Washington, January 17, 1917.

 

It is with feelings of genuine grief that the Secretary of the Navy

announces the death at 5.56 p.m. yesterday at his residence in Wash-

ington of The Admiral of the Navy.

The career of George Dewey "ran in full current to the end." Ver-

mont was his mother State, and there was always in his character

something of the granite of his native hills. Dewey was under fire

with Farragut in the Mississippi River, and bore himself gallantly

throughout the War between the States.

The battle in Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, made him the foremost

naval officer since Farragut and victor of the first American sea fight

with a foreign foe since the War of 1812.

"Gentlemen, a higher power than we has won this battle to-day,"

the commodore said to his captains at the conclusion of the battle

when it had been learned that the victory, one of the most decisive

in our history, had been won without the loss of a single American

seaman. In peace, in war; in sickness, in health; in victory and in

conflict, and in every relation of life Admiral Dewey invariably exhib-

ited the virtues of the patriot and the Christian.

His whole life, 62 years of which were spent in the Navy, was full

of honorable achievement, and his service in peace had been hardly

less distinguished than his laurels in war. As president of the General

Board of the Navy since its inception he had played a leading part

in making the Nation ready for war on the seas. The same statesman-

like qualities which he exhibited in handling the international situ-

ation at Manila after the battle of May 1, 1898, he has shown as the head

of this board of naval experts.

In recognition of his victory in Manila Bay the then commodore

was advanced one grade to that of rear admiral, and in addition received

the thanks of Congress. Later by special act of Congress he was pro-

moted to be The Admiral of the Navy, a rank never held by an Ameri-

can naval officer previously, although two, Porter and Farragut, were

rewarded with the rank of full Admiral. He was placed by Congress

on the active list until such time as he might see fit to apply for retire-

ment. But his active spirit could not rest. He never folded his hands.

He chose to die on the bridge, even until the Pilot came aboard his

life craft who should take him across the bar. He died one of the fore-

most figures of modern times.

The flag will be displayed at half-mast at all navy yards and sta-

tions, and on board all ships in commission until after the funeral

shall have taken place, and 19 minute guns will be fired at noon on

the day of the funeral from each navy yard and from the senior ship

present afloat.

All officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will wear the badge of

mourning with the uniform for 30 days.

The Navy Department, by executive order, will be closed on Satur-

day, January 20, 1917.

 

Josephus Daniels

Secretary of the Navy."

 

 

And if you don't want to read the whole general order issued after Admiral Dewey died in 1917, here is an excerpt of the above, I have underlined the part (that I have made bold) which concerns this thread:

 

"The flag will be displayed at half-mast at all navy yards and sta-

tions, and on board all ships in commission until after the funeral

shall have taken place, and 19 minute guns will be fired at noon on

the day of the funeral from each navy yard and from the senior ship

present afloat.

All officers of the Navy and Marine Corps will wear the badge of

mourning with the uniform for 30 days.

The Navy Department, by executive order, will be closed on Satur-

day, January 20, 1917. "

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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A nice bit of mourning brassard trivia … Thanks RC

 

Here's something I've never seen before, an AEF Quartermaster Police badge & Quartermaster MP Brassard. I've no idea if this was an official brassard or if it was just improvised by Quartermaster personnel who were detailed to guard supplies.

The badge, however, suggests that the brassard may have been an article that was sanction by higher HQ. Does anybody know?

 

Photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Here's the entire get up - a III Corps Quartermaster MP/Police Service Coat bearing a Quartermaster Corps collar disc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

Gold Star Mourning Brassard

Photo No. 119: Gold Star Mourning Brassard: The right hand photo shows a wounded veteran wearing a non-regulation black wool brassard with a pleated middle section, bearing a five-pointed gilt brass or gold star in the center. Wearing this type of brassard indicated the mourning of a son or brother killed in service.

 

Note the empty sleeve on the soldier wearing the mourning brassard. MHJ

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Self Inflicted Wound Brassard - An AEF brassard that I was never aware of until images of it, along with the question, "Is it British or American", were sent to me by forum member "roadrunner". After some assistance by forum member jagjetta, and a bit of additional research, we discovered that this brassard was indeed used by the AEF in France.

 

According to a general order, memo or circular (I'm not sure which), AEF division surgeons and hospital commanders were ordered to report all cases of suspected self inflicted wounds (SIW) to the respective commanding general and to the Adjutant General, AEF for further investigation.

