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some US airborne patches

Article about: here are 3 genuine airborne patches, and a repro: Annoyed from this ads?   Top left= genuine 501st APACHES patch given by a serving paratrooper to a boy in Lambourn, England, during ww2

  1. #11
    ILH is offline


    I don't doubt your info.... I'm an archaeologist- so could I ask what your sources are, please?
    local "Hear Say" has it that the very first patches did have 501 APACHES on them, but this was quickly stopped (early example of political correctness is cited as the reason).... but thats just 'Pