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Application of insignia for typical uniforms


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There are a couple of possible scenarios to explain the apparent discrepencies between the man's uniform and his records:

 

1. The records are wrong and/or incomplete. Anyone who was in the service for any length of time can probably tell you of at least one incidence where the orders didn't make it into their file, the annotations were incomplete, etc.

 

2. The man took it upon himself to represent his Navy and National Guard service on his uniform. Let me explain: He obviously served in the Navy in the European theater. He then joined the Army. There is no Army-recognized "combat patch" to represent Navy service, so he took it upon himself to wear a HQ ETO combat patch to represent his combat service in WWII.

 

The stars on the EAME ribbon could also be his way to show that he made two separate trips into the ETO, or possibly one star for the Mediterranean, and one for the Atlantic.

 

This is not as uncommon as you might think. I had an instructor at drill sergeant school who wore a CIB and a MAC-V combat patch, but talked about his time with the Marines in Vietnam. Then one day we wore dress greens, and I noticed he wasn't wearing his CIB. When I asked him about it, he explained that he had indeed served as a Marine infantryman in Vietnam, and to him, he was entitled to wear a MAC-V combat patch on his Army uniform. He only wore the CIB on his fatigues, again justifying it that he was a Marine combat infantryman. He did NOT wear the CIB on his dress uniform, because his Marine Combat Action Ribbon showed that he was in combat.

 

The logic is rather twisted, and his wearing of the CIB and patch were totally unauthorized, but no one in authority ever questioned it. If he went before a promotion board, he was in his dress greens, so the CIB wasn't an issue. It wasn't right, he knew it, I knew it, and he knew that I knew it, but as I student of his, I dropped the matter.

 

At any rate, if the uniform is "as worn" I wouldn't mess with it or worry too much about it. Servicemen have been embellishing their uniforms for years, and most likely will continue to do so.

 

Steve

Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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Steve, you are quite right. In this case, I think the vet just used a few things to make the uniform look better at the Legion dinners or the like. He didn't really lie, just stretched things a little. I don't doubt that the two stars on the EAME ribbon did stand for two convoys into the Mediterranean, but I still cannot find any evidence that his ship was anywhere near the Philippines - most of her limited duty in the Pacific was around Saipan.

 

He did have another coat in the group that has the correct items on it for when he was actually in Korea .

 

I have seen other uniforms which had been embellished somewhat. In a couple of cases I found this had been done by one of his children when they were young, sort of playing soldier with dad's coat and adding whatever insignia they happened to find. I have about a dozen uniforms that are fully identified, and 3 or 4 of them are to some degree "incorrect" for whatever reason. But it is things like this that make collecting interesting.

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

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I doubt this jacket was "as worn" in the early 1950's. Those style chevrons went out in 1948. It's one thing for ribbons to be a bit out of whack, but not chevrons. In this case, he would have ignored "2" chevron changes - the small 1948 to 1951 type and the 1951 to late 50's OD on blue style. Still a nice jacket with some great stuff on it. That arc looks interesting. Can we see a close-up of that?

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Also interesting that the ribbons are totally and completely out of precedence. A common occurance for those guys just getting out, and non career folks, but not as often seen on a 'career soldier'.

 

Steve, that is a great story about the Marine w/CIB. And, I also tend to agree that this veteran was perhaps proud of what he did and where, and chose to show it off in this manner. What has been done, while incorrect according to the available records, by the same token, he didn't 'award' himself any valor decorations or other things.

 

It's a great uniform...and a cool story!!!

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After having a double bypass this past year, it's time to downsize and pass along much of my 'stuff'. I've had my fun, now it is someone elses turn.

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Here is a photo of the arc and SSI - both embroidered on a felt type backing with what appears to be gold wire (I assume plated).



The jacket was worn 1952/54 for sure - there is a photo in the family of him getting a certificate from the American Legion and he is wearing it then. Unfortunately I have not been able to get a copy of the photo yet.

Later in life he worked on the Gemini and Apollo projects and received a letter from NASA signed by 28 astronauts. I would assume that the signatures are some sort of copy, not originals, but what a list of names!

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Ribbons 07-14

PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

Please click here to read the tributes to Gary:

 


 

 

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I picked up this 1st infantry division jacket recently and wanted some opinions on it. I am not sure about the cord, but the person I bought it from said everything was original. I have a question too on the lower ribbon bar. What is the fartherst ribbon bar over to the right?

