Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

Photo No. 51: An Oozlefinch bird has been sewn beneath a First Army “A” that has been embroidered with the initials “RAR” which signified Railway Artillery Reserve. Opposite is another “RAR” embroidered First Army “A” minus the bird.

 

Left photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

Right photo courtesy of the JBPC

 

 

post-5143-0-87335600-1525487134_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 184
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Photo No. 53: At left is an unusual First Army Railway Artillery SSI that appears to have been embroidered with a large caliber gun (11 or 14 inch) mounted on a railroad carriage, both of which were operated primarily by U.S. Navy personnel. It is not known if this insignia represents an Army, a Coast Artillery or a Navy railroad artillery unit. The right hand image shows a First Army insignia married to a Railway Artillery Reserve shoulder patch.

 

Right photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

 

post-5143-0-98316500-1525487210_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

First Army Tank Corps Units

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

344th & 354th Tank Battalions (FT 17)

September 26 to November 11, 1918

 

1st Brigade Tank Corps: 344th & 354th Tank Battalions (FT 17)

316th & 321st Repair and Salvage Tank Companies

Detachment 9th Company 2nd Motor Mechanics Regiment

 

Photo No. 54: At left is a First Army patch with a hand embroidered Tank Corps emblem between its legs. Next to it is another Tank Corps insignia, albeit, much faded and machine embroidered.

 

Left Image courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of the JBPC

 

 

post-5143-0-78253200-1525487265_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

First Army Ammunition Trains

August 30 to September 16, 1918

 

No Ammunition Trains listed

September 26 & November 11, 1918

51st, 52nd & 53rd Ammunition Trains

 

Photo No. 55: These three nearly identical First Army shoulder patches are comprised of the initial “T” for train (as in wagon train) on a red backing set between the legs of the letter “A”. When combined the letters “A & T” formed a monogram for “Ammunition Train”. This insignia was used for either one or all of the First Army Ammunition Trains. Two of the insignia shown (left & center) were on the service coat and overcoat belonging to a soldier identified as being a member of the 54th Ammunition Train. The right hand insignia could not be attributed to a specific unit. Another insignia (not shown in this post), identical to those depicted here, was ascribed to a Doughboy serving with the 59th Ammunition Train. Both the 54th and 59th Ammunition Trains were late-comers to the First Army and do not appear in the First Army order of battle that was consulted for this post.

 

All photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-59287400-1525487322_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

First Army Ordnance Units

August 30 & September 16, 1918

Ordnance Detachment First Army

 

108th Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop

303rd Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop

September 26 & November 11, 1918

First Army MG & Small Arms Center

 

Advance Unit Army Ordnance Park

Army Ordnance Depots No. 101 & 102

Ordnance Repair Shops No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 116 & 113

Artillery Repair Shop

Ammunition Reclamation Depot No. 1

Ammunition Depot – Consolidated

 

The insignia of a scarlet flaming grenade set between the legs of a block letter “A” was officially recognized by Memorandum No. 45. It is not known if a similar design was in use prior to the issuance of that memo.

 

Photo No. 56: Two of the following First Army Ordnance insignia (center & right) mirror the design as laid out in Memorandum No. 45. The left hand insignia comes close but does not quite hit the mark. The reason for this is that the letter “A” has sloping rather than vertical sides.

 

Left photo courtesy of the Ron McMahon collection

Center & right photos courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-65494500-1525487383_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 57: The yellow, red, yellow inset between the legs of the left hand “A” has been identified as the insignia of an Ordnance Department outfit under the command of the First Army. The exact Ordnance unit, however, has yet to be discovered. The center emblem was found on the service coat of a Doughboy identified as serving with an Ordnance detachment assigned to the 59th Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps. Therefore, it could represent any one of the above mentioned First Army Ordnance outfits. But which one? Is the black and red (the branch colors of the Ordnance Department) flaming bomb a clue or do they just more accurately define the emblem as belonging to the Ordnance Department? Meanwhile, the right hand shoulder patch is a more “artistic” interpretation of the Ordnance Department’s flaming grenade logo.

 

Can anyone positively identify the left hand Ordnance shoulder patch?

