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AEF 37th Division?


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Not 37th Division. ID'd through a WW1 uniform for sale here on the forum. The coat had this SSI, there was a letter from the wearer describing his unit and an image of him wearing the coat with the SSI. He was assigned to one of the Base Sections of the Services of Supply. He worked in a coffee roasting and grinding plant. I cannot determine if it was the Base Section SSI (that is what I suspect) or just for the coffee plant soldiers.

post-943-0-68779200-1462381418.jpg

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Actually,it's been ID'd as the 39th.Here's a pic of mine and a link to another discussion about this patch:

 

 

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/162608-unidentified-wwi-patch/?hl=%2039th%20%20division

post-13386-0-32680700-1462389494.jpg

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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Back view

post-13386-0-66380700-1462389571.jpg

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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Actually,it's been ID'd as the 39th.Here's a pic of mine and a link to another discussion about this patch:

 

 

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/162608-unidentified-wwi-patch/?hl=%2039th%20%20division

I think that ID has been disproved by the documentary evidence that appeared on this forum. An image shows the soldier wearing the SSI and he writes of his Army assignments-- no 39th Division, no 37th Division, in contemporary correspondence. As I said, this SSI has been misidentified for many years with no explanation as to how the misidentifications were decided upon.

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It's hard for me to believe that these nice bullion pieces would be made for coffee grinders,but I suppose anything is possible! :lol:

 

 

Here's another bullion example that was on Dan Griffin Militaria.

post-13386-0-83170600-1462393749.jpg

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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There's more of these, all silver or white on blue...

Image2.jpg

 

I have a very tentative ID of the Hospital Center Beau Desert, near Bordeaux. The three crescents on blue appear in the arms of several French towns: St. Menehould and Rocroi in Champagne, Crecy in Picardy and Ligny en Barros in Lorraine.

 

RW

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I have a French hospital tinnie/souvenir piece in my collection that has the symbol on it. It depicts a nurse giving aid to a patient with the text: POUR LES OUEVRES DE GUERRE/MARS/1916.

 

I had never associated it with the A.E.F. before, as the piece is clearly French and predates U.S. entry into the war, but it may be a symbol used locally that was selected by the A.E.F. hospital center at Mars-la-Tour.

 

I have a bunch of issues of "The Martian," the newspaper of the hospital center, and I will check them when I get the chance. Maybe an answer will be in there.

 

ww1buff

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The uniform with that SSI belonged to a soldier assigned to a unit of the Services of Supply Base Section 2 at "Bassens" near Bordeaux. For me, there is enough evidence to call it the SSI for Base Section 2 of the SOS, AEF.

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Herein is a good example of the failure of internet searching versus good ol' research. This patch's identification had been nailed down about six years ago. Prior to that, Bill Combs (President of OVMS) had made the connection of the three crescents to Bordeaux --and yet the WAGs continued to be thrown out there--"Biohazard", "three crescents representing over-lapping states" and there were nothing but red herrings that collectors latched onto. Of course, dealers sell what they can identify, so repeatedly, the patch would come up for sale as "37th or 39th" Division with no supporting evidence.


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Around 2004, AGM was carrying around a tunic with the patch in bullion and a Quartermaster disc. It just wouldn't sell. It was tentatively, but not conclusively, tied to the 112th Supply Train...I think this is how the 37th Division attribution emerged. But the patch didn't fit the patch collectors assumption of "overlapping states" contributing to the 37th...the 39th seemed the obvious choice to support that theory. But there was no hard evidence. Regardless, dealers who needed to sell the patches, grabbed hold of the identification, throwing "or 37th Division" in for good measure.


Finally, in 2010, the hard data came to light. AGM acquired a grouping (with the photo illustrated above). The original description:


Nice uniform from a Clifton, Illinois man who ran away from home to enlist in the Army at age 14, served in WWI, returned home to complete his education and later became a prominent citizen in New England. (His personal papers are archived at the Concord Free Public Library.) His group includes several letters that he wrote in response to a request from a collector to buy his uniform in which he notes: "I served in 329th Supply Company, Quartermaster Corps at A.P.O. 705 located at Bassens France just down the Gironde River from Bordeaux. One of my duties was to run the only coffee roasting plant for the U.S. Army in France. Our company was in charge of the American docks and handled the unloading of supplies from the States. One of our ships brought one of the sixteen inch naval guns and the train of cars carrying the breech, track, and ammunition track. It was so heavy that we had to assemble it off the docks or the docks would have sunk into the river..." He offers his uniform, but advises that the puttees and overseas cap had long ago been eaten by moths. He must have found that he had another, though, as there is an overseas cap included in the group. His uniform is a nice quality tailored olive drab wool tunic with "US" and Quartermaster Corps collar discs, Corporal rank chevrons, two overseas service chevrons, honorable discharge chevron, and a shoulder insignia that has bedeviled my efforts to positively identify it for the better part of the last decade. Insignia is comprised of three white embroidered interlocking crescents on dark blue wool. I have seen this identified as a variant of the 39th Division (makes sense - three crescents representing New Orleans and the Delta), and had one that was on a uniform named to a member of the 37th Division's 112th Supply Train. Maddening. Anyway - we know for a fact that this one belonged to Corporal Harold C. Smith of the 329th Supply Company, as we now also have a photograph (RPPC size) of Mr. Smith wearing a uniform with this same shoulder insignia that is signed "To Mother from Harold '19". Also includes overseas cap with Quartermaster disc. Uniform is quite nice, just a few inconspicuous pinholes. Interesting new chapter in the mystery shoulder insignia saga!


