Military Infantry Division Patches

Page 2 of 12
Information extracted from the book
by Barry Jason Stein
Used by permission

Divisions either organized before or during World War I did not use the designation "infantry."  The re-designation of these divisions as infantry came sometime after World War I when the divisions' structure was reorganized to include specialists in a wide variety of functions.  A standard infantry division of the World War II era, for example, was designed for open warfare and, consequently, a pool of motor transport and artillery were assigned to them.  It was this combined-arms formation that gained permanent status.  Specialized combat or logistical support was provided by corps and army-level units.  Beside the infantry division, motorized and airborne divisions were formed as well as a light (truck) division, a light (jungle) division, and a mountain division.  The airborne division was initially a miniature version of the infantry division with the addition of a small antiaircraft battalion, one parachute, and two glider regiments.

Information extracted from the book "US ARMY PATCHES"  by Barry Jason Stein


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9th ABN Div patch
9th ABN Div

Date approved:  3 August 1944.

The unit's designation is suggested by the nine white clouds.  The unit's striking power is represented by a lightning bolt coming out of a blue sky.


10th Inf Div patch
10th Inf Div

Worn from:  15 June 1943 - 7 January 1944.

Re-designated as the Tenth Mountain Division (Light).  Worn from:  18 May 1984 - 18 January 1985.

10th Inf Div patch 2
10th Mtn Div

Worn from:  7 January 1944 - 14 June 1958 and 18 January 1985 - Current.

The Tenth Light Division, re-designated in November 1944 as the Tenth Mountain Division, was activated in July 1943 at Camp Hale, Colorado.  The blue background and the bayonets are symbolic of infantry, while the position of the bayonets in saltire symbolizes the roman numeral ten, the numerical designation of the organization.  The shape of the patch suggests a powder keg, hence, the explosive power contained within.  Most recently active in peacekeeping duties in Haiti under Operation Uphold Democracy (1994 - 1995), the unit is now back at their Fort Drum home.  The Tenth Mountain Division remains a part of "American's Army-Partners in Peace."

Current location:  Ft. Drum, New York.

Campaigns:  World War II (North Apennines, Po Valley).

11th Inf Div patch
11th Inf Div

Date approved:  5 July 1944.

The face of a clock divided into twelve hours with the eleventh hour darkened represents the division's number.

11th Abn Div patch
11th Abn Div

Worn from:  18 December 1942 - 1 July 1958.

The division was originally activated in February 1943 at Camp Mackall, North Carolina.  The red, white, and blue of this insignia refer to the national colors.  The division's numerical designation is indicated by the "II" and its airborne function by the wings.

Campaigns:  World War II (New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon).

Decorations:  Presidential Unit Citation -- Army (streamer embroidered Manila), Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (streamer embroidered 17 October 1944 - 4 July 1945).

11th Air Assault patch
11th Air Assault

Worn from:  1 February 1963 - 1 July 1965.

In May 1962, a meeting was convened by the commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps to evaluate existing army tactical doctrine as it pertained to mobility on the battlefield.  The recommendations that the board, known as the Howz Board, came up with were to give the army a new approach to conducting its land battles through use of helicopter air transport.  An air-assault division was to be formed for a test using the first airborne battle group, the 187th Infantry, along with additional engineers and artillery troops coming from the Eighty-second Airborne Division.  Some 150 aircraft from the Sixth Aviation Group (provisional) were also assigned to the task force.  The Eleventh Air Assault Division (test) was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia.  In September 1964, the division was moved into North and South Carolina for exercise "Hawk Blade."   On 1 July 1965, the Eleventh Air Assault Division (test) was merged into the First Cavalry Division (Air Mobile).  The cavalry colors were flown to Fort Benning, Georgia and a swap of flags was made.  On 14 August, an advance element was airlifted from Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia to Camp Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and on 27 August, they were flown to the Special Forces Camp at An Khe.  There, "the first team," the first full division to arrive in Vietnam, fought the enemy to a standstill in the bloody battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Pleiku province and confirned the potential of the air mobile concept of warfare.  The design of the shoulder-sleeve insignia with its winged (airborne) numerical designation is taken from that of the Eleventh Airborne Division.  

12th Inf Div patch
12th Inf Div

Worn from:  7 June 1922 - 27 November 1946.

The design was approved as "Philippine Division."

Re-designated as the Twelfth Infantry Division (Philippine Scouts).  Worn from:  27 November 1946 - 15 April 1947.

Organized on 8 June 1921 for the security of the Philippine Islands, the Twelfth was composed of American and Philippine scout units.  During its brief combat existence, the Twelfth's components were decimated in the defense of Bataan and surrendered in April 1942.  After the was, it was re-designated as the Twelfth Infantry Division (Philippine Scouts) on 6 April 1946.  The head of the water buffalo symbolizes the Philippines.  The colors red and gold are representative of the islands' roots as a Spanish colony.  For a short time, the insignia was approved for wear by the Philippine Combat Command.

13th Abn Div  patch
13th Abn Div

Worn from:  2 June 1943 - 25 February 1946.

The unicorn by tradition is associated with qualities of virtue, courage, and strength.  The horn of the unicorn signifies courage.  Here, the unicorn has been winged to represent its travel in the air (airborne).  The blue background is the color of the infantry, the basic arm of the division, and also indicates the sky.

Campaigns:  World War II (Central Europe).

14th Inf Div patch
14th Inf Div

Date approved:  7 August 1944.

A yellow roman numeral ten and the four blue patches (the color of infantry) represent the unit's designation.

17th Inf Div  patch
17th Inf Div

Date approved:  3 August 1944.

Red and blue are the colors of infantry division flags.  The white roman numeral ten and the seven lobes around the edge of the patch indicate the unit's numerical designation.

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17th Abn Div patch
17th Abn Div

Worn from:  3 February 1943 - 10 June 1949.

The talon represents the seizing and holding ability of the division.  Black is symbolic of darkness, the time during which most airborne operations take place.

Campaigns:  World War II (Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe)

18th Abn Div

18th Abn Div patch
18th Abn Div

Date approved:  5 July 1944.

Descending from a cloudy sky, the battle ax represents the armed strength of airborne troops.