 

Left photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

Center photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of the George Morgan collection

 

 

post-5143-0-87019500-1525487431_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 58: If the identity of the First Army SSI depicted below are correct, they too would fall under the category of First Army Ordnance Department. They are the 4th and 8th Heavy Ordnance Repair Shops respectively.

 

Photos courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

post-5143-0-02042300-1525487466_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 59: Although I could find no evidence to either support or deny this fact, it has been asserted that the Ordnance Department’s flaming grenade logo above a large red shell or superimposed over the letter “A” is the insignia of First Army Ammunition Reclamation Depot No. 1.

 

Can anyone confirm the identity of this particular First Army shoulder patch?

 

Left & center photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-64529100-1525487502_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 60: Three more alleged First Army Ammunition Reclamation Depot No. 1 SSI, all of which are of applied felt on wool construction.

 

Left & center photos courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Right photo courtesy of the RGR collection

 

 

post-5143-0-67764600-1525487538_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 61: The identity of this First Army insignia, comprised of a white, point-up triangle, sewn above an unidentified color (probably red), point-down triangle is unknown. Judging by the explosive charge on top of the pile of shells, this insignia likely represent some sort of Ordnance Department activity, like bomb disposal.

 

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

 

 

post-5143-0-15363300-1525487576_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 62: This image from the same reel of film has been identified as Lieutenant George Bishop and Sergeant Edwin H. Janzer of the Field Ammunition Office, Ordnance Department, First Army, Stenay, Meuse, France, January 1919. Based on the caption, one would presume that the shoulder patch depicted, is that of the First Army, Field Ammunition Office.

 

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

 

 

post-5143-0-79625500-1525487613_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 63: Enlargement of the shoulder patch depicted in the previous photograph. The red over white triangle insignia is possibly that of the First Army Field Ammunition Office or that of some other First Army, Ordnance, Ammunition or Artillery related outfit. By the way, the colors white over red are merely an educated guess and have yet to be confirmed.

 

Can anyone positively ID this particular First Army shoulder patch?

 

Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

 

 

post-5143-0-82550400-1525487652_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 64: This image, comprised of officers assigned to the First Army’s Field Ammunition Office, exhibits two different First Army SSI. They are First Army and what is presumed to be Ammunition Reclamation Depot No. 1 (the ID of that one has still not been 100% confirmed).

 

Based on the noticeable absence of the white over red triangle symbol from above, I suspect that design is not the insignia of the First Army Field Ammunition Office. It is more likely, the insignia of one of the departments or sections within it. The same goes for the Ammunition Reclamation Depot No. 1 logo and possibly others, like the pair of SSI shown in the next photograph. There’s still a lot that needs to be unraveled here.

 

Insets courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Background courtesy of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

 

 

post-5143-0-66899200-1525487696_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 65: The unit to which this pair of First Army insignia belong is, at present, also a mystery. Could it be a variation of the SSI depicted in Photos No. 54, 55 and 56? Is it associated in some way to the First Army, Field Ammunition Office? One source did state that this shoulder patch design was used by one of the First Army Ammunition Trains. The fact that the right hand specimen was sewn onto a service coat bearing an Infantry collar disc only further muddies the water as to the patches identity.

 

Can anyone ID this First Army shoulder patch?

 

Photos courtesy of the JBPC

 

 

post-5143-0-87267500-1525487734_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

First Army Chemical Service Units

August 30 & September 16, 1918

 

1st Gas Regiment (formerly 30th Engineer Regiment)

September 26 & November 11, 1918

1st Gas Regiment (formerly 30th Engineer Regiment)

Army Gas Depots A, C, D & E

 

During the summer of 1917, the AEF determined that a gas organization with both defensive and offensive capabilities should be added to its arsenal. To that end, the Gas Service Section of the AEF was established. To handle the offensive end of the AEF’s gas operations, the 30th Engineer Regiment was initially redesignated as the 1st Gas and Flame Regiment and trained as such. Later, it was discovered that flame throwers carried, and operated, by individual soldiers were too unwieldly and the “flame” section of the regiment was scrapped. The regiment’s name was modified to 1st Gas Regiment as a result of its recent transformation.

