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AEF Vehicle insignia

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Trenchbuff, thanks for adding the painted Reserve Mallet tin plate, I'd never seen anything like that before. I have two or three photos of AEF ambulances bearing additional insignia that are unknown to me. The resolution was so bad that I chose not to post them, not sure, but maybe I'll add them anyway as there may be a chance that someone will recognize what they are.

 

I have a file folder devoted to medical treatment in the AEF, which I forgot to look through. Your addition of the Reserve Mallet insignia reminded me that I still need to check that folder for vehicle insignia. Also the toy truck bearing the insignia of the 79th Division is great - what a neat find.

 

Thanks also to the trio of posters for looking at and commenting on this post. I have a few additional photos that were just emailed to me which I will be adding soon

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Forum member Rogier Van de Hoeff sent me the following five photos depicting AEF vehicle insignia. Thanks Rogier ...

 

Photo No. 45: 4th Division Cadillac touring car photographed in Germany, 1919. Unlike the 4th Division Cadillac touring car in Photo No. 14, whose insignia was painted on a square background, this vehicles square background has been turned so that it represents a diamond.

Photo courtesy of the Rogier Van de Hoeff collection

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Photo No. 48: 36th Division motor car photographed in Rotterdam, Holland, 1919. behind the windscreen is a placard bearing two stars, which likely indicates that the vehicle was being used as the personal transportation of a major general.

 

Photo courtesy of the Rogier Van de Hoeff collection

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No. 41 is a Liberty truck with the QM-Society of Automoblie Engineers logo plate. - This reflects fact that design and production of Liberty Trucks was a joint QMC-SAE project. Steve McG

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Photo No. 44: This final truck insignia is said to represent Motor Truck Company No. 302. If you look closely you’ll notice that the squiggle in the lower left hand corner is shaped like the number ‘302’.

 

I suspect, but cannot confirm that many individual AEF truck companies may have unofficially adopted insignia that was exclusive only to their company. It’s also possible that some of these unusual vehicle markings may have been made into shoulder patches that were never officially approved by GHQ.

 

Photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

 

This one is definitely 302nd MTC. There was an IDed grouping (split up, of course) on ebay a few years back that included a painted helmet and various documents related to the 302nd.

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Here is an unpublished photo of General Pershing coming out of his HQ getting ready to enter his car. There are some markings on the windshield and appear to be some markings on a door but can't make those out. The nurse, whose photo album this came from wrote on the back: "Gen'l Pershing at Chaumont".

 

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Here are some 5th Division Sanitary Train vehicles. Hard to see but the vehicle on the left has a "5" within the 5th division emblem. The rear view of the vehicle on the right has "SN" within the 5th Division emblem. Both are signal corps photos and the doctor's estate these came from indicated wrote on the back:"Ambulances of 5th Sanitary Team, Bethincourt, France.

 

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Kim, great additions, thank you.

 

On Pershing's staff car it almost looks like there is a 1st Division insignia on the right hand side of the windshield.

 

On the initials "SN", I'm guessing that it's an abbreviation for "Sanitary" as in Sanitary Train. According to the 5th Division history:

 

The Red Diamond was selected as the division insignia at the suggestion of Major Charles A. Meals of the Quartermaster Corps, who, on being told that the Division should have a distinctive emblem, promptly suggested the "Ace of Diamonds less the ace." It was approved by General McMahon and officially adopted in General Order No. 2, January 18th, 1918. The division insignia will be a red diamond with a vertical diagonal of six inches and a horizontal diagonal of four inches in the center of which will be a two-inch figure '5' in white. After reaching France the "5" was removed from the insignia. All units were instructed to have the red diamond painted on their equipment for overseas shipment.

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Nerd. This is one of my favorite topics and you've done a great job as always digging up some fantastic photos. Some ambulance units also had plates attached to their ambulances which indicated the number of croix de guerres the unit was awarded. Additionally, US Army vehicles sometimes identified the branch of the vehicle on their license ID plates. The medical department would have an MD before the ID number, the quartermaster corps would have QMC, etc... I could post some photos of these unless you think it's getting too far from the original topic.


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Dear All: Ref # 34 Ambulance markings .... based examination of an original Horse drawn ambulance ( Army owned but now on display at National WW1 Museum IIRC) , and close examination of period photos, the Medical Corps caduceus marking was made by stencil and rendered in Medical Department maroon on a matte silver background ( likely aluminum paint). The red cross is rendered in red on a white background. I think all the reproduction Model T ambulances extant ( about a dozen or so) have missed this detail and done the Medical Corps insignia in red on white, versus the correct maroon on silver. Steve McG.

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Heck, by all means, post number plates, serial numbers, division insignia, formation badges & numbers, any form of personalization, etc. etc. If it was painted, stenciled, drawn, pasted, screwed, riveted or otherwise applied to a vehicle used by the AEF, feel free to post it.

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French 75mm Field Gun with 2nd Division, 12th Field Artillery Insignia & a FT 17 Renault Tank with a diamond within a diamond insignia ... Artillery photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

 

AEF light tank battalions (or one of them ) used different colored playing card suites - Spades - Hearts - Clubs & Diamonds within different shaped backgrounds as identifying insignia. Somewhere I have a breakdown of what the different colors and shapes represent. As soon as I find it, I'll post the relevant information.

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Similar to what Trenchbuff mentioned in regard to Croix de Guerre awards being displayed by some ambulance companies, in 1919 the 2nd Division issued a General Order directing that all qualified organizations within that division paint the Croix de Guerre medal next to the regiment, brigade or train insignia. Here's an example of a Croix de Guerre next to the 2nd Engineer Regiment insignia as painted on a motorcycle gas tank.

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So here you go. A croix de guerre plate from one of section 646 ambulances. Section 646 was known as the "Croix de Guerre section" because of the number of times they were cited by the French Army. They received one at the regiment level, 2 at the division level and 2 at the army level. I believe more than any other section in the USAAS.

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Here's a porcelain license ID plate from a US Army truck from the Quartermaster Corps and a couple shots of a US Army ambulance with a Medical Department plate.

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Thanks AEF1917 - McGeorge & Trenchbuff for the additional info & images ... keep em' coming. Trenchbuff can you post any photos of the tin plate emblems in use on AEF ambulances?

 

Steve, I think the soldier next to the FT 17 is from the 80th Division as that image was part of a series of post combat photos of the 80th Division after coming out of the Argonne. Yeah, it does kinda' look like a Kerr sling buckle.

 

Here's another heavy truck with an unidentified insignia that looks a lot (to me) like a profile of Abraham Lincoln. The soldier partially hidden by the inset appears to be wearing an Adrian helmet. Not sure if this is an AEF truck hauling French tanks or French trucks hauling French tanks, but It's hard to imagine the French Army using an image of Abraham Lincoln (if that's who it is) as a unit insignia. Can anybody ID this insignia?

 

Photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

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A cool image of a motorcycle & sidecar with the emblem of Field Hospital No. 21 (4th Division) taken at Camp Fort Riley in Kansas, 1917.

 

Photo courtesy of the Rogier Van de Hoeff collection

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