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WWI Shoulder Patches / Sleeve Insignia

Also see: Awards, Decorations, Campaign & Service Medals, WWI Uniforms, Insignia, (Distinguishing Marks), Rank, etc.; Data on U.S. Army Divisions during World War I, WWI, The Great War; and American Expeditionary Forces, A. E. F. -- Distinctive Insignia of US Army 1917 - 1919.

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WWI United States Military Shoulder Patches / Sleeve Insignias
collected in 1918-1919 by
Pauline Waring Herrick (1881—1935)
while a Member of the
YMCA AEF Relief Commission
Brest, France

The blanket dimensions are approximately 4' x 6.'

The blanket dimensions are approximately 4' x 6.' 

1A – 4th Infantry Division (Ivy Design; "i-vy" standing for "IV.") 10/30/18 – 9/13/68. Camp Green, North Carolina in 1917. Four ivy leaves fidelity and tenacity. Four green ivy leaves connected by green stems to a blue center target on khaki patch. ‘Diamond’ mount.

 

1B – 1st  Army Group (First Design) 11/18/18 – 3/7/49 black trapezoid ‘A’ (Gothic "A"). The lower section of the "A" was used to indicate different arms of the service.

 

1D – 2nd Army 12/11/18- 1/1/66 Organized 9/1918 at Toul, France. Gothic "2." Red and White (like Army Headquarters) ‘2’ on khaki patch with cut-off top corners.

 

1E – 27th Infantry Division 10/29/18 – 12/31/45. WWI campaigns: Ypres-Lys and Somme Offensive. Monogram ‘NY’ on Constellation ‘Orion’ of seven stars (honor 1st Commanding Officer Maj. Gen. J. F. O’Ryan.), red design on black patch. (see also 3G, below)

 

1F – Third Army 12/20/18 – present Organized 11/1918 at Ligny-en-Barrois, France. White ‘A’ (army) in Red ring on blue disc. Red ring an ‘O’ for army of occupation, WWI. [W. P. Krug of 90th Infantry Division attached to 3rd Army July 1944 to Jan 1945 under Commanding Officer George Patton.]

 

1H – 78th Infantry Division 1/24/19 – 5/1/59 “Lightning Division” WWI campaigns: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine. White flash on red semi disc. See also 5F, below.

 

2B – I Corps 1/1918 at Neufchateau, France – present. WWI campaigns: Isle-de-France, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Champagne, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne. White circle on blue disc.

 

2C – III Corps 12/3/18 – Present Organized 5/1918 at Mussy-sur-Seine, France. Black caltrop (4-sided military instrument used against cavalries) with white center triangle on khaki patch.

 

2E – VI Corps, 1st design 1/1/19 – 6/1944. Organized 7/1918 at Neufchateau, France. WWI campaign: Lorraine. Gold ‘6’ on navy blue patch inside gold ring.

 

2F – VII Corps, 1st design. 11/19/18 – 7/11/19. Organized 8/1918 at Remiremont, France. White Arabic ‘7’ on 6- point navy blue shield.

 

2G – VIII Corps 12/18/18 – 4/1/68. Organized 11/1918 at Montigny-sur-Aube, France. Gold Arabic ‘8’ inside gold octagon frame on navy blue patch.

 

2H – 84th Infantry Division (Lincoln Division) 1st design. 8/1917 – 11/1921. Red bladed axe on white disc inside red ring with ‘Lincoln’ and ‘84’ spelled out.

 

3A – 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) 10/31/18 – present. Organized 6/1917 in New York City. First: to land in France, to the front, to fire at enemy, to attack, to raid, to suffer casualties, to inflict casualties. Highly decorated. Red ‘1’ on rectangular khaki patch.

 

3B – 2nd Infantry Division (Indian Head in war bonnet) 11/6/18- present. Organized 10/1917 at Bourmont, Haute-Marne, France. Highly decorated. Red Indian head on white star on navy blue 4 pointed shield. The Indian Head could be on different shapes of background material to show regiments. Different colored background material was used to signify battalion or company.

 

3C – 3rd Infantry Division (Marne Division) 10/24/18 – present. Organized at Camp Green, North Carolina in 1917. Stopped the last of the German offensives at the Marne. Three white diagonal stripes (for 3rd Division) from R to L on blue (for loyalty) square patch. Three stripes stand for three major campaigns in WWI: Marne, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne.

