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Unknown possibly USMS officer cap badge


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I've never come across anything like this with the enameled shield.  It is made by Vanguard and sterling marked.  It sort of looks like a US Merchant Marine officer cap badge minus the anchor in the middle of the shield.  Could this be a private shipping lines Merchant Marine officer cap badge as they are considered a civilian organization during peacetime?







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This is a union cap badge - National Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots.  Not all of them were USMS officers, nor did they want to be - this badge was devised to allow union members to display their union membership in a big way.  It was in use from 1944 through the 1950s.  They were mainly distributed through Appel & Co. in New York City and Miami.


Here's more information on the badge:

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Salvage Sailor

Thanks for the info and the link to the NOMMP.


Do you have any details on this one - Three stars on a shield with Anchors, no Wreath as detailed on your link.



Insignia 01.jpg

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The three stars represent the three groups that comprise of NOMMP:



They chose this design as it was patriotic in nature.  The union was in an ideological fight with the left-leaning NMU and the wholly anti-government SIU, and wished to distinguish themselves from the tanker unions - who albeit patriotic, were seen as run by the managing operators.

The badge, looking like USSB was wholly a coincidence.

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I am going to throw a wrench in this! Let me start off by saying I know of Ian's discovery of the National Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots. What is not clear is the existence of this style eagle pre 1944, even pre-1930's (photos to follow). I have several variations of this eagle. 

So I guess my question is if they are NOMMP, were they wearing these eagles 15-20 years before the 1944 regulations?

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that more than likely the ATC, WSA and NOMMP all were wearing some variation of this eagle. Regardless NOMMP personal would have been severing side by side with WSA and ATC personal.

So if they are NOMMP, still a rare and collectible WWII and Maritime historical insignia. 


First two are 1910-1930's style eagles

Following three are late WWII to early 1950's

Then the next four I would say are NOMMP

Then the last two are USMS CPO, the last one is named to a WWII USMS man, envelope and ID came with the insignia. 














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Not a wrench, just another twist to the narrative!  Nothing is ever straightforward in the merchie world.


We could be seeing a design being used over and over by different groups in different periods - as an example: the 1941 USNR badge.  The badge has three Xs in place of stars; this is obviously not an NOMMP badge despite the design similarity.


The cap badge with just the shield and no eagle is very interesting.  I saw a cap up for auction this year with the same. The chin strap was leather, thus worn by  an AB (not a NOMMP union member). I thought it neat - it could be something worn by a specific shipping line or...


I am still looking  for photographic or catalog examples to corroborate the existence of USSB officer cap badges in the 1920s and 1930s.  So far, nothing or *maybe not.* Licensed officers on these ships wore the cap badges of the managing operators - ABs, too - or USN cap badges despite regulations to the contrary.  Now, what perhaps looks like USN cap badges could very well be these cap badges (black and white photos reproduce colors poorly).


The enamel badge is 100% NOMMP - in my estimation.  The others, well, more research and documentation is needed. Awesome collection, Joe.

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Here are a few more, first early 1900's USSB cap and insignia. Second bullion USSB CPO insignia. Now I had an early 1900's USSB CPO cap with metal CPO insignia and like a fool sold it 15 years ago. That cap was also marked in the crown "US Shipping Board".

Another point which I should have made clear is the pre-1941 USNR style eagle with three stars came with the USATC-WD eagle also posted below.


Have several USATC, USMS and other US insignia posted on my online archive:








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