Jump to content

A Brief History of the 2d Airlift Squadron Patch


Scott C.
 Share

Recommended Posts

Scott C.

Say . . . what’s going on here? It’s my fault – I freely admit it.

 

Background: The 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron was deactivated following WWII after serving with distinction flying C-47 aircraft in the China-Burma-India theater of operations. Then in 1992, the unit was reactivated as the 2nd Airlift Squadron -now flying C-130 aircraft- at Pope AFB, North Carolina, under command of the 23rd Wing (Air Combat Command). The new 2 AS patch, known as the ‘bullseye’ by aircrews who wore it (top-center below), was placed on the left sleeve of the flight suit, with the Wing patch worn on the right sleeve. For the purposes of this discussion, it’s important to note that when the 2 AS patch was worn as prescribed, the historically correct left-facing arrow pointed forward, ‘Into the fight!’

 

In 1997, command of Pope AFB transferred to the 43rd Airlift Wing (Air Mobility Command), and the 2nd Airlift Squadron patch was modified in accordance with AMC directives from the bullseye to the patch shown at lower-left below. However, since all AMC aircrews wore the American Flag on the left sleeve, the 2 AS patch moved to the right sleeve . . . with the arrow now pointing rearward ‘In retreat,’ something that always rubbed me the wrong way.

 

Fast forward to 2001, and through some unbelievable twist of fate (or gross oversight of USAF leadership), I found myself in command of the 2nd Airlift Squadron. And, a short time later when it came time to order more squadron patches, I instructed my resource advisor to order the next batch (100 or so) with the design reversed and the arrow pointed to the right (lower-right below). Did I ask permission to make this change? Nope! I wanted my unit facing forward into the fight again, so I made a command decision.

 

Lucky for me, few noticed the change, and for the rest of my two-year command and into the one that followed, the 2nd Airlift Squadron patch secretly eschewed decades of US military heraldry by facing the wrong direction—but for the right reason, in my humble opinion. However, at some point after I’d moved on, the deception was discovered and the patch was reinstated to its original design with the arrow facing left, and the squadron went on to serve proudly until it was deactivated again in 2016 as part of a Base Realignment and Closure Commission directive.

 

So, when you’re digging through bins of patches at a militaria show and come across a 2nd Airlift Squadron patch, look closely: if the arrow is pointing to the right, you’ll know who’s to blame. (P.S., I also had the right-facing arrow patch made in brown-and-tan for desert deployments.)

2 AS Patch History (small).jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great story, and this has been done a few times over the years. The 480th Fighter Sq. is one example, pointing left. It was no problem as a chest patch (top left), which was the origin for many designs. Later, when the squadron was moved to the sleeve, they wore it on the left so it still pointed forward. When USAFE directed the squadron patch must be worn on the right sleeve about 1980, they reversed it to point forward from the right. It has remained so for 40+ years, and is still not approved. 

 

Randy

480.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott C.

Thanks for posting that, Randy - great collection! This makes me feel a bit vindicated now, though I'm sure we're not the only ones with such stories . . . 😊

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tredhed2

Not to high jack your thread, but here is a WW 2 version of your patch. Disney design.  I believe other TCS units wore the same patch in the CBI, but added unit distinctive tabs. 

2nd Troop Carrier.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott C.

Thanks for that tredhed2 - a rare patch indeed if original.  I found my reproduction of that patch, as well as the repro 'Arrow' patch on ebay and placed them at the center of my 2 AS display, put together years after I retired. 

 

 

2 AS History (small).jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott C.

A close up of the RMOs on the squadron scarf. Left to right, oldest (ACC) to newest (AMC).  I didn't mess with the squadron RMO as it would have been too expensive.

 

IMG_3346.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott C.

Last, but not least, the right-facing desert deployment patch . . .

 

2 AS twins (small).jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...