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Bayonet Badge or Order of the Bayonet - 7th Div Discussion


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This weekend I revisited some research on a uniform I have to a 13th Engineer Combat Battalion vet from Korea. He earned the Bayonet Badge or Order of the Bayonet and wears it above his right pocket. I've found it pretty difficult to find definitive information on the award - most places seem to say the same things, but I would like to know more, especially when it was created, so I am hoping we can have a good discussion and reference here.

 

Here are a few good resources so far:

 

http://www.omsa.org/files/jomsa_arch/Splits/1962/321253_JOMSA_Vol13_2_07.pdf

Perhaps the best source I found so far. Notice that there is the Order of the Bayonet badge with the wreath and then the certificate which shows the Order of the Silver Bayonet depicting the 7th Div insignia pierced by a bayonet, but NO wreath! I have examples of both badges and honestly wasn't sure of the meaning of the non-wreathed pin until yesterday. The Silver Bayonet says it can be awarded for distinction similar to the Army Commendation but for a shorter period of time. I think this is much much different from the original Order of the Bayonet which is strictly related to combat.

 

And here is a good topic on the forums here - covers mostly the Columbians, but good period photos of the badge in use.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/226171-korean-war-unknown-badge/

 

More info from a publication of the Hourglass:

http://www.garponline.com/7idanl.pdf

"The original 7ID Bayonet Badge was a combat badge designed and produced unofficially for 7ID soldiers during the Korean War and, later, serving in the Korean Demilitarized Zone during the Cold War. Many 7ID soldiers serving in the war, and later in the DMZ, did not qualify for the Combat Infantryman Badge. In order to recognize the actions of its soldiers, the 7ID created its own combat badge featuring a bayonet and the Division patch in the middle of a wreath. Soldiers proudly wore the badge on their uniform while in the 7th Infantry Division and at official functions. Upon reassignment from the Division, the Bayonet Badge could no longer be worn on the uniform. The badge’s design and award criteria became the template for the Army’s current Combat Action Badge."

 

So we see that it was awarded to non-infantry personnel for performance in combat, service under fire on the DMZ post war, and also simply for outstanding achievement. Perhaps the latter is the Order of the Silver Bayonet. Regardless of these findings, it's certain that this badge was awarded both during and after the war to both infantry and non-infantry MOS soldiers of the division.

 

And more from tredhed2 on the WAF. Maybe he can chime in as he mentions 1951 as the year of creation.

 

"The "Order of the Silver Bayonet" began in Dec 1951. It, along w/ a certificate, was awarded for valorous conduct on patrols, in actual combat, or subsequent duty performance.

The earliest badges had major differences. Some lacked the wreath, had mucyh larger 7th ID insigne; the bayonet handle was striated and pointed to the wearer's right; this was supportd by signs, photos, and the actual certificate. Other early badges had the wreath and the point of the bayonet faces the wearer's left (the consensus on the badge in this thread is that it is very early; no enamel to the bayonet handle). Other KW versions had black enameled handles and faced the wearer's right.

In the early 60s and 70s, these badges were handed out once a soldier completed a certain number of patrols along the DMZ, usually w/in 6 months."

 

 

So - when exactly was this badge created? The OMSA article cites a Far East newspaper article dated December 6 from "around 1951 or 1952" and tredhed pins down Dec 1951. So I gather Dec 6, 1951 but am not 100% sure yet.

 

Does it ever appear on discharge or other official papers? Or only the award certificate?

 

Was this awarded to specific individuals or to many men at a time? Or both? Since there seems to be two sets of criteria I see it going both ways. Thinking about how the CIB was awarded in volume to multiple men who'd been on the line for the qualifying period vs. a single citation for specific action or period of time, both of which seem to qualify for the award of the badge.

 

Well this has been long enough. Please contribute photos, questions, and anything else!