 

Men suspected of a self inflicted wound that lacked sufficient evidence for a court-martial were to be treated only in division hospitals. They were not to be evacuated any further to the rear. Soldiers that were found guilty of a SIW in a court-martial were upon recovery, sentenced to hard labor, typically in the most dangerous area of the front. They were also made to wear a yellow "SIW" Brassard as a mark of their cowardice. Apparently, these brassards were also to be worn in Allied hospitals by men who were admitted with a SIW. This particular example was alleged to have been kept by a hospital orderly as a souvenir.

 

The following diary entry was found in the book, "Who Won the War", written by a 37th Division MP:

 

(Diary) July 28, 1918,

Awoke in middle of night. Noise and confusion. Men were rushing about. First thot was that an aerial bomb had hit us. Learned, however, that Pvt. P____'s automatic had been discharged in the holster, tearing a hole through his hand. He claims he was asleep.

 

This case was fully investigated by Capt. A_____ and Col. Barger, Division Inspector. The evidence was quite conclusive that it was a self inflicted wound, and that P____, frightened by his proximity to the front, had determined to be sent to a hospital in the rear.

 

We transferred him to a base hospital and never heard whether or not if he was found guilty or punished.

 

An interesting aftermath of this deplorable affair occurred while the company was at Bertrichamps. Private Q____, also a draft replacement man from Indiana, took occasion to bring up P____'s case with me, asking what I thot his punishment would be.

 

I answered that he would probably be awarded the S.I.W. (Self Inflicted Wound) brassard, the badge of cowardice, and placed at some disagreeable work at some dangerous point.

 

"Would they shoot him?", Q___ inquired anxiously.

 

"They might," I replied. "But I think not. It was only a few days later when Q----'s rifle "accidentally" discharged, the ball tearing through his foot. He was disposed of in a similar manner and we never learned his fate.

 

Who Won the War, 1920, Corporal Edward James Tippett Jr., Company A, 112th Military Police, 37th Division, AEF, pg. 93 & 94

Front of the SIW Brassard

 

Photo courtesy of Alexander Historical Auctions

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Unknown Brassard & Unfamiliar Collar Disc

 

I'm not 100% sure that this guy is even military, but he's certainly dressed as if he might be? The photo is inscribed: Yours, Riley Rudd (or Rude), 12/25/18.

 

The brassard appears to be a solid color with no writing or graphics on it - Does anybody recognize it?

 

The collar disc consists of the letters "CO" or possibly "CQ" over crossed rifles. I've never seen a disc like this before, have you? Is it an Army, National Guard, state, military academy, school or other disc?

 

Anyway, it would be great if somebody could shed a little light on this soldier's/man/s insignia.

 

Please contribute any insight you may have.

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And a closer view of the curious collar disc worn by our man Riley What is it?

My SWAG is Colorado National Guard.

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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My SWAG is Colorado National Guard.

 

Or possibly Colorado State Militia. On ancestry there is a database for those from Colorado who served during WWI and I don't see a Riley Rude or Rudd. Maybe he was in the militia as he doesn't have any overseas chevrons, assuming the photo was taken near December 1918.

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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French Pictorial Service photo dated August 13, 1918 and captioned, "IN FRONT OF CANTIGNY. Maj. Gen. Henry L. Bullard, commander of the First American division and one of his officers of ordnance."

 

The "officer of ordnance" is wearing an Aide to [Major?] General collar device and a bordered arm band with a number "1" in the center.

 

 

The Lt with Gen Bullard is Lt Guy Shirey his aide. Steve McG

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I dentification needed on this green brassard. This brassard came with

these Provost Marshal's Dept tabs. These were worn by the Army of

Occupation. The green fabric appears to be the same. This is the earliest

example I have seen of a brassard using push studs (snaps).

 

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WANTED TO BUY


Checkpoint Bravo MP brassard

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MP25, a plain green brassard was worn to indicate that certain members of the AEF were "scouts or guides" in the theater of operations.

 

I doubt that the green brassard used by the post-Armistice Provost Marshal Department denoted that the wearer was a scout or a guide. My guess is that the green brassard is some sort of Provost Marshal brassard that is awaiting to be identified.

 

It's also interesting that the PMD collar tabs were made in the green and yellow branch of service colors of the Provost Marshal General Department, like the piping on this officer's overseas cap.

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