 

3D – General Headquarters, Gen. Hdqtrs, or GHQ. AEF 1918 Selected by Gen Pershing to be worn by all Gen. Hdqtrs. Staff with American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) while in or near the front in WWI as distinguishing mark.

 

3E – 5th Infantry Division (Red Diamond Division) 10/20/18 – 1993 Organized 12/1917 at Camp Logan, Texas. Named after a trade name: “Diamond Dye – it never runs”. A red 4-point diamond.

 

3F – 6th Infantry Division first design. Organized at Camp McClellan, Alabama in 11/1917 arrived France in 1918. Marched more than any other Division hence called the “Sight-seeing Sixth”. Arabic ‘6’ on a 6-pointed red star on a khaki patch. Design was never officially approved.

 

3G – 27th Infantry Division: a monogram of a ‘N on Y’ on a blue disc with a red ring. (see also 1E, above)

 

3H – 8th Infantry Division (Pathfinder) 4/8/19- 1992. Organized 1/1918 at Camp Fremont, California. Arabic gold ‘8’ on a gold arrow on a black 3-point shield.

 

4A – 28th Infantry Division (Keystone) 10/19/18 – Present. Organized 3/1879 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as Division of National Guard. Called to active duty 8/1917. The keystone is from the state seal of Pennsylvania. Alternate nickname “Bucket of Blood”. WWI campaigns: Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne and Meuse-Argonne.

 

4B – 29th Infantry Division 10/21/18 – Present. (Blue & Gray). Men from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and District of Columbia. Combined men from North and South. Disc patch is Korean symbol for good luck (yin & yang) with blue and gray colors standing for troops from the North and South.

 

4C – 7th Infantry Division 10/23/18 – 1994. (Hour Glass) Organized at Camp Wheeler, Georgia 1/1918. Lorraine, France. Two superimposed ‘7’s’ on a Red disc with gold circle. Two interconnecting "7"s - one upright and the over inverted.

 

4D – 32 Infantry Division 11/11/18 – 2/28/46 (Red Arrow, piercing a line). Organized from Michigan and Wisconsin National Guard at Camp MacArthur, Texas 8/1917. Arrow selected because they “shot thru every line the Boche put up”! WWI campaigns: Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, Alsace and Champagne. Red arrow with horizontal line thru middle.

 

4E – 33rd Infantry Division (Prairie) 10/21/18 – 2/5/46. Illinois National Guard. Gold cross on blue disc. Symbol was considered taboo by Moros in Philippines where elements of 33rd were stationed to discourage theft of clothing by Moros. This one is on a square, not a disc.

 

4F – 34th Infantry Division (Sandstorm) 10/29/18 – late 1930’s. Organized 8/1917 at Camp Cody in Deming, New Mexico from National Guard units from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Black patch has shape of an olla (Mexican water flask) on which is red bull skull found in desert.

 

4G – 36th Infantry Division (Panther) 11/12/18 – late 1930’s. Organized from Texas and Oklahoma National Guard units. The ‘T’ stands for Texas on Blue flint stone (Indian arrowhead) for Oklahoma Indian Territory. This one is on a khaki square, but it is usually on a circle or "O" signifying Oklahoma.

 

4H – 37th Infantry Division (Buckeye) 11/5/18 – 3/2/50. Organized 1917 at Camp Sheridan, Alabama from units of Ohio and West Virginia National Guard. Red disc on white disc from Ohio State Flag.

 

4I – 38th Infantry Division (Cyclone) 10/30/18 – Present. Organized 8/1917 from men from Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. During training at Camp Shelby a cyclone came thru their camp leveling all tents, hence the ‘CY’ monogram on blue & red 3-cornered shield or spade.

 

5A – 39th Infantry Division Prototype never adopted. Arabic ‘39’ on white background inside a red triangle with small blue triangle below ‘39’. Flat side of 3-inch equilateral triangle is up. (See also 9G, below.)

 

5B – Units of 92 or 93rd Infantry Division (African American) attached to the French Colonial Service. 1.5 inch gold disc with three slashes across disc on 4-inch square light blue patch.

 

5C – 41st Infantry Division (Sunset Division) 12/28/18 – 12/31/45. Organized 9/1917 at Camp Greene, North Carolina from elements of the National Guard of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming. Gold setting sun over blue water on red semi disc on a khaki patch.

 

5D – 42 Infantry Division (Rainbow Division) 10/29/18 – present. Organized 9/1917 at Camp Mills, New York. Made of men from 26 different states. Semi-circle multi-colored rainbow (patch rainbow very faded) on 2.25 x 3.5 inch khaki patch.