 

Rob

 

 

 

Exhausting & Dirty Work



Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

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Searching for Bayonet Badge I just found a couple more interesting pieces of info. Many of these sources are saying that the Bayonet Badge and the similar Imjin Scout Badge (2d Div) were created to recognize service on the DMZ. It's clear though that the Bayonet Badge at least was created before the end of the war and certainly worn before the end of the war.

 

To add to my question about appearance on official or unofficial documents, this case here shows that a Vietnam veteran seems to have the Bayonet Badge listed on his DD214 for service with the 7th Div in Korea from 67-68:

http://boards.law.af.mil/ARMY/BCMR/CY2008/20080005322.txt

 

"6. The applicant completed his period of obligated service and was honorably released from active duty on 14 August 1968. His DD Form 214 shows he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with '1960-' Device, the Parachutist Badge, the Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar, and the 'Bayonet Badge'".

 

Interesting, but I would still like answers for wartime service or not too far past 1953.

 

Rob

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From Dec 18, 1952 Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas:

 

post-3190-0-38923500-1448205631.png

 

Note that he is a cook, presumably a non-combat role that would qualify for the Bayonet Badge, but it also states he was awarded the CIB.

 

Rob

Exhausting & Dirty Work



Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Searching for Bayonet Badge I just found a couple more interesting pieces of info. Many of these sources are saying that the Bayonet Badge and the similar Imjin Scout Badge (2d Div) were created to recognize service on the DMZ. It's clear though that the Bayonet Badge at least was created before the end of the war and certainly worn before the end of the war.

 

To add to my question about appearance on official or unofficial documents, this case here shows that a Vietnam veteran seems to have the Bayonet Badge listed on his DD214 for service with the 7th Div in Korea from 67-68:

http://boards.law.af.mil/ARMY/BCMR/CY2008/20080005322.txt

 

"6. The applicant completed his period of obligated service and was honorably released from active duty on 14 August 1968. His DD Form 214 shows he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with '1960-' Device, the Parachutist Badge, the Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge with Rifle Bar, and the 'Bayonet Badge'".

 

Interesting, but I would still like answers for wartime service or not too far past 1953.

 

Rob

 

Probably for an Army Qualification Badge (Marksman, Sharpshooter or Expert) with the Qualification bar for "Bayonet," not the 7th Infantry Division Order of the Bayonet award. Part of Basic Combat Training included bayonet fighting instruction and depending on the score on the bayonet test, a Qualification Badge was awarded. I don not think The 7th Infantry Division award, as a local badge, would appear on the DD 214.

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Great thread Rob. In searching for 32nd IN items I have come across the various Bayonet Badges but never researched them. Thanks for sharing so much great info. I would imagine that being a unit-level award, and being around for so long, the criteria of these badges changed over time. This would be especially true after hostilities ended in Korea. To support what is stated above about the badge being created around 1951, I have a book titled The Seventh Division in Korea that was published in 1948 by the Division G-2. There is no mention of the Order of the Bayonet nor any picture of the badge being worn. Two later books I have covering the history of the 7th ID, Bayonet: The History of the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea (Public Information Office, Dai Nippon Printing, 1953) and The Seventh Infantry Division in Korea (Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta, GA 1954) both feature the badge being worn extensively (only in metal, pin on, no cloth).

 

On another note, the book above from 1954 has a complete Division roster broken down by Battalion & Company that gives name & address. If you send me your 13th Engineers name I can see if he is listed.

Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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Here is a picture of MG Smith, CG 7th ID, circa Jan 1953;

 

 

post-122639-0-98822000-1449329293.jpeg

Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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1953 dated book featuring Order of the Bayonet on the cover;

post-122639-0-72675600-1449329377.jpeg

Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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Undated Christmas card. Note that on the book cover above and the card, the bayonet handle is on the viewer's left like the metal badges (1950's, Japanese made). On the cloth badges (late '60s - early 70's ?) the handle has switched sides. Also seen in post #4.

