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WWI 34th Division Patch Project


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Hi Guys,
My brother and I recently wrote Emblems of Honor: Airborne and we're working on a new series of books about US Divisional SSI (patches). One area of study that seems to have escaped much notice are the colors that the 34th Division used in WWI to denote different units. I was hoping I could enlist the help of WWI collectors to try to figure out the color schemes they used.

 

For example, we now know that the green border variation (shown below) was used by the 109th Engineer Regiment (with a bullion soutache border for officers). There are quite a few others we have little or no information on. I'd like to create a color chart like you see for 2nd and 35th Divisions. Hopefully, we can figure this out together.

The information could come from anywhere: an identified photo, an illustration on the cover of a book, an identified uniform or something painted on a steamer trunk.

I'll post a few pics after this to get things started.

Thanks ahead of time.

Best regards,
Bill Keller

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There are 2 kinds of Medicals and the reverse (red background black skull) for the ammo train and what about the ones with the dots? who used them? and a yellow skull on black. I'm probably missing a few. Sorry I don't have pics handy of these right now. Any comments I'd love to hear them. Thanks, Bill

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Possibly from the 334th FA.

This is my patch.

 

It has nothing to do with the 334th FA.

 

Not sure what I said about this patch in the original thread I posted it in years ago, but I believe that the metal 3 and the 4 are cyphers and were removed from German uniform shoulder straps. The original owner of the patch had served in the 88th Division in France if memory serves me right.

 

The artillery units in the 34th Division were the 151st (assigned to the Rainbow Division in WW1), and the 175th and 185th, if memory serves me right.

 

The origin and use of this patch will likely forever remain a mystery. I believe the owner of the patch was pre-WW1 National Guard from northern Iowa, which was 34th Division, that he ended up in the 88th in WW1, then back to the Guard and 34th post-war. It came from his elderly daughter, she knew little about his wartime service.

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Not sure what the red white blue combo means, I have never heard anything about it, in fact, I just thought or figured it was someone's artistic license sort of thing, I have seen it I think mainly in officers uniforms and have had it in one or two, I believe one uniform was a 135th Infantry collar brassed example.

 

The one with the German cyphers, that guy was an enlisted man actually. While from northern Iowa, I think he had actually been in a southern Minnesota National Guard 135th unit.

 

Good luck on this project, I hope others can weigh in with some "known" evidence regarding the color combos and such, I have always wondered about it but have never had the gumption to research it!!

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This is my patch.

 

It has nothing to do with the 334th FA.

 

Not sure what I said about this patch in the original thread I posted it in years ago, but I believe that the metal 3 and the 4 are cyphers and were removed from German uniform shoulder straps. The original owner of the patch had served in the 88th Division in France if memory serves me right.

 

The artillery units in the 34th Division were the 151st (assigned to the Rainbow Division in WW1), and the 175th and 185th, if memory serves me right.

 

The origin and use of this patch will likely forever remain a mystery. I believe the owner of the patch was pre-WW1 National Guard from northern Iowa, which was 34th Division, that he ended up in the 88th in WW1, then back to the Guard and 34th post-war. It came from his elderly daughter, she knew little about his wartime service.

I figured the unit # was wrong, just hoping it would jog someone's memory. 3 series are all National Army.Did you happen to get a name? I can do an ancestry search see if it comes up with anything. I'd agree on the cyphers. Thanks for the reply. Bill

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Bill the reversed color is 109th ammo trains, comes in two sizes, one for tunic and larger one for over coat. The red white and blue, the jury is out on this one, I've looked for years to try and ID this one with no success. There is also more than two varieties of medical that I've observed. Not much help but not much information available on this one.george

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I've also wondered if there was any significance attached to the various colors (and shapes) of the 34th Division insignia from WW I.

 

I can't shed any light as to what those tow things might have meant, but here are some variations of the 34th Division SSI:

 

With a black background ... Note that one of the water jugs has been outlined in white, is this merely decoration or does it have meaning?

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So far the color and shape variations include:

 

1. Red, white and black cow skulls

 

2. Green and white outlines inside or surrounding the water jug

 

3. Blue, black, red, and red & blue water jugs

 

4. Red & blue and white and blue shields

 

5. Water jug shaped, shield shaped and rectangular shaped

 

 

 

Also here is a 34th Division 'Liberty Loan' style patch, which I have only seen made in one color.

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I've also wondered if there was any significance attached to the various colors (and shapes) of the 34th Division insignia from WW I.

 

I can't shed any light as to what those tow things might have meant, but here are some variations of the 34th Division SSI:

 

With a black background ... Note that one of the water jugs has been outlined in white, is this merely decoration or does it have meaning?

The one with the outline is also for the 109th Engineer Regt. I have one in a grouping. It seems this manufacturer's version of green shows as more of a blue, plus you have to figure in almost 100 years of chemical fading. Bill

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Here are a few of mine with color variations:

 

First is an engineers without the full green border. Next is a blue/white background like the one above. Third has a purple/maroon border, presumably a medical association. Then there is one with a white background and black border.

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