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Help Solve a Mystery: Unknown "Quartermaster Signalman" Patch (My Theory)

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Major Z

  I'm hoping a reader can help solve the mystery of an almost 60 year old patch. I have a theory but I need a little help crossing the finish line. The patch in question is the mysterious "Quartermaster Signalman" patch. Many of you have probably seen it or even own it now. To date I've never found a positive ID in oral or written histories. However, I did some research and I'm hoping I'm at least on the right track to identify the patch. If you read below and know for certain what the patch represents, please let us all know. Part of the fun of this hobby is solving a mystery! So here it goes... 


  Years ago I noticed a small sign at the US Army Quartermaster Museum stating that MG George Horkan (34th Quartermaster General) tried to change the Quartermaster Corps (QMC) branch colors to green and white. I believe that's why you see quite a few QMC pieces in those colors from the decade including ephemera, patches, ceramics and other things. I don't know exactly when he ordered the change, but he was in office from 1951-1954. The display sign indicated the color change order wasn't approved, but I do have a point about it in the following paragraphs.


  I wondered if the unknown patch is green because of when it was (theoretically) produced. Could it have been made in the 1950s during or just after MG Horkan's tenure? I began to search online for what the connection or symbolism was between the QMC branch insignia with lightning bolts above it. I discovered information about the Quartermaster-Signal School, Europe located at Prinz Heinrich Kaserne in Lenggries, Germany from 1958-1961. At that time, the school taught mostly Quartermaster skillsets. But, the school also had Signal-related courses. However, after 1961 it changed names and command/control (C2) to being a proper Signal school. There is a DI from that school on page 39 of this ASMIC Trading Post - (http://www.asmic.org/tp/tp_j-s-79/html5forpc.html?page=0). If there was a DI made, why not a patch for the training staff? Below is a picture of the patch in my collection. Can anyone tell from its construction where it was made (US, German, etc.)? If anyone needs more photos I can provide them.


  Here's an eBay example of the DI: https://www.ebay.com/itm/184867975373. I also placed a photo of it below. Note the lightning bolts, and the green/white bar on top. You can see the combined QMC buff branch color and the Signal Corps orange branch color. There's also the US Army Europe flaming sword up top of the lamp. The German translates to, "Teach Thoroughly." Is there any other symbolism that can be identified?


  Here's what I found online about the original Quartermaster school for your information purposes. The first link is the best one I found describing the very short history and Quartermaster C2 of the schools at the Kaserne:







  I looked at other sites but there's not a lot out there, especially photos of the training staff. From what I can see from the listed websites, the trainees wore the US Army Europe patch. That makes sense given the units they returned to after their course was complete. But, given the dates of when the school existed, and the attempted QMC branch color change, would it make sense that a patch was made for the training staff made with a green background? Many collectors have said the lightning bolts have a commo/Signal connotation but as yet there's no ID for the patch that I know. Here is a link to a 1962 ASMIC Trading Post issue that shows a drawing of the patch identified as a "Quartermaster Radioman": http://www.asmic.org/tp/tp_a-j-62/html5forpc.html?page=0. Perhaps the author knew what training program this was related to but didn't post it? Since the school existed from 1958-1961, could one infer that this patch existed just before the illustration was made for the magazine? That's a leap I know, but I am just missing that one photo or article about it to prove my theory. . I wonder if the patch identification was just forgotten about through time and now it just kind of exists in our collections.


  Does anyone have access to other photos from the school, like from Stars & Stripes or another 1950s-era publication? Have you the reader personally seen the patch worn by Soldiers in the past? Or have you seen irrefutable identification that can be shared now on this forum? Any and all information to solve this mystery is greatly appreciated. And again, if it is already known amongst the masses please let me know. I don't want to be the last one to know what it is! I look forward to your comments.



Unknown QM Patch (2).jpg


s-l1600 (2).jpg

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FWIW, I contacted the QM Museum approx 15 months ago about this patch, and they blew me off.


I would sure like to know the correct ID, too.

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22 hours ago, tredhed2 said:

FWIW, I contacted the QM Museum approx 15 months ago about this patch, and they blew me off.


I would sure like to know the correct ID, too.


What are your thoughts of my theory? I appreciate your insights!

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