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Antiaircraft Artillery Units in WWI AEF


mccooper

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Cobrahistorian

Here's Hagen's uniform. As you can see the arrow goes from bottom right to upper left. 1st AA MG battalion goes from upper left to bottom right.

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world war I nerd

This insignia along with the following patch have both been identified as either the 5th or 10th AA MG Battalion.

 

If the previous two shoulder patches are in fact 5th AA MG Battalion shoulder patches, then this pair cannot be, unless each battery had its own insignia, which seems unlikely to me.

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world war I nerd

Jon thank you for adding the 2nd AA MG Battalion patch photo.

 

Here are examples of the 1st and 3rd AA MG Battalion insignia, along with a sketch of an alternative 2nd AA MG Battalion patch design that may or may not have been made.

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world war I nerd

Close up of a homeward bound AEF officer wearing the insignia of the 1st AA MG Battalion.

 

Photo courtesy of the Troy Morgan collection

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Cobrahistorian

Interesting, I'd seen it interpreted that the direction of the arrow determined which battalion. I'd assumed pointing up and to the left was 2nd AAMG and down and to the right was 1st. I've identified this one as 2nd, since I was able to match Hagen's name on the 2nd AAMG officer roster with his uniform.

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This is another, so-called, anti-aircraft anomaly. I've seen this insignia placed between the legs of the First Army "A" patch, and all by itself as a stand alone patch.

 

It too is reputed to be an anti-aircraft insignia. But for which AA outfit?

That is the post-WW1 Distinctive Unit Insignia for the US Army 2nd Infantry Regiment. It was worn in the lower left sleeve (I think it was the left) of the olive drab service coat. It was replaced at some point by a metal and enameled DUI. It has nothing to do with WW1 AAA units.

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world war I nerd

Cobrahistoriah, to date, I've seen the AA MG Patch arrow pointing in three directions: up and to the left - up and to the right - and down and to the right.

 

I think that the arrow, regardless of the battalion, was supposed to be pointing up and to the left. The patches with arrows poingin other directions were likely the result of careless vendors who really didn't understand what the insignia was actually supposed to look like. For now, that's my theory anyways.

 

atb, thanks for providing the ID on the crossed arrow patch. I always wondered about that one. I did see one example of that patch sewn onto the lower left hand sleeve of an Army 1918 pattern service coat..

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Here's another head scrather. I've no idea if the shoulder patch worn in this image from Bay State Militaria's website is an AA patch or not, but it's possible.

I think I see a silvered prop Air Service collar disc on this gentleman. That would make the shoulder patch a form of the winged propeller patch seen now and then. MHJ

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Here's another head scrather. I've no idea if the shoulder patch worn in this image from Bay State Militaria's website is an AA patch or not, but it's possible.

I think what you're looking at is a version of this patch, Aircraft Armaments Section. They operated under the Ordnance Corps but worked closely with the Air Service. Bill

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Here's the patch skewed, angled & superimposed on the photo. I've seen other versions of this patch with larger wings like the version this doughboy is wearing. It also looks like that's an Ordnance disc he's wearing.

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world war I nerd

Bill, you nailed it. Your expertise is much appreciated.

 

And thanks for letting us all know of the existence of the "Aircraft Armaments Section" (AAS).

 

I'd never seen, nor heard of that particular AEF insignia. It's always great to see a new discovery.

 

PS, is that a wheel within a Ordnance flaming bomb that's bisected by a wing with the initials "AA" for "Aircraft Armaments"?.

 

If a wheel, would that signify that the AAS delivered a lot of aircraft ordnance?

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world war I nerd

Here's another variation of the standing red devil AA insignia that turned up recently on eBay.

 

It sure would be nice to see one of these things on a WW I service coat or in a period photograph.

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world war I nerd

I just remembered that the standing red devil design was around in May of 1919, as an illustration of that design appeared (along with 73 other AEF insignia designs) in a full color spread that was dedicated to AEF insignia. The illustrations appeared in the May 4, 1919 edition of the "New York Tribune" newspaper.

 

However, the red devil design was misidentified in the "Tribune'. It was captioned as being the insignia for the 10th Division, which today, we know it not to be.

 

The "Tribune" article is probably why the standing red devil is frequently misidentified as "10th Division AA"

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Just added an IDd 4th AAMGB uniform to my collection so adding it here for posterity.  Previous owner had noted 205th Infantry (a common miss-identification), but the Pvt who is named in the pocket is on transports with the 4th and only served during the war. 

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Hi,

I signed up on this site to post the following photos. They are the tunic and tin pot of a wagoner who served in the 2nd platoon, D company of the 1st AA machine gun batallion. The unit patch matches what has previously been posted. The wagoner patch is pretty cool.

 

Thanks

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Hi qmjones,

 

Thank you for sharing these excellent photos of Captain Spann's uniform.  Spann took command of the 1st AA MG Bn. on 26 October 1918 after its original commander (Major H. D. Cushing) was detached for headquarters duty with First Army Anti-Aircraft Service.  Could you provide additional photos of the collar insignia and patch?

 

-hist3891

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