 

The 1st Gas Regiment’s shoulder insignia as it relates to the First Army seems to be comprised of three completely different designs. The three motifs are either shield or square in shape. They are also either all yellow or divided, both horizontally and diagonally, blue over yellow. The majority of the emblems, but not all of them, feature the numeral “1” in either blue (dark & light) or black superimposed over a singular or bicolored background shape. At present it is unclear if the solid yellow and blue over yellow colors distinguished a difference between the two battalions of which the regiment was comprised. It is equally uncertain if the color and or shape of the insignia originally represented both battalions, or if at some point, the color and shape was changed from one design to another.

 

It is assumed that all of the insignia bearing the numeral “1” do in fact represent one or both battalions of the 1st Gas Regiment. Those that do not include a numeral may (or may not) represent some other AEF Chemical Service organization that fell under the command of the First Army.

 

If any reader of this post can shed any light on this particular conundrum, please post an explanation.

 

Photo No. 66: The background photo, one of two known examples displays, along with the inset, what is believed to be the shoulder patch worn by personnel of the 1st Gas Regiment (formerly the 1st Gas and Flame Regiment during its tenure with the First Army.

 

Photos courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

post-5143-0-58041500-1525487808_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 68: Another variation of the First Army, 1st Gas Regiment insignia, both of which feature the numeral “1” in black, flank an image of what is alleged to be the original SSI worn by that regiment.

 

Left & right photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Center photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

post-5143-0-46884700-1525487886_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 69: This altogether different design made up of a square divided equally in half, blue over yellow, is also presumed to be the SSI of either one or both battalions of the 1st Gas Regiment. For reasons unknown, this style also lacks the numeral “1”.

 

Left photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Center photo courtesy of the JBPC

Right photo courtesy of Bill & Kurt Keller

 

 

post-5143-0-26700200-1525487927_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 70: Three examples of an all yellow shield bearing the numeral “1” are centered either between or below the First Army “A” insignia. It is not known how or why this particular design became associated with the 1st Gas and Flame or 1st Gas Regiment.

 

Left photo courtesy of the Belleau Wood collection

Center & right photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-96166300-1525487962_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 71: A trio of shield shaped emblems that have been divided diagonally into two sections, blue over yellow have been affixed to First Army shoulder patches. An emblem, so shaped and colored became the official insignia of the Chemical Warfare Service, of which the 1st Gas Regiment was a subordinate.

 

Left photo courtesy of Bay State Militaria.com

Center photo courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

Right Photo courtesy of the JBPC

 

 

post-5143-0-49270400-1525488003_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

First Army Engineer Units

August 30 & September 16, 1918:

 

11th, 12th, 15th, 21st & 24th Engineer Regiments (Railway)

22 Engineer Regiment (Forestry)

23rd Engineer Regiment (Highway)

26th Engineer Regiment (Water Supply)

27th Engineer Regiment (Mining)

28th Engineer Regiment (Quarry)

37th Engineer Regiment (Electrical & Mechanical)

56th Engineer Regiment (Searchlight)

464th Engineer Regiment (Pontoon)

505th, 508th, 524th, 527th, 528th, 530th & 537th Service Battalions

602nd Engineer Regiment

Provisional Water Trains No. 1 & No. 2

 

September 26 & November 11, 1918:

 

11th, 12th, 15th, 21st & 22nd Engineer Regiments (Railway)

22 Engineer Regiment (Forestry)

23rd Engineer Regiment (Highway)

24th Engineer Regiment (Shop)

25th Engineer Regiment (Construction)

26th Engineer Regiment (Water Supply)

27th Engineer Regiment (Mining)

28th Engineer Regiment (Quarry)

35th Engineer Regiment (Railway Shop)

37th Engineer Regiment (Electrical & Mechanical)

40th Engineer Regiment (Camouflage)

56th Engineer Regiment (Searchlight)

464th Engineer Regiment (Pontoon)

505th, 508th, 524th, 527th, 528th, 530th & 537th Service Battalions

602nd Engineer Regiment

505th, 508th, 522nd, 524th, 527th, 528th, 530th, 535th, 537th, 542nd (Company A), 544th, 545th, 546th, 603rd & 604th Service Battalions