 

5E – 90th Infantry Division (Tough Ombres) 10/25/18 – 12/31/65. Red ‘T’ & ‘O’ monograms superimposed on a khaki patch. W. P. Krug was with 90th Division from April 1943 (at Camp Barkley, Texas near Abilene, Texas) until detached Jan. 1945 near German-Luxemburg border due to back injury.

 

5F – 78th Infantry Division (Lightning) 1/24/19 – 5/1/59. WWI campaigns: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine. Gold lightning flash on red semi disc (semi-center) on 2.75 x 3.5 inch khaki patch. See also 1H, above.)

 

5G – 31st Infantry Division (Dixie Division) 3/7/19 – 12/21/45. Organized 8/1917 at Camp Wheeler, Georgia from elements of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida National Guard units. Genesis was Company G, 5th Alabama Infantry of Confederate Army organized 5/1861 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Two gold monogram ‘D’s back to back inside gold circle on khaki disc. (See also 8C, above)

 

5H – 80th Infantry Division, second design. 10/20/18 – 7/15/46. Organized from men from Blue Ridge states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Three stylized blue mountains with gold underline on a khaki patch inside a 5 pointed 1.75 x 2.0 gold-outlined shield.

 

5I – 81st Infantry Division, second design. 10/19/18 – 12/31/65. Wildcat Division. Organized 8/1917 at Camp Jackson, South Carolina with men from South Carolina. The wildcat is common to South Carolina. Blue (black) wildcat on khaki disc with blue border. Color of cat and border always match but the colors vary by units.

 

6A – V Corps, unauthorized design, 1918, Organized 7/1918 in Remiremont, France. Five white spokes of white pentagon with 2 red and 3 blue triangular fill inside spokes.

 

6B – 83rd Infantry Division (Thunderbolt) 12/26/18 – 12/31/65. Organized 8/1917 at Camp Sherman, Ohio. Cryptic gold monogram of ‘O’ and ‘H’ superimposed with cross hairs at center on black inverted isosceles triangular with altitude of 3.75 inch.

 

6C – IX Corps, first design. Officially worn from 7/1921 – 10/1/33. (Patch was collected in 1919. ??) Organized 11/1918 at Ligny-en-Barrois, France. Red Roman numeral ‘IX’ inside red circle on khaki patch.

 

6D - 85th Infantry Division (Custer Division) 12/19/18 – 6/1/59. Originated at Camp Custer, Michigan 1917. ‘CD’ stands for ‘Custer Division’ being formed at Camp Custer. Red ‘C’ ‘D’ on khaki patch.

 

6E – 1st Army add-on. Unidentified outfit. Blue superimposed ‘M’, ‘T’, ‘O’ on white disc on red square patch with blue border on three sides. 2 x 2.375 inches. May be the Motor Transport Corps?

 

6F – 87th Infantry Division (Golden Acorn) 11/9/18 – 2/15/57. Formed of men from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi in 1917. Acorn a symbol of strength. Gold acorn on green disc.

 

6G – 88th Infantry Division, Artillery Regiment 3.25 x 3.25 red 4-leaf clover on khaki patch. Two intersecting "8" and it could be red, black, or light blue depending on which unit wore it.

 

6H – 89th Infantry Division (Rolling “W”). 8/5/17 – 6/24/21. Formed of men from Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado in 1917. Stylized ‘W’ which reversed is also a ‘M’ and stands for mid-west. WWI campaigns: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine. Black stylized ‘W’ with red center surrounded by black circle on a khaki patch.

 

7A - Army Postal Service, a.k.a., Postal Express Service. Gold 2.5 inch running greyhound on blue patch.

 

7C - 93rd Infantry Division 12/30/18 – 2/6/46. Originated 1/5/18 at Camp Stuart, Virginia with African American men and was attached to French Colonial Division in France. A blue Casque Adrien helmet (French Army helmet) on a black disc.

 

7D – 76th Infantry Division. 3-point shield with (top to bottom) 3 bands, blue, white, red with white ‘bridge’ symbol (three-pronged label or bar) on blue band.

 

7E – 26th Infantry Division (Yankee Division) 10/26/18 – 1993. Originated in 1917 from National Guard units of New England. The black monogram ‘Y’ inside of a ‘D’ stood for Yankee Division on a khaki patch. WWI campaigns: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Ile-de-France.