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Its an award given to returning vets by the VFW. It looks a lot like the old Certificate of Merit medal, but is not. It's not uncommon to see this VFW ribbon on WWII uniforms somewhat out of place.

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I know the cord is not one belonging to the 16th Regiment. As for the rest of the Divisions Regiments I dont know. It also appears to be placed on the jacket wrong unless they did it different back then.

Activly Selling All Items

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VERY interested in M1 helmets, WWI victory medals, and I will do almost anything for real SOG gear or uniforms.

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Needing; Pin back CIB, two piece CIB, ANy odd CIB's, 41st Infantry Regiment DUI (old ones), 65th AFAB DUI

 

Please visit my website at DM1975.com

 

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Justin is 100 percent correct, that ribbon catches alot of folks off guard, because it looks so close to the old "Certificate of Merit". It's a VFW ribbon, basically given out either as a token of appreciation of service from the local VFW as the soldier/sailor/Marine was getting off the boat, or for joining the VFW. I've never been able to figure out exactly which, since circumstances seem to vary. Wear would have been 'unofficial' for sure. You don't see these on uniforms of 'professional' soldiers who continued to serve, only on ones that the guys wore until they hung them in the closet, and then we collectors got em.

 

I also see a WWI occupation ribbon on that bar, did your soldier have prior service?

 

I seem to recall, but can't remember where right now, that some soldiers used this particular ribbon to show they served as occupation troops prior to the authorization of the actual "Occupation of Germany/Japan" medal.

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After having a double bypass this past year, it's time to downsize and pass along much of my 'stuff'. I've had my fun, now it is someone elses turn.

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Many soldiers in WWII saw that they were allowed to wear the "occupation medal" after the war, so they found whatever they could or wore what was issued, sometimes being the WWI version.

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Sorry, but your information about the "cord" here is incorrect. The 16th Infantry Regiment and others in the 1st Infantry Division did indeed earn the Belgian fourragere to the Croix de Guerre. While the orders don't show up until 1950 (citations in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army), they were definitely worn during the occupation. The 16th Infantry also wore the French fourregere to the Croix de Guerre for World War I service having received two regimental awards of the CdG. In World War II, after two more awards of the French Croix de Guerre, the French military bestowed the French fourragere to the Medaille Militarie. In vintage photos, you will see 16th Infantry "Rangers!" wearing THREE fourrageres- two French, and one Belgian.

 

As for the other ribbons- this jacket is EXACTLY the way I like to see them right out of the woodwork. As mentioned previously, the soldiers, being notified that they would be entitled to a ribbon for occupation service had the Occupation of Germany (known by collectors as the WWI Occupation ribbon) added to their ribbon bars. It was not until around October of 1945 that the ribbons start to disappear in favor of the white, red, black and white WWII Occupation ribbons.

 

As for the VFW membership ribbon, these were picked up as the soldiers let the seperation centers for that final trip home. Veterans organizations like the VFW and the Ameican Legion would set up stations outside the fence of these seperation centers and recruit them for membership in their respective organizations. As the VFW handed out a ribbon for membership (and even encouraged the vets to wear it on their uniforms), they had many aspiring Audie Murphys eager to add another ribbon to their chests.

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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This is the only authorized fourregere for the 16th infantry Regiment that I know of. I say this because I am currently in the 16th Infantry Regiment. If any other were authorized they are not any more and are not in the unit history from anything i have ever read.

 

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Activly Selling All Items

All eras

VERY interested in M1 helmets, WWI victory medals, and I will do almost anything for real SOG gear or uniforms.

Email or PM with offers please.

Needing; Pin back CIB, two piece CIB, ANy odd CIB's, 41st Infantry Regiment DUI (old ones), 65th AFAB DUI

 

Please visit my website at DM1975.com

 

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Your French Medaille Militaire fourragere is the only one that you are entitled to as a hereditary award, meaning that when you leave the 16th, the cord comes off. Had you been in the 16th when it was earned, you could have worn it on your uniform for the rest of your career. The same thing goes for wearing a Presidential Unit Citation or a Meritorious Unit Citation. You can go check published works like James Sawicki's "Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army" which is considered by insignia collectors to be the "Bible" for researching DI's and unit lineage and honors. When you look up the 16th Infantry, you will find that they earned the fourragere to the French Croix de Guerre in World War I. Two more citations at the regimental level in World War II (Kasserine and Normandy) entitled them to the green and yellow fourragere of the French Medaille Militaire.