17th, 18th, 313th, 330th, 339th & 340th Labor Battalions

 

Misc. Engineer Units

 

114th Engineer Regiment

301st Water Tank Train

First Provisional Water Train (311th Company of the 103rd Motor Supply Train)

Second Provisional Water Train (Truck Company No. 3 - 23rd Engineer Regiment

Third Provisional Water Train (466th Motor Transport Company – 417th Motor Supply Train)

Pontoon Trains 464 & 465

 

At its high water mark, the strength of the AEF’s Corps of Engineers reached nearly 300,000 officers and men. That’s the equivalent of almost eleven full strength infantry divisions. The expertise of AEF engineer regiments ran the gamut from know-nothing laborers to highly skilled tradesmen to experts in every field of engineering. One glance at the long list of engineer regiments serving under the command of the First Army illustrates just how much success in battle depended on engineer organizations of all types.

 

When GHQ, AEF announced that it was seeking cloth insignia designs for its Armies, Corps and Divisions, many of the smaller AEF organizations took that request to mean that they could design, fabricate and wear a distinctive cloth insignia without any consent from higher headquarters. In particular, one branch of service, - that of the independent Engineer Regiments, took a great deal of liberty in respect to adopting unique a shoulder patch design of their own.

 

It should also be said that many, if not all, of the independent engineer regiments bounced around from Corps to Corps or from Army to Army as ordered. Thus different companies of the same regiment might be wearing completely different shoulder patches that corresponded with their current command. One company commander in the 23rd Engineer Regiment (General Construction) noted in his unpublished memoir that his company was ordered to change its SSI no less than four times by regimental orders. He stated that the insignia went from Advance Sector, SOS to First Army to Second Army and then to the generic Engineer Regiment’s red castle insignia.

 

Photo No. 72: 1st Lieutenant Frederick C. Stilson, Commander of Company B, 23rd Engineer Regiment (Road Construction) wears the last of the four different SSI, mentioned above.

 

The Engineer’s castle in red, worn by the lieutenant was the AEF’s official SSI for all the unassigned Engineer Regiments – The ones that were transferred from one command to another. The inset features two other examples of the AEF Engineer Regiment insignia. Note that the backing cloth on which the castles were placed are, counter-clockwise from upper, left: rectangular (20th Engineer Regiment), neatly trimmed to a castle shape (23rd Engineer Regiment) and square (511th Engineer Regiment) in shape. In addition the backing cloth has also been seen cut into the shape of a circle. As far as it is known, there’s no unit significance attached to the various shapes onto which the red castles were embroidered or sewn. The different shapes appear to be the result of whatever whim suited the soldier, seamstress or tailor.

 

Background courtesy of the Veteran’s History Project

Insets courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-46991800-1525488092_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 73: The proliferation of unendorsed SSI among Engineer units, such as the unsanctioned, unapproved and unofficial insignia shown below, likely fueled the fires that led to the advent of Memorandum’s No. 45 and 46. Keep in mind that at one point, the First Army had seventeen separate Engineer Regiments, many with their own unique insignia: Counter-clockwise from upper left: Unknown Engineer Regiment – 13th Engineer Regiment (Railway) – 18th Engineer Regiment (Railway) – 34th Engineer Regiment (Utilities & Installation) – 29th Engineer Regiment (Sound & Flash Ranging) & 33rd Engineer Regiment (General Construction).

 

Photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-99715100-1525488135_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 74: In order to reign in the disarray created by the various Engineer Regiment insignia, First Army HQ decreed that all Engineer organizations within its command would wear only the HQ approved distinctive Engineer shoulder patch which was comprised of a red castle nestled between the legs of the letter “A”.

 

Inset courtesy of Griffin Militaria.com

Background courtesy of the John Adams-Graf collection

 

 

post-5143-0-88918100-1525488177_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Photo No. 75: Three variations of the approved First Army Engineer shoulder patch. All of which are composed of applied felt construction. Note the different sizes and shapes in which the castles were cut.

 

All photos courtesy of Advance Guard Militaria.com

 

 

post-5143-0-24478400-1525488214_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.