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866th Engineer Aviation Battalion, HQ Company guidon

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Recent purchase. As noted above, this guidon is from the 866th Engineer Aviation Battalion. (Aka EAB). From what I can tell, the unit exist twice. The first time was during WW2, when it was stationed on a number of small islands in the pacific. It looks to have been reconstituted briefly in the early 1950s, and was stationed in France. Based on the condition of this thing, it's a safe bet that this was from the WW2 incarnation. The pacific used guidons that I have look like shinola. They are usually frayed and faded, I presume from the constant breeze, sun and salt. It almost feels dry rotted, but it's not, it's just wear. The pole sleeve has areas of brighter color, where it was wrinkled while on the staff, which protected the shielded areas.


Below is a video of an interview with a veteran from this battalion. The unit first saw action on Leyte in October of 1944, and was under pretty constant strafing, per the vet, their first experience of which was while at sea approaching the islands. Some of the EAB units performed work for the air Corp, and some worked for the regular army. The 866th appears to have done both, as they built roads, runways and hospitals. Because of all of their equipment and supplies, it took five LSTs to move the unit from place to place. This seems astonishing to me, but well within the realm of possibility. It was an interesting find, and well worth $50.




I like guidon flags. They're my bag, baby.

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I've collected these Engineer guidons for a while. Love them and unit histories you can find. I also frame with their order of battle patches. Makes a nice display.



They are interesting things, in that they have a history that is attached to certain men at a certain time and at a certain place. It's like having an ID'd piece of gear, but instead of knowing that one man carried it through to war, you can know that possibly a thousand or two interacted with it over time. My 42nd Division guidon is like that especially, in that men in the tens of thousands perhaps served under it.



Going through my records, it looks like I have nine different engineer guidons. I've been trying to acquire ones from different branches lately, unless there is just something notable about the flag. Unless there is a notable era or history, its just another flag at a certain point. I'm afraid to frame mine, I'm not sure how they would take to the mounting, if it would be reversible, if they would fade more. I do like that idea that you have though.

I like guidon flags. They're my bag, baby.

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I love the ones that battered and torn. They just scream "I was there".

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I put my guidons in those very inexpensive mylar poster frames with slip on edges, stored flat in a 30's engineer drafting case. No adhesives, pins needed, keeps them flattened out, and when you want to look at them, easy to access!! The order of battle patches stay down in place too, and attach the research sheets to back in mylar sleeve.

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