 

7F – Tank Corps. 3.25 inch equilateral triangle Divided equally with (3) gold, blue, and red tetrahedrons with khaki border.

 

7G – Railheads or Regulating Station, a.k.a., Railheads Regulating Service: Gold ‘R’ in heart of black diamond with red/gold border.

 

7H – 35th Infantry Division (Santa Fe Division), 129 or 128th Field Artillery Regiment, 60th Bde Field Artillery: 3 inch khaki sight with cross hairs on red disc with cross hairs filled with one blue one quarter segment.

 

7I – 91st Infantry Division (Powder River) 12/8/18 – 2/28/67. Originated 8/1917 at Camp Lewis, Washington of men from Arkansas, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Montana and Utah. The fir tree symbolizes their home also a symbol of readiness. WWI campaigns: Ypres-Lys, Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine. Green fir tree on khaki patch.

(coming soon)

 

8A – 1st US Army Group. Non-approved. Black rectangular block ‘A’ with legs filled in with red over white patch.

(coming soon)

 

8B – Railheads or Regulating Stations, a.k.a., Railheads Regulating Service. Same as 7G, above.

 

8C – 31st Infantry Division (Dixie Division) prototype never adopted. 3-point 3.5 in x 4.0 in shield (or spade) half blue, half red with 2 gold ‘D’ monograms back to back on each color. (See also 5G, above)

 

8D – 77th Infantry Division (Liberty Division). 10/23/18 – 12/30/65. Originated in 1918 in New York City. The first National Guard Division to go overseas. WWI campaigns: Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne and Champagne. Gold Statue of Liberty on its base on blue background patch.

(coming soon)

 

8E – Railway Artillery Reserve. Gold and green pelican (really a mythical bird called an "oozlefinch" that is standing on a rail and over head is a semi-circle of rail) on a base that has initials ‘RAR’ with red double arch over pelican on a cream hexagon patch with red/gold border. 2.5 in high, 2.25 in wide.

 

8F – Camp Pontanezen, Brest, France. American Expeditionary Forces' Port. Gold ‘rail tracks’ (or "duck boards" because of all the mud in the area where the men had to disembark from the ships) on red disc.

 

8G – Air Service. Aero Cockade worn by US aviators. A 2.5-inch target, with center white disc, then blue disc on red patch.

 

8H – District of Paris, United States Liaison Services to French Army. Gold fleur-de-lis on inverted black isosceles triangle.

 

9B – 30th Infantry Division (Old Hickory Division). Gold boxed monogram ‘XXX” inside an "O" (for "Old") and inside the cross bars of an "H" (for "Hickory") on red patch bordered in gold.

 

9F – 92nd Infantry Division (Buffalo) 10/20/18- 11/28/45. Organized 10/1917 at Camp Funston, Kansas of African American men from all states. WWI campaigns: Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine. A black buffalo on a red disc with khaki border. Named the Buffalo Division because the American Indians referred to black soldiers as ‘Buffalo’ soldiers. (See also 5B, above.)

(coming soon)

 

9G – 39th Infantry Division. Gold equilateral triangle with 4 triangles inside, black center, blue, silver, and gold on black disc with gold border. 2.625 in diameter. (See also 5A, above.)

 

9H – Ambulance Service. Gold rooster (Gallic rooster) on red disc. 2.75 inch.

 


submitted by:

Philip L. KRUG
Painesville, OH
krugpl@oh.verio.com

and son, 

Geoffrey P. KRUG (great-grand nephew of Pauline Waring HERRICK)
Mentor, OH
gpkrug@cs.com 

Revised 4/26/01

Edited by webmaster


Bibliography

Kerrigan, Evans E.. American Badges and Insignia. (1967). New York: Viking Press

Wyllie, Robert E.. "American Decorations and Insignia of Honor and Service," National Geographic. Volume XXXVI, Number Six (December 1919): 502-526. (No author was cited for this article but it may have been Robert E. Wyllie who authored the preceding article: "The Romance of Military Insignia.")

Stein, Barry Jason. U. S. Army Patches: an Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cloth Unit Insignia. (1997). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. (ISBN 1-57003-179-7)

Otoupalik, Haynes; Gordon, Dennis; and Schulz, Paul J.. World War One - Volume 1 (Uniforms, Insignia, Equipment and Weapons) and Volume 2 (World War One - Collector’s Handbook). (1977, 1979, 1988): 16-21 (on Unit Histories).


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