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A.E.F First Army Shoulder Sleeve Insignia 1918 to 1919


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Photo No. 26: Another trio of 3rd Pioneer Infantry Regiment shoulder patches, each of which is similar yet dissimilar. The left hand version is larger and of the two-piece variety. The center SSI is machine embroidered on felt. While the far right example looks to have been embellished with a pair of crossed axes.

 

Left photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

Center photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

 

 

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Photo No 27: A closer look at the unusual 3rd Pioneer Infantry insignia with what are presumed to be crossed axes superimposed over the block letter “A”. Note the numeral “3” appears on the overseas cap and he is wearing a Pioneer Infantry collar disc.

 

Photos courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

 

 

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First Army Artillery Units

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

HQ Army Artillery, First Army

Coast Artillery Corps:

HQ 32nd Artillery Brigade, 42nd CA (24cm), 43rd CA (19cm, 44th CA (8” Howitzer), 51st CA (240mm & 8”howitzer) 52nd CA (32cm), 53rd CA (19cm, 340mm & 400mm), 57th CA (155mm), 59th CA (8” howitzer), 60th CA (155mm) and 65th CA (9,2”)

 

September 26 to November 11, 1918

 

HQ Army Artillery, First Army

Coast Artillery Corps:

HQ 31st Artillery Brigade, 55th CA (155mm), 56th CA (155mm), 57th CA (155mm)

HQ 32nd Artillery Brigade, 58th CA (8” howitzer), 59th CA (8”howitzer), 65th CA (9.2”)

HQ 39th Artillery Brigade, 44th CA (8” howitzer), 51st CA (240mm & 8”howitzer), 60th CA (155mm)

Field Artillery:

57th FA Brigade (32nd Division)

58th FA Brigade (33rd Division)

66th FA Brigade (41st Division)

166th FA Brigade (91st Division)

 

Photo No. 28: The red over white inset between the legs of the block letter “A” used by First Army artillery organizations was in use prior to Memorandum No. 45. That memo, however, made the unofficial insignia official. Therefore, with the exception of a few holdouts, the majority of First Army artillery regiments, brigades and batteries continued to use the red over white design as their distinctive cloth insignia.

 

Background courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

Inset courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

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Photo No. 29: The red over white version of the First Army artillery insignia was in most instances, used by all Field, Coast and Railway Artillery units within the First Army. The left and right hand SSI were found on service coats bearing field artillery collar discs, while the center insignia was sewn on a coat to which a Coast Artillery collar disc was fixed. It is not known if the Navy artillery organizations serving under the command of the First Army wore the same, a similar, a different, or no shoulder patch.

 

Does anyone know or have evidence of Navy artillerymen wearing a First Army patch of any type?

 

All photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

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Photo No. 30: First Army artillery insignia as worn by two members of the field artillery (left & right) and by an enlisted man identified as serving in the Coast Artillery Corps (center).

 

Left photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Center photo courtesy of the National World War I Museum

Right photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

 

 

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Photo No. 31: Three more First Army Artillery – Coast Artillery SSI. From left to right the red and white insets have been made from applied felt, machine embroidered and applied silk.

 

Left photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Center & right photos courtesy of the Ron McMahon collection

 

 

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Photo No. 32: A pair of felt applique artillery insignia (left & right) sandwich a specimen that was machine woven from a much heavier gauge thread.

 

Left & right photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Center photo courtesy of the George Morgan collection

 

 

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Misc. First Army Artillery Units

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

66th Field Artillery Brigade (41st Division) (155mm)

First Army Artillery Park

II Corps Artillery Park

First Army Artillery and Ammunition Park

HQ Railway Artillery

First Army Sound & Ranging Sections 2 & 4 (Corps of Engineers)

First Army Flash Ranging Sections 1 & 2 (Corps of Engineers)

 

September 26 to November 11, 1911

 

First Army Artillery Park

First Army Provisional Park (52nd CA (32cm)

51st, 52nd & 53rd Ammunition Trains (CA)

Tractor Artillery Replacement Battalion (formerly 2nd Battalion 54th CA)

First Army 2nd Section Range Finders

 

It is presumed that First Army HQ expected the organizations that directly supported artillery regiments under its command to wear the red over white inset on the letter “A”. Based on the following samples that was not always the case.

 

Photo No. 33: Taken in Froidos, Meuse, France on October 26, 1918, this photograph of a bear painted on the side of a truck was the insignia of a California based Coast Artillery organization that was a part of the First Army, Artillery Park.

 

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

 

 

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Photo No. 34: Based on the above photo, this design of a First Army artillery SSI embellished with a white bear is thought to represent either one particular Coast Artillery organization within the First Army Artillery Park (the one from California) or the entire First Army Artillery Park. Each of the shoulder patches depicted here look as if they originated from the same source.

 

Does anyone know exactly what organization this shoulder patch represents?

 

Left & Center photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

 

 

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Photo No. 36: The bears on this pair of First Army Artillery Park insignia are significantly different. Not to mention that the red over white artillery inset is not present on the right hand example.

 

Left photo courtesy of the JBPC

Right photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

 

 

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Photo No. 37: Both of these First Army, III Corps Artillery Park shoulder patches are constructed of applied felt with hand embroidered details. The presence of the Ordnance Department flaming grenade on the right hand patch identifies it as being worn by the Ordnance Section.

