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AGF and ADSEC patches in Dad's collection

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(Short of introducing myself in the Introductions area, this is my first post -- so please bear with me if this is in the wrong place, or any other rookie errors I've made....)


Among the patches and other memorabilia that my father kept from his time in WWII was an AGF patch and and "ADSEC" patch, and I've been wondering when & where he might have worn these (or if perhaps the ADSEC was something that he might have traded for?)


For some background information: Dad was in the 839th AAA (AW) battalion (mobile); they arrived in the UK in Dec '44, and were encamped at a base somewhere near Trowbridge,England until the end of February '45. They arrived at LeHavre on 3 March '45, moved around for a few weeks at the whim of corps and armies, but were eventually attached to the 86th ID at the end of the war. Dad didn't have the points to go home, and the 86th was moved out of Europe to prepare for the Pacific, but Dad was able to remain in Germany for Occupation duties until April of '46. During this time he was shipped from unit to unit, including the 796th and 68th AAA battalions (as well as an AA brigade I haven't been able to identify yet -- perhaps the 34th?); all of his occupation postings appear to have been within the 7th Army Area.


My question boils down to this: Would he have had this ADSEC patch during his time in the UK, or during his occupation duty?


He also has an AGF patch. Would he have worn this at his reception center (Ft. Snelling, MN) prior to his assignment to the AAA at Ft. Bliss? He was mustered out at Ft. McCoy, WI almost immediately upon his return to the US, so I've doubted that patch relates to any other assignments.


And if you will bear with one more question --


At one point in their training in the US, the 839th was posted at Santa Maria Army Airfield; Dad's letter said they were "actually attached to the air corps and have different arm patches and everything" -- would this have been the 4th Air Force? Would this patch have been worn on the right or left sleeve? (all the pictures I have of my dad during his training time show the AA Command patch on his left sleeve.)


I appreciate any information, hints, or guidance you can give.






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My dad was in the 839th AAA as well. Started as Coast Artillery in the Aleutians then went to Europe. Only had 86th division patches as far as I know. Did your Dad have the 839th DI (pictured below)? My dad didn't have one in his belongings, but we know most of his stuff was lost in 1945/46 with his then girl friend (so who knows what he had). Took me 20 years to find this DI. My dad passed in 1997. Best ABN




"Only 2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you....Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom."


-Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr.



''A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.'' Gerald Ford


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Yes! I have seen that DUI in my dad's stuff, however it's been years since I've seen it and I'm worried where it might be. My father passed away in 2009, and although my mother set aside a few boxes of his stuff for me, I haven't found that piece yet. Dad had a number of various items from his service, but for some reason they were in random, various places around the house, and I'm hoping this wasn't somehow discarded.


I do have dozens and dozens of letters my dad wrote, and a few were written on stationary made up by some of the guys in the battalion with an 839th "letterhead". I'll try to get a photo and upload it.


My dad was a radio operator in C battery: T/4 Gregory Ferrey.

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In answer to your questions:

When your dad 1st entered the service, depending on his assignment prior to AA Command, he probably wore the Army Ground Forces patch (L). AGF did everything from organizing and training inductees to organizing task forces. Your father would have worn the AGF patch in the US.

After his assignment to AA Cmd, he was sent to an AAA unit in the western US, at an Army Air Corps base. This is not unusual. All during WW 2, the Army Air Corps /Army Air Forces was a part of the army, just like transportation corps, corps of engineers, etc He may have been authorized the 4th AF patch or the Western Defense Sector (left sleeve for either, Right sleeve wear was for prior unit service overseas (normally).

The 839th AAA Bn was activated at Ft Bliss, TX May 20, 1943.He was sent to the European Theater of Operations w/ the 839th AAA. It was a separate battalion, meaning it was assigned where ever the Army wanted it. It arrived in the UK Dec 12 1944.The "ASDEC" patch as described ® is actually the patch for the Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations US Army (COM Z ETO USA, but usually called COM Z). The patch was not authorized until Feb 25 1945. The 839th did not arrive in France until March 4 1945. The ADSEC tab (on top) was a post war assignment, and is and abbreviation for "Advance Section". Post war. COM Z was a huge logistics command. There were a lot of sub units that wore tabs w/ the COMZ patch.

I have an Ike jacket w/ a COM patch and a scroll for another AAA gun unit worn above it, so it is possible that your dad would have worn the COM Z patch when the 839th arrived in France and throughout the remainder of the war and his occupation duty.



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Thank you so much for the info. So as I understand it, I mis-identified the patch I referred to as "ADSEC" --- it is actually the COMZ (ETOUSA) patch (there is no tab or scroll). I had surmised that this was something he probably had during his occupation time, but wanted to check and see if that would have been worn during his time in England.


For the relatively brief period that the 839th were on the continent, they sure put on a lot of mileage: they were assigned to First, Third, and Seventh armies (and perhaps also Fifteenth Army as well, if only for a minute. I haven't confirmed that though.)


I appreciate your time and information.

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