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Salvage Sailor

"It's a Swiss Tex" USN, USCG, USNS, NOAA Patch Manufacturers

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Aloha Everyone,

This is a USN/USCG/USNS reference topic for patches made between 1970 and 1989 by Swiss-Tex for ships and stations of the United States Naval Services. They began making patches for Naval Vessels at the end of the Vietnam Era.when Hilborn-Hamburger and Gemsco ceased their production.

If you have any Swiss-Tex patches in the original packaging, please post them along with a loose patch if you have one.

Swiss-Tex was the brand name used by the Leonard Corporation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who manufactured patches for the USN, USCG & the MSTS (USNS) in the post Vietnam Era. They were the primary suppliers for USN ships stores and commissioning patches during the 600 ship Navy buildup in the latter years of the Cold War. Unfortunately, they ceased manufacturing in 1990 due to the recession just prior to Desert Storm.

 

Production Line Employee Patch from the Swiss Tex factory in Philadelphia, PA

AAA SWISS TEX 002.jpg

AAA SWISS TEX 003.jpg

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Many patches were sold through the onboard ships' stores and purchased in bulk by the box. These patches were distributed on a blank card to reduce the cost to the stores.

 

They were the same size cards used to distribute these patches in the Navy Exchanges and commissioning packages but without the Swiss-Tex logo and printed info. (examples below)

 

Note the same USS DUPONT patches on the blank and printed cards (bottom right)

AAA SWISS TEX Packaging 002.jpg

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USS WRIGHT (CC-2) Command and Control vessel, in reserve during 1973-1975, struck in 1977

 

USS Wright (CVL-49) was a Saipan class light aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy, later converted to the command ship CC-2 serving with the 6th Fleet in the Med and 7th Fleet in the Pacific. She was the second ship named Wright. The first Wright (AV-1) was named for Orville Wright; the second honored both Wright brothers: Orville and Wilbur.

 

NECPA duties - Wright operated out of Norfolk, training to perform her assigned mission as the National Emergency Command Post Afloat. Regular overhauls performed at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard saw the ship receiving the repairs and alterations that continually improved her capabilities to carry out her task. She operated primarily off the Virginia Capes, but ranged as far north as Bar Harbor, Maine, and as far south as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay. Her other ports of call included Newport, Fort Lauderdale and Port Everglades, Florida; Boston; New York City; Annapolis; Philadelphia; Norfolk; and Guantánamo Bay. As part of NECPA duties, she alternated on alert status with Northampton (CC-1)

CC 2 CVL 49 USS WRIGHT Swiss Tex 001.jpg

CC 2 CVL 49 USS WRIGHT Swiss Tex 002.jpg

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USS WISCONSIN (BB-64) The last of the Iowa class battleships built during WWII - All four Iowas were recommissioned as centerpieces of the Cold War 600 ship Navy build up under Navy Secretary John Lehman in the 1980's

 

The patch on the left in cellophane is her Philadelphia reserve fleet patch circa 1973-1975. The larger patch in the center is her 600 ship Navy pre-commissioning reactivation patch circa 1986 and the other is her shipboard recommissioning patch circa 1988. She was again decommissioned in 1991 after Desert Storm

BB 64 USS WISCONSIN Swiss Tex 001.jpg

BB 64 USS WISCONSIN Swiss Tex 002.jpg

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USS SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD-37) The Fat Sam - Gompers class leader Destroyer Tender in service 1967 to 1995. In 1972 the ship was deployed to Da Nang Harbor, the only repair ship sent into hostile waters in the Vietnam War. The ship carried very few large weapons, which left her constantly vulnerable to enemy attack. In that deployment the ship was nicknamed "FAT Sam", a humorous suggestion that she was a "Fast Attack Tender"

 

SERVICE SUPREME - Swiss Tex ships' store patch circa late 1970's - Photo: SAMUEL GOMPERS (AD-37) tending Destroyers in Subic Bay, P.I.

AD 37 USS SAMUEL GOMPERS Swss Tex 001.jpg

AD 37 USS SAMUEL GOMPERS Subic Bay 001.jpg

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USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CV-42) Midway class aircraft carrier in service 1945 to 1977. There were only three carriers of this class, Midway, the Rosie, and the Coral Sea

 

Swiss Tex Cruise Patch - Final Med Cruise 76-77

 

Photo: 1976 - The aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) at anchor during her last Mediterranean cruise.

CV 42 USS F D ROOSEVELT Final Med Cruise 76 77 Swiss Tex 001.jpg

USS_Franklin_D._Roosevelt_(CV-42)_at_anchor_in_1976 02.jpg

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USS GARCIA (FF-1040) Garcia class leader n service 1964 to 1989, a larger version of the Bronstein class destroyer escorts. Reclassified from DE-1040 in 1975.



The dark blue merrowed edge Swiss Tex version sold in the ships' store circa 1975


FF 1040 USS GARCIA Swiss Tex 001.jpg

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VXE-6 PUCKERED PENGUINS - Antarctica, Operation Deep Freeze 1970's

 

* A Note of caution for the USN collectors. This hard to find patch is now being knocked off in Vietnam by the 'usual suspects' who have been using our site as a reference for their repros. Caveat Emptor

ANTARCTICA VXE-6 Puckered Penguins Swiss Tex 001.jpg

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Blue Version of NATO ALLIED FORCES SOUTH (NAVAL) Naples Italy, Swiss Tex circa early 1970's and CTF 502, also by Swiss Tex

 

STRIKFORSOUTH's primary mission is to execute maritime power projection operations during peace or crisis in support of NATO objectives. It does this principally through the assets resident in Carrier Battle Groups, amphibious forces, and finally through its many cruise missile capable platforms.

 

STRIKFORSOUTH is the only Headquarters in the Southern Region which may be assigned the triad of air, naval, and land forces, all of which are capable of responding immediately to the entire risk spectrum facing NATO. Subordinate commands include Task Force 502 (Carrier Forces), Task Force 503 (Amphibious Forces), Task Force 504 (Landing Forces), Task Force 505 (Logistics Forces), and Task Force 506 (Special Operations Forces).

 

NATO ALLIED FORCES SOUTH (NAVAL) Swiss Tex 001.jpg

6TH SIXTH FLEET CTF 502 001.jpg

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