 

post-122639-0-05639500-1449330949.jpeg

Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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  • 1 month later...

This is something I have first hand knowledge of. I was stationed in Korea with the 13th Engineers around 1968-69 (don't remember the exact dates) when the 2nd Div was "on the line" and the 7th Div was in reserve. Some one got the idea to switch them, not just reflag the units but actually make the move. As engineers we were the first company to actually move north of the ImJin River to get the camps ready for the Infantry. I left before the the exchange was complete, as far as I know they rethought the whole thing and turned all of the DMZ over the ROK Army and moved the 2nd Div to reserve and the 7th Div left Korea and the exchange was never completed. At the time everything north of the ImJin was considered a combat zone with people, both North Korean and American, being killed on a weekly basis. The CIB was being awarded but not having the Infantry MOS we were not eligible although every thing else was met. So the 7th Div reactivated the Bayonet Badge (the only thing I ever heard it called) and awarded it to us. I believe Company C of the 13th Engr was the only unit that got it but there may have been others. I received orders for it but we had to buy the badge itself (they were like $.35) I never received the certificate but they were around. We wore them centered on the right pocket on all uniforms and they were kind of a big deal when we would go back to Camp Casey. The badge dose not appear on my DD-214. I have often wondered what the criteria was during the Korean War because if it were the same, what is now the CAB, I would think you would see a lot more of them around.

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Thank you all for the additions and for keeping the topic alive. I have not been focusing on the Bayonet Badge or the uniform I have with it, but will return to it soon.

 

Warroom1 - I hope to see a photo soon. If it is easier to email to me I will post it for you. Maybe I am imagining the patch you are talking about, but I think I've seen it before...I don't know what it goes to, though. Is it US or foreign made?

 

Rob

Exhausting & Dirty Work



Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

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Just as an aside, I was assigned to the 7th ID in 1965, with command of Co. A, 3/32nd. During this time we had the honor of being selected as the "Honor Company" for the division. During the period 1965-1966, I never once heard of Order of the Bayonet or of such a badge. However, while having nothing to do with the badge, when I transferred out, I was given an engraved brass ashtray surmounted with the 7ID insignia with a bayonet through it. Jack

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Jack, when you were in 3/32 did the battalion call themselves the Badgers?

 

Here is another badge from eBay, possibly Japanese made. Left facing bayonet, like the cloth ones I posted above.

 

 

post-122639-0-58515800-1452547112.jpg

Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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Jack, when you were in 3/32 did the battalion call themselves the Badgers?

 

Here is another badge from eBay, possibly Japanese made. Left facing bayonet, like the cloth ones I posted above.

 

 

If my memory serves me well, I believe so. Jack

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Here's another picture I have saved, not sure where I found it online but I did note that it is from 1953. Soldier wearing Order of Bayonet & CIB.

 

 

 

 

post-122639-0-70439600-1453326994.jpg

Bob Davis
Secretary, Arizona Chapter, The Orders and Medals Research Society
ASMIC Member #5364, OVMS Member #11939
US Army Infantry 2001-2009, OIF/OEF Veteran

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  • 8 months later...

Here're the ones I've in my collection :

 

p3_cop13.jpg

 

p3_cop11.jpg

 

p3_cop12.jpg

"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up..." - Donald Rumsfeld (Camp Buehring, KU - Dec. 8, 2004)

See my current collection of desert SSI HERE
See my current collection of Badges (ranks, qualification badges, Branch of Service - from WW2 to present) HERE
See my files in PDF on scribd.com HERE
See my collection of jackets HERE

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  • 7 months later...

Sorry to be so late but adding a Seventh Division, 32nd Inf grouping I just acquired. Cpl Alfred Weber. Purple Heart Certificate dated October 1, 1952. I have very little information on Cpl. Weber so if anyone can contribute to the history it would be much appreciated.

post-161300-0-57667700-1494860483.jpg

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