Military Army Air Forces Patches

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Information extracted from the book
by Barry Jason Stein
Used by permission

Panama Hellgate patch
Panama Hellgate

Worn from:  1922 - 11 April 1945 (Unauthorized).

The design on the patch is of a portcullis (a strong gate made of wood or iron) and symbolizes the Isthmus of Panama.  Ted and gold suggest the Spanish heritage of the area.

Philippine Cmd patch
Philippine Cmd

Worn from:  8 July 1922 - 14 August 1947.

Re-designated:  Philippine-Ryukyus Command.  Worn from:  14 August 1947 - 16 August 1949.

Re-designated:  Philippine Command.  Worn from:  14 August 1949 - 21 September 1952.

The insignia, re-designated in 1949 for use by the Philippine Command, was originally that of the Philippine Department (estab - lished in 1922) which included all of the islands of the Philippine Archipelago.  The sea lion brandishing a sword, adapted from the coat of arms of Spain, represents the Spanish and maritime heritage of the area.


Worn from:  11 March 1942 - 1 March 1948.

Re-designated:  Army Field Forces.  Worn from:  1 March 1948 - 1962.

Re-designated:  Continental Army Command (CONARC).  Worn from:  1962 - 31 January 1973.

Re-designated:  Forces Command -- United States Army (FORSCOM).  Worn from:  31 January 1973 - Current.

A disk consisting of three horizontal stripes (red, white, and blue) was personally selected in World War I by General Pershing for wear by all personnel assigned to General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces.  The source of the design is said to have been the red, white, and blue horizontally striped brassard worn as a distinguishing mark by staff officers when moving about on duty in congested areas at the front in World War I.  In 1941, the brassard prescribed for General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces consisted of three stripes of blue, white, and red, the blue uppermost.  Therefore, the shoulder-sleeve insignia was authorized to be worn with the blue uppermost to conform to the manner of wearing the brassard.

AGFR Depot patch
AGFR Depot

Worn from:  4 September 1943 - 8 July 1946.

The colors are those of the Army Ground Forces shoulder insignia and the national colors.  The facilities, one on each coast, were responsible for processing overseas replacements and were affectionately known as "repo depots" by the troops for combat theaters around the world.

DA Staff Support patch
DA Staff Support

Worn from:  11 March 1942 - 17 June 1946.

Re-designated:  Technical and Administrative Services.  Worn from: 17 June 1946 - 1948.

Re-designated:  Department of the Army Staff Support.  Worn from: 5 October 1950 - Current.

The design of the insignia, a five-pointed star within a cloud, is adapted from the coat of arms of the United States.  The colors, red, white, and blue, are the national colors.

USA Forces West Pacific Patch 2
USA Forces
Western Pacific

Worn from:  25 August 1945 - 14 August 1947.

The design of the patch is the same as that of the Army Service Forces, with the addition of a yellow lightning bolt and five small, blue starts that suggest the Southern Cross constellation, which may be observed in the heavens above the western Pacific Ocean, the area where the unit was operational.

1st Engr Special Bde patch
1st Engr Special Bde

Worn from:  17 June 1942 - 8 July 1946.

Re-designated:  First Engineer Special Brigade.  Worn from:  8 June 1946 - 21 June 1956.

The insignia originally was approved in 1942 for the members of Amphibian Units.  The design, consisting of an anchor behind an eagle perched on top of a submachine gun, is adapted from the British Combined Operations insignia that was worn by commandos and landing-craft personnel.

Campaigns:  World War II (Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Northern France, Ryukyus).

Decorations:  French Croix de Guerre with Palm (streamer embroidered Normandy Beaches).

French Forces Trainingin the USSSI patch
French Forces Training
in the US (SSI)

Worn from:  1941 0 1945.

Blue, white, and red are the French national colors, and the word "France" on the upper portion of the patch indicates the forces' country of origin.

Austria HQ US Forces patch
HQUS Forces

Worn from:  1945 - 1946 (Unauthorized).

Red and white are the Austrian national colors.  A sword and an olive branch suggest peaceful occupation by the American Armed Forces.  Austria is spelled out at the top of the patch; beneath it the letters "SU" identity the occupying force.

Austria HQ US Forces Patch 2
HQUS Forces 2

Worn from:  18 August 1945 - 27 June 1958.

Red and white are the Austrian national colors.  A sword and an olive branch suggest peaceful occupation by the American Armed Forces.