The Belgians decorated the Regiment for actions in Eupen- Malmady and Mons, giving them entitlement to a fourragere to the Belgian Croix de Guerre. Only the French authorize perpetual awards to regiments of foreign armies to be worn.

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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I just looked up the fourrageres in the 1st Divisions WWII history book "Danger Forward" and it staes the 1st Division as having one Belgian and one French. I dont know why we are only authorized to wear the one above.

Activly Selling All Items

All eras

VERY interested in M1 helmets, WWI victory medals, and I will do almost anything for real SOG gear or uniforms.

Email or PM with offers please.

Needing; Pin back CIB, two piece CIB, ANy odd CIB's, 41st Infantry Regiment DUI (old ones), 65th AFAB DUI

 

Please visit my website at DM1975.com

 

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I understand hereditary awards. I have had to change fourrageres a few times.

Activly Selling All Items

All eras

VERY interested in M1 helmets, WWI victory medals, and I will do almost anything for real SOG gear or uniforms.

Email or PM with offers please.

Needing; Pin back CIB, two piece CIB, ANy odd CIB's, 41st Infantry Regiment DUI (old ones), 65th AFAB DUI

 

Please visit my website at DM1975.com

 

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Is it plausible for a B-17 gunner to wear a blue triangular Armament Specialist patch on the right cuff of his blouse or were specialist patches only worn by ground crews?

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It's not unheard of at all. Toward the end of the war it was quite common to find that many armorers and mechanics who had gunnery training (air or AA) were heading up into the air as well. I have seen many examples of this on 13th AF and 20th AF material from the Pacific.

I am actively seeking USMC Named Good Conduct Medals and items pertaining to the USS Indianapolis CA35.



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  • 2 years later...

The wearing of "combat patches" started, by spontaneous custom, long before it was promulgated in regs. IIRC the earliest ones I have seen were in 1943 and involved units in Italy. (Of course USMC vets of Guadalcanal had their "battle blazes" even earlier.)

 

Re 9th and 8th AF: Before the 9th "stood up" in the UK to be the TACTICAL air force for the invasion of France, the 8th AF was the ONLY AF there and was both Strategic and Tactical. To fill out the 9th (which arrived from the Med in skeletal form) many flying and support units of the 8th were transferred wholesale. Thus it was not unusual at all for personnel to qualify for both SSIs.

 

Another wrinkle: In the CBI, Stilwell insisted that all HIS units wear HIS patch (CBI), on the left sleeve. So the 10th and 14th AFs routinely wore those SSIs on the right -- not as combat patches, just to identify themselves.

When Stilwell LEFT, the mandate lapsed and CBI units began wearing their lower-than-Theater patches on the left (in some cases).

 

In general, ETO troops first put on "combat patches" when they got new Class A uniforms -- which was when they were GOING HOME. They often did not bother putting them on field clothing or wool shirts -- just their "best dress" blouse. Except for wounded and returning POWs, the majority went home AFTER the reg of Jan 45 pointed out the combat pacth option. Further, the style was reinforced because many high point men went home with a Division ther than the one they had served with through the thick of things -- they WANTED to show off their previous affiliation. Next, units that stayed for Occupation duty gained many men to replace the high-pointers, from Divs that were inactivated on the spot. Much the same occurred with the few Divs sent Stateside to prepare for further deployment for the invasion of Japan. (NOTE: The 82nd Abn Div SOP in Berlin disallowed ANY combat patches; one SSI, the 82nd, only.)

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  • 3 years later...

Seeing for sale this jacket, I have the next doubt ( I think thats this is the correct thread)

 

As you explain in this thread, in the later years of war, and the inmediate postwar, the soldiers put their SSI of their previous units in their right sleeve, with their current unit in their left sleeve.

 

This practice was common with the unit patches, but division, corps, army patches?

 

It´s possible that a soldier in the 1st army (that landed in 1944) has been transferred to the7th army (that fought since 1943 until 1945 (like the jacket of the photo) ?

 

 

 

 

I hope that I has explained correctly

 

Kind Regards

 

Javier

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In memory of my Grandfather
Lt. Juan Sesma M.

Spanish Army - Silver Cross of Military Merit

Rif War-Annual veteran / 2nd.Co. 3rd Btl. Infantry Regiment Ceriñola 42

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