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


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Mike, thanks for clearing up the true identity of the so called "unknown engineer" patch. I couldn't have been more wrong on that one!

 

 

On another note, forum member qmjones sent me a very interesting photograph of his Great Uncle Harry's battlefield grave.

 

Corporal Harold L. Packman was serving in the First Army with the 2nd Anti-Aircraft MG Battalion when he was killed in November 1918.

 

What makes Corporal Packman's field grave marker so interesting is that it bears the First Army "A" insignia.

 

Mark, thanks for sharing this photo with all of us.

 

Photos courtesy of the qmjones collection

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Brian-

 

Great job! Thank you, although my wallet is thinner after your revelations as to 1st Army SSI. Recently acquired a 1st Gas Regiment, and have some questions. There is a faint name in the tunic, so will have to work on that, but....what was the collar disc? Mine is straight engineer plus USNA; the USNA I doubt. However, seems that the 1st GR began within the 20th Engineers and became the 30th, changing to the 1st Gas in 1918. Companies A-F went overseas, and this uniform has two overseas stripes, plus a VM with DF and Meuse-Argonne clasps.

 

Found the unit history on-line and am reading, but have found nothing yet as to what disc(s) they might have worn. Thank you for any and all comments.

 

mccooper

 

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Here's the actual General Order for the First Army SSI that was sent to my Grandfathers 52nd Pioneer Infantry Unit.

This is the Advance Copy, which might explain the different General Order number and issue date.

Too bad this couldn't be at the very beginning of your post.

 

Todd

 

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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

 

 

Here is a nice example of a variation of a 1st Army Artillery Patch. The patch measures 4 inches tall(which is regulation) but 3.5 inches wide. Rounded edges and sewn on very professionally. The uniform is custom made and it might be that the patch is as well.

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This uniform belonged to PFC Frank L. Maharan of the 55th Artillery CAC, Battery C. Largest 1st Army Artillery Patch I have ever seen. Completely made of silk. Unforunately the white portion did not last. The black "A" portion is sewn on with a nice cross stitch. Measures 6 inches by 4.5 inches.

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Brock, more great images.

 

Was your 47th CAC photo taken in a German studio?

 

I have an image of a 42nd Division soldier with a background that's been retouched in a similar fashion that was taken in Germany.

 

Yours is the second picture like that I've seen. I'm wondering if it was a German thing or if it was a common practice.

 

Here's my only 1st Army, CAC image. It shows either a 28th or 38th Regiment CAC collar disc and has no other ID, except for the Illinois watermark in the corner..

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Numbers below crossed cannon set high on the disk are for separate companies of Coast Artillery. Many of the CAC regiments organized for overseas service were formed from these companies.

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Just a signature "Carlson" 1919"

 

From every record I can find, AEF CAC unit's used the "US" or the US with the regimental number below. I have not found a purchase order for crossed cannons and the regiment number. I have a lot of photos from various regiments and many uniforms and have never see the regimental number below cannons used in a photo or on a uniform. That's not to say it didn't happen, I just haven't seen it.

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Those are not regimental numbers below the crossed cannon. They are company numbers.

It is quite probable that some soldiers brought to France and wore their old Coast Artillery Company collar disks. The regiments for service in the AEF were formed from stateside Coast Defense Command numbered companies. The study of the reorganization and organization of units for war overseas by the Army's Coast Artillery Branch can be confusing at times.

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Great forum, with lots of first-rate information. I was surprised by the field artillery and coast artillery units having red and white (which had been the color of the Corps of Engineers since 1872), rather than just solid red (which had been the artillery color since 1832).

 

There was also a WWI blouse worn by 1LT Robert D. Longyear, a Coast Artillery officer -- his shoulder patch was the First Army block A with the crossed cannon / shell insignia of the CAC superimposed on the bottom of the patch (with the shell on a red oval).

 

The First Army (Artillery) Ammunition Train had a red background (not red and white).
And the First Army Railroad Artillery had a red letter A (not red and white).
That said, you have provided lots of well-documented examples of red & white being used by the artillery. Just wonder why the switch from solid red (for artillery) to red & white (normally reserved for engineers).post-163623-0-71498000-1551062919.jpgpost-163623-0-83081500-1551062977.jpgpost-163623-0-27917200-1551063102.png

 

 

 

 

 

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Ranger-1917, I too was a bit surprised by officials choosing red as the colors for the inset of the Artillery and Coast Artillery organizations within the First Army. I wish I had an answer as to why this was done.

 

Thanks also for posting a photo of that killer First Army CAC shoulder patch. Is that a photo that you downloaded or are you the owner of that First Army service coat?

 

Also, do you have any documentation stating that all First Army railroad artillery outfits employed a red "A"?

 

Brock, I second the motion that you please post a photo of your newly acquired camo CAC helmet.

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I've only got a photo of the shoulder patch of that officer's complete uniform. It was for sale, but for more than I could afford :(

 

That's the only patch I've seen for the First Army railroad artillery (as distinct from the Railroad Artillery Reserve, with the Oozlefinch), but I would not be surprised to discover other insignia. Might send a query to the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. They probably have the best Army uniform collection from WWI that I've ever seen. Another option would be to contact the Coast Artillery Museum at Fort Worden in Townsend, WA, or the Artillery Museum at Ft Sill, OK, or the National Museum of the US Army at Ft Belvoir, VA, or the Quartermaster Museum at Ft Lee, VA (which has all the original uniform regs and documentation).

 

I'll dig out my copy of the 'US Official Pictures of the World War' and see if there is a picture in there of the First Army Railroad Artillery showing any sort of shoulder patch.

 

Apparently, there was nothing nearly as detailed in terms of the shoulder insignia for Second Army units.

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Here the nice 58th CAC Helmet I picked up. I also bought 3 other CAC Helmets but this is the only one with the 1st Army painted on front.

 

I am always interested in buying CAC items. Who owns the Longyear uniform, nice patch! I could not find him on troopship list on Ancestry, did he serve overseas? I can't tell from the photo.

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I don't recall for sure, but the entire uniform set was up for sale (from either AGM or James Mountain) about 18-24 months ago. As indicated by the collar insignia, he was a Reserve officer. The patch on the sleeve would lead me to believe he served in France (shoulder patches were not authorized in the continental US until the 1920s).

 

Robert Davis Longyear was born in 11 July 1892 in Minnesota, the son of Edmund J. Longyear. He earned a BA from Williams College in 1914 and an MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1915. In 1915-16, he was a graduate student in Geology at Stanford. He was shown as being in the Coast Artillery during WWI, and his name appears on the Official List of the Officer's Reserve Corps of Minnesota (1919 edition) as a 2LT of Coast Artillery - though the uniform clearly shows 1LT insignia on the epaulettes.

 

Since there were no Coast Artillery Corps units in Minnesota, one wonders why the Official List of the Officers' Reserve Corps of Minnesota (1919-1920) lists two captains, nine 1LTs, and 47 2LTs in the Coast Artillery Section. It may be that Longyear either volunteered or was "voluntold" (based on his geology studies) that his services could be of use to the CAC. No idea the CAC regiment in which he landed.

 

Longyear took over the E.J. Longyear Company (a worldwide mining company) from his father.

 

Longyear died 20 May 1970 and is buried in the Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

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