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Strange naval rank patch, pre ww2


Jack Roya

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I was looking through a old box of family artifacts and I discovered some military items such as medals, awards, division insignias, and naval rank patches. Everything in this box has our military history from the 1900s up to the Vietnam war.
 

There is one patch I cannot understand at all. It’s a naval patch with the eagle head facing the other way, it’s a chief petty officer quartermaster rank. Here’s the strange thing, it’s embroidered onto a dark lime green background? The embroidery itself is black but the backing is green. I can’t find anything on naval patches that would be green, does anyone know what this is?                             P.S: it was towards the bottom with the items from the 1900s-1930sB42E2DCA-F5EF-4E55-B15D-C8F5D3A829F4.jpeg.65c85ec2e8c077c23d2e0ea1a85bf648.jpeg

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Just being that it is a Chief Quartermaster rate, I would say it is intended for what we call a 'middie' or 'middy' jumper. Which is short for midshipman, and used as a generic label to describe an enlisted naval jumper in the civilian fashion world. For well over 100 years naval uniforms around the world have influence civilian fashion, but the heyday was certainly from about 1880d to the 1940s - with the 1910s and 1920s being the time it probably held it'd widest appeal. Anyway it was a popular fashion for young ladies in particular, and a whole wardrobe's worth of nautical and naval themed clothing was created.

Now generally speaking such a middie or middy was either commerically made solely for fashion, or consisted of a regulation jumper altered in some way so as to be worn as a middy. To dress up the 'blouse' (technically a jumper, but it was worn as a blouse by young ladies) various naval and nautical themed insignia was worn. Most often an imitation or obsolete USN insignia patch, such as a rating badge or qualification mark was applied. In fact there were many such commercially produced copies and imitation rates on the market for the express purpose of dressing up a middie. Typically the Quartermaster rate (especially as a Chief rating badge) was one that was popular. I have seen such middie jumpers in red wool, blue, and other colors too. I would say you have a civilian middy rate with a nice green base material which provides an interesting variation on the middy theme. In fact there are enough middy style ratings to warrant a small collection of such pieces, and they can be interesting reminders of how official regulation insignia became fashion accessories.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think Rusty Canteen nailed it---here's just one sample of the fashion-- from a group photo of a family gathering to celebrate the homecoming of two brothers--one from the Third Army and the other from the 3rd Division--the returning Third Army soldier and his wife (upper left) seem to not care  that the photographer was taking the photo....

female in naval uniform.JPG

16-05.jpg

AFB
"When in doubt, Go cyclical"

 

For more information on

"In a Strange Land: The American Occupation of Germany 1918-1923"

"Let's Go! The History of the 29th Infantry Division"

"To Hell with the Kaiser: America Prepares for War 1916-1918 Volumes 1 and 2"

"Desert Uniforms, Patches, and Insignia of the US Armed Forces"

"Forgotten Soldiers of WWI: America's Immigrant Doughboys"

"Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball During the Great War"

go to

https://www.amazon.com/author/alexanderf.barnes

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