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U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey CPO Cap Insignia


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I've wanted to post this example for sometime now but first wanted to try and find out more about it. It's a bit of an anomaly as the center disc is opposite of what the regulations show/describe.

 

Note, this one has a gilt center roundel (globe) with a silver triangulation device.

 

 

Does anyone have any written information or hi-res photos showing this device with this particular coloration variation?

 

Tim

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Here's an excerpt from the 1920 Field Corps of the United States Coast & Geodetic Survey Uniform Regulations describing the CPO cap device:

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The device apparently was used for Petty Officers initially, perhaps similar to the Navy's button style cap insignia for 1st Class Petty Officers.

 

Plates are from the 1920 regulations:

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There was an amendment, effective March 1st, 1921 that spelled out exactly what members of the crew (ratings) were designated as Chief Petty Officers. I think they expanded the list around 1946.

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I'm looking for anything that might allude to the device having this variation. The WW2 regulations only call out a device "with the Coast & Geodetic Survey device superimposed on a gilt anchor". They don't specifically go into details of what color is what.

 

There is a color plate in one of the 1945 National Geographic Magazines that shows the same coloration as described in the uniform regulations and the C&GS was discontinued shortly after the war.

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Then, there are the photos of Chiefs wearing these devices, but most photos online are low resolution in most cases. I have seen period photographs ranging from WW1 through WW2 but of all I've looked at, only one gives me pause that might match.

 

This photo was taken in 1945 aboard the USS Derickson (AGS-6). She was in service from 1944 -1948. If you look closely at Chief Eby's cap device, it almost appears that the center triangle is lighter in color than the surrounding globe. It could be the way light is hitting on the device as well?

 

 

Anyway, appreciate any thoughts or information or better yet...photos!!

 

Tim

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Well, a few days and +30 views but nothing. Let's try another approach here.

 

Most of the other uniformed naval organizations followed the U.S. Navy when it came to uniform regulations, for the most part anyway. If we look at this device, it is roped fouled, and the anchor pattern is similar to what we see the Navy using in the early 1900's through, I would say the 1920's. Looking at the reverse here and the pattern of the screw disc & small washer, can anyone estimate when like hardware was used?

 

Tim

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I don't want to be another comment-less viewer...so I'll say I haven't a clue. :)

As far as the last question is concerned, I'd say that kind of hardware is definitely pre-war...anywhere from the 1920s to the 1930s.

 

Wish I could provide more!!

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Thanks guys!

It gets frustrating when you are looking for answers and nobody speaks up but I understand that is the nature of the forums at times. I was waiting to see if anyone would add comments, good or bad, on the device in question. As Dave stated, when you don't know, you don't know what to add.

I got it from a well known collector whose name I'll leave out of it for privacy reasons. I mentioned the differences when I was initially offered the piece but decided to take a chance on it as these USC&GS badges are hard to come by as it is. I had sent PIC's of it to the NOAA Library and Skip Theberge who manages the library said it was the first example he's seen that he thought was authentic and wanted photos to add to the library for reference. When I mentioned the differences in the device compared to regulations, he didn't know what to say. I asked for any additional information but time and other things have kept him busy.

 

My gut says it's real and based on the overall design and hardware, think it's pre-WW2 but just how early I can"t say. The device does show traits that favorably compare to Navy and Coast Guard devices around WW1 and sometime thereafter.

 

I am trying not to drive the conversation in any direction but have photos and things to discuss, so with not much more "discussion", I will post the next photo and see what that generates.

 

The device came to me on this Pasquale Co. card of issue. The handwritten information could have been put there by anybody over the years, hence why I didn't show it earlier. Pasquale was in business since 1854 and they did manufacture all sorts of military insignia however, I cannot say with 100% certainty that the card originally came with the device; wish I could!

 

Appreciate any comments.

 

Tim

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Hi Paul,

 

I think another member had a cap or uniform showing in the uniform section of the forum here. Don't remember the date on it.

 

Most of the photos I have saved either have a chief in uniform or chief in civilian clothes with uniform cap similar to the photo above of YNC Eby. Here's another with Boatswain Eden on the USC&GS Lydonia. Not sure of the date on the photo but the LYDONIA was in service from 1919 to 1947.

 

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Here are a couple showing from around WW1:

Crew of the MATCHLESS - February 1st 1914

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Muster on the MCARTHUR - 1915

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Undated but the uniforms look circa WW2:

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Last, this is dated 1940:

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These photos are on the NOAA website in a slightly larger format, reduced here so they fit the forum requirements. You can see the CPO's in uniform but can't get enough details on the devices. Most IMO, are typical of what the uniform regs call out.

 

I assume that the photos showing the chiefs in civilian garb are between war periods where military uniforms were not called for. In the case of the two dated 1914 & 1915, though the U.S. wasn't in the war yet, the ships were often in areas where they could be boarded and possibly treated as spies.

 

Thanks for joining in Paul!

 

Tim

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To move things along a bit...

 

Here's another excerpt from the 1920 uniform regulations and it shows some of the officer insignia. Note the collar device shown in the upper left.

 

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Now, compare this device to that in the regulations.

 

As most collar devices were opposites between right/left collars, I tend to think this might be one collar device that is an opposite collar from the example shown in the regulations.

 

Note how the center triangulation device is pointed to the side and the square base is not at the bottom.

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Here's the front & back of the device, which appears to be blackened bronze.

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Undated but the uniforms look circa WW2:

 

I think you meant "WW1"...the uniforms are most definitely WW1-era.

 

Fascinating photos!

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Interestingly, it too was on a marked Pasquale card of issue with hand written notes alluding to WW1 era. The device is of the same pattern as the CPO device shown at the beginning of the thread.

 

Tim

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Hi Dave,

 

No, I actually did not realize that, thank you!

 

Tim

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Hi Dave,

 

No, I actually did not realize that, thank you!

 

Tim

 

 

No worries! Those are "classic" of the WW1 period with the lowered rank insignia, small crown CPO hat, and so on. Maybe as late as the early to mid 1920s...

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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