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Submarine Dolphins and Variations Post WWII


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I would like to start this topic to gather members thoughts of submarine dolphins after WWII. I would like to keep this to only US not foreign and would like to include variations or non official badges out there, plus deep submergence and the boomers. There is a ton of manufactures out there and many variations with little written on the subject. Seems like Ebay is WWII or current, well the 60 years in between has a lot to offer too.

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I don't know very much about these submarine dolphin badges but here is one that came in a grouping of things from a sailor from the 1950s so I'm guessing this badge is from that era.

What color is this, if it is silver then it is definitely post 1950, but without a hallmark difficult to determine the date. They were well used for sure though.
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Pair of Maryland Militari badges. Not sure of the dates, anyone have any information about these. From what I understand they are for personnel who earned their dolphins in the USN and then

entered the Maryland militaria afterwards.

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What color is this, if it is silver then it is definitely post 1950, but without a hallmark difficult to determine the date. They were well used for sure though.

 

It is gold colored with that green stuff Verdigris in the nooks and crannies on the front.

 

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Pair of Maryland Militari badges. Not sure of the dates, anyone have any information about these. From what I understand they are for personnel who earned their dolphins in the USN and then entered the Maryland militaria afterwards.

 

 

They are unofficial badges, supposedly presented by the Maryland Naval Militia to former submariners. The militia formed in 1774 and disbanded in 1975, so I would assume your badges are probably 1960's to 1970's production. As you show, the central submarine device was replaced with the shield portion of the Maryland State seal.

 

I'm not sure about the items you show in post #1, or what they truly represent. I see these offered on Ebay as "Littoral" submarine badges, though to the best of my knowledge, the U.S. doesn't have subs classified as such and even crews on our "special ops" boats use the same insignia as the rest of the submariners in the fleet. My guess is they are either foreign or pure fantasy pieces.

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Here is an enlisted deep wave, I know that a lot of people associate deep wave with WWII but its not necessarily correct. Being that it is sterling I would also put these in the 1950's maybe 1960's time range.

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Regarding the Balfour badges, with the "1-B" hallmark, I would say late 1960's thru 1970's (Vietnam era).

 

It might be the angle but that H-H hallmark looks a bit off to me. Eagle looks odd IMO. You are correct, the so-called "Deep Wave" pattern carried over post WW2. Here's an old Ebay auction listing with an officer mess dress version still sealed in the bar code packaging. I forget what year bar codes came into play but I want to say 1960's or later.

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I'm not sure, as the round Gemsco hallmark is not as common but I think 1960's is a good estimate because we continue to see this manufacturer up through the '60s/early '70s. The Sub Supply Officer badge was first established in February 1964, so ...

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I've always like the Gemsco product line personally. Their manufacture of full size insignia always seems to have a touch of quality and a solid feel to it. Unlike the mini devices, which seem to appear flat in appearance, the full size items are usually nicely detailed and have a sharp design. In my opinion, they are one of the nicer period manufactures and one of the last where quality still showed in their products.

 

Here are the Gemsco pieces in my collection. Jones lists the officer set as WW2 but I think it continued post war as well. The sterling silver set next to it matches in size and die characteristics. The Engineering Duty Officer and Medical Officer badges are both early 1950's examples with the A.G.O. G-2 hallmarks.

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I like the Engineering and Medical Gemsco badges, not normally seen made by Gemsco, plus they are pinback which is nice. Not sure when Gemsco went from the circle Hallmark to the print hallmark but I would think these are still in the same timeframe being sterling with 1/20GF.

The top three hallmark is a little more common but with pinback is a little different. Know of any reason or timeframe they would have gone from pinback to cluthback?

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I assume it was more economical to manufacture and provided a better, easier way of attachment to the uniform.

 

The Engineering badge has the riveted propeller center device, which is nice and the medical badge came with the original case.

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Here is some more enlisted Gemsco. The hallmarks all vary, 4 of them are marked sterling, the last one is not marked sterling but it has a sterling shine to it. Looks like Gemsco changed its hallmark frequently as they all are different. I would think that the solid back are older, then going to the hallow-back to maybe save money, then without sterling, but thats only a guess.

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  • 2 weeks later...

re: "Robbins" dolphins:

 

Those are interesting dolphins indeed, almost remind me of the Nanco design. I am curious about the stylized 'R' trademark, what makes you confident they are Robbins manufacture? I have never seen this marking before. Thanks for showing!

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Does anyone know the year, or timeline, where the dolphins design was uniformly changed to this newer "guppy" look? Appears to be the commonly shared design on the 1970's - current issue badges. Can't say I'm a fan, wish they had a better look IMO, considering all the previous designs.

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Back to Gemsco for a moment.

 

Much to my surprise and chagrin, turns out even Gemsco switched to this design later on, despite initially having a beautifully design set of dolphins. Was surprised to see this one carrying the Gemsco 1/20 10K stamping. Nice quality badge, just the newer approved design leaves me bewildered. Of course, its not the badge itself but the qualification it represents and the hard work and dedicated effort attaining it that means anything. Still...who approves these modern designs nowadays?

 

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Hilborn Hamburger (H-H) also switched to this design. Sterling and the H-H eagle trademark

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Here are some of my N.S. Meyer's; two are attributed.

 

Now that's a design!!

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A friendly reminder that my images and material posted here are not to be considered "fair use" or "public domain". If you want to legally use my material outside this forum, for any purpose, my express written permission is requested and required beforehand.

 

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