 

Photos courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

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First Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Units

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

1st Anti-Aircraft Battalion (CAC), Battery B (3”)

2nd Anti-Aircraft Battalion (CAC) (3”)

7th Anti-Aircraft Battery (CAC) (3”)

September 26 to November 11, 1918

 

1st Battalion (3”)

2nd Battalion 5th & 7th Batteries (3”)

 

Photo No. 38: It is presumed, but not proven, that any First Army insignia bearing the initials “AA” represented an Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment, as opposed to an Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Regiment. Further proof supporting the above assertion is that an artillery collar disc, not an Infantry or MG collar disc, is worn by the soldier in this period photo. This example with the numeral “5”, both in the inset and worn in the background photo, is the SSI of the 5th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment. Some batteries within that organization became active shortly before the Armistice was signed in November of 1918.

 

 

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Photo No. 39: The above 5th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment shoulder patch is compared to an unnumbered First Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment patch and a similar insignia for the 3rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment.

 

Left photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

Right photo courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

 

 

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Photo No. 41: The First Army shoulder insignia depicted in the following images are from left to right; 5th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment (Artillery collar disc), an unknown and all-red Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment (AA Artillery collar disc) and an Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun Regiment (Infantry collar disc).

 

Center photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

 

 

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First Army Anti-Aircraft MG Units

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

1st MG Battalion Anti-Aircraft (Hotchkiss AA)

2nd MG Battalion Anti-Aircraft Company A (Hotchkiss AA)

 

September 26 to November 11, 1918

 

1st MG Battalion Anti-Aircraft (Hotchkiss AA)

2nd MG Battalion Anti-Aircraft (Hotchkiss AA)

 

Photo No. 42: In this enlarged view of another Anti-Aircraft MG soldier, the Infantry collar disc, a MG sweetheart pin on his pocket flap and an Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment insignia – a red arrow piercing a red and white airplane prop on a blue field, are all easily distinguished.

 

Inset courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Background courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

 

 

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Photo No. 43: A careful inspection of these homeward bound AEF officers relaxing on the deck of a troop transport reveals that at least three of them are sporting First Army Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment SSI, one of which (the officer reading a newspaper) has the numeral “1” added to the upper section of the “A”.

 

Photo courtesy of the Troy Morgan collection

 

 

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Photo No. 44: Closer view of the three First Army Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment insignia. Note that the center and right officers are wearing overseas caps piped in light blue and scarlet, the prescribed branch colors for AEF machine gun outfits.

 

Photo courtesy of the Troy Morgan collection

 

 

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Photo No. 45: The blue silk background of the 1st Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment insignia at left, has deteriorated leaving only traces of the blue color. The center illustration is thought to be the shoulder patch design of the 2nd Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment. However, no existing examples of a patch bearing this design have been found. The left hand example bears the numeral “3” for the 3rd Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment.

 

Left photo courtesy of the JBPC

Center photo courtesy of the QM Jones collection

Right photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

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Photo No. 46: This shoulder patch, whose prop and plane colors are the same as those depicted in photo number 41, also display the numeral “1” in the upper section of the letter “A” The presence of that numeral signified that the wearer was a member of the 1st Anti-Aircraft MG Regiment .

 

Photos courtesy of the Troy Morgan collection

 

 

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Photo No. 48: Three more First Army Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun shoulder patches whose arrow orientation differ from the insignia shown above. The first two arrows are pointing down and to the right. The right hand example has an entirely different wing and prop inset. Plus, its emblem is in red and the arrow is pointing up and to the right. One wonders if the wing and prop direction indicated a particular regiment or if they were just a design or manufacturer’s aberration.

 

Left photo courtesy of the JBPC

Center photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

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First Army Railway Artillery Units

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

HQ Railway Artillery

September 26 to November 11, 1918

 

HQ Railway Artillery

HQ 30th Artillery Brigade (CAC), 42nd CA (24cm), 43rd CA (19cm), 52nd CA (32cm), 53rd CA (19cm, 340mm & 400mm)

Naval Batteries 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 (11”)

First Provisional High Burst Ranging Section

Detachment Railway Artillery MTS

 

Apparently, the mythical Oozlefinch Bird’s association with the Coast Artillery Corps dates back to 1905 or 1906, when it became, for lack of a better title, the mascot of the Fort Monroe officer’s club. The club was frequently the gathering place for officers of the Coast Artillery. Fort Monroe was also the future home of the Coast Artillery School that was established there in 1908.

 

The so called “Oozlefinch Bird” was initially selected as the insignia for the 30th Artillery Brigade, Coast Artillery Corps. The 30th Artillery Brigade formed the backbone of the First Army’s railway artillery section during the Great War. Based on its heritage, any shoulder patch bearing the Railway Artillery Reserve’s Oozlefinch is presumed to have been worn exclusively by First Army Coast Artillery personnel associated with a railway artillery organization.

 

Photo No. 49: Three First Army “A” insignia, each embellished with a different, yet similar Oozlefinch Bird, two of which were cut from red felt, while the third was embroidered.

 

Left photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Center & right photos courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

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Photo No. 50: Once again, three First Army insignia, each bearing a different, yet similar Oozlefinch Bird. All of which were cut from red felt.

 

Left photo & center photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of the JBPC

 

 

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