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post-949-0-72902700-1462455898.jpg post-949-0-46492800-1462455905.jpg


And despite conclusive evidence, those google searches--rather than REsearches--keep turning up the 37th or 39th attribution. Repeating bad information is not an excuse. It's just lazy. Apparently the patch was never "sexy" enough to warrant someone digging into archives, flipping pages of camp newspapers or studying thousands of photographs for evidence. It was just easier to say, "Hey! Griffin sold one as 37th or 39th so that's good enough for me. No one ever said, "You know, the 37th Division and 39th Division numbered about 30,000 men--you would think this patch would show up in a panoramic or studio card." The lack of supporting evidence would have indicated to any serious student that the 37th / 39th attribution was nothing more than a guess--something to keep tucked in the back of the mind until the time when the research might or might not prove it. But collectors are driven by the need to categorize. We all suffer from it, whether it is organizing stones in egg cartons, placing stamps on the printed picture of it in an album, or hanging up tunics in chronological order. We take great comfort in knowing "everything has a place." Having an "unknown patch awaiting identification" is just not in our nature.


The internet and forums are great playgrounds loaded with lots of exciting "discoveries" but they aren't replacements for keeping records, updating information, and preserving the history of the men and women who actually sacrificed something to wear the uniforms, helmets and patches we collectors covet. We owe it to them to be more careful about what we throw against the internet wall...their history deserves so much more respect than a group of guys throwing out WAGs on forums or simply repeating guesses that others made--but never documented.


FWIW,


John

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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John, thank you. I could never figure out how those two divisions came into the picture. The Smith uniform and material you show is the one that was offered for sale on this forum no too ling ago and is the one I cited in my ID of the SSI. I hope this puts to rest the misidentifications.

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John, thank you. I could never figure out how those two divisions came into the picture. The Smith uniform and material you show is the one that was offered for sale on this forum no too ling ago and is the one I cited in my ID of the SSI. I hope this puts to rest the misidentifications.

 

You are MOST welcome. But, a HUGE thank you to you, Rolfi, and all the others who have fleshed out this story. There is a quick article in all of this, somewhere! ;)

 

I am really impressed by the variations of the chiffre de Bordeaux that Rolfi posted. There is still more to this story to be learned, but I think we are hot on the trail. The 329th Supply Company photo, though, was the link that needed to be connected.

 

I am a firm believer in the power of the photographic record, particularly in this time frame. Commercial photography had hit its zenith--studios were everywhere, and competition fierce enough that even the poorest doughboy could afford a pose, or at least, go in with a buddy and share a sitting. If 30 or 50 guys had a special patch made for their unit / platoon / section, I just feel like the photographic record is out there, somewhere. It took a long time for the 329th Supply image to emerge, but it is evidence of an unusual patch making it to the studio.

 

JAG

Top dollar paid for WWI AEF Tank Corps uniforms, medal groups, equipment and photos,
unit histories and rosters...especially anything associated with

301st (Heavy) Tank Bn
Drop me an email and let me know what you have.

 

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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WOW I got a great thread going and nobody is upset with me. I still say this is a WW1 Starbucks patch.

 

Not exactly. If we are correct, it was worn by many of the men of Base Section No. 2 of the AEF's Services of Supply, not just the coffee roasting plant. Still a good name though.

 

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WOW I got a great thread going and nobody is upset with me. I still say this is a WW1 Starbucks patch.

 

With the different size variations this patch can be found in, I suggest we go with Type Grande, Type Venti, and Type Trenta.

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donation2017.gif

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This is an interesting thread,thanks to all who have contributed!I would like to add some thoughts to the discussion.

 

First,thanks for posting the group,as this is helpful and goes a long way towards finding a positive ID for this patch.

 

 

Was this info ever posted before here on the Forum?If so,I didn't see it.

 

 

Speaking for myself,I didn't get any info about my patch from the internet,I got it right here on the Forum.

 

 

Many times in lieu of a positive ID ideas are put forth as to what an item is.This can be helpful and shouldn't be construed as "lazy" people repeating "bad information",but as individuals trying to solve a mystery with the clues that they have at the time.One of the clues was an ID from a published book.And,according to the info posted,one was found on the uniform of a Soldier from the 37th Division's 112th Supply Train.
I've seen this process used before here on the Forum,and ID's can and do "evolve" as new info comes forth.

 

 

I think that we are much closer to a positive ID,and from what I've read here it does'nt seem that it has yet been positively "nailed down"but whatever the ID turns out to be,I love my patch and know that it is a rare and beautiful piece,and I'm very happy to have an example in Bullion for my collection.

 

 

Lastly,my apologies for posting my patch upside down! :blush:

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silver wings;

Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there

I've chased the shouting wind along and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,

where never lark, or even eagle flew;

and while, with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

 

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 9, 1922 – December 11, 1941

 

 

 

" And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

 

Don't let the B@stards wear you down -"Vinegar" Joe Stillwell

 

 

Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.Unreasonable

people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.All progress,

therefore, depends on unreasonable people.

George Bernard Shaw

 

 

" Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining" , Fletcher,from the movie "The outlaw Josey Wales"

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Personally. I never liked that particular insignia for the 39th Infantry Division because, according to my files, that division already had, at least seven different design variations. The coffee roasting or supply insignia shown above would have made eight!

 

Now all we have to do is figure out what the different background shapes of the so called Base Section No. 2 shoulder patch represent ... likely different Quartermaster skills or tasks, such as working in the AEF coffee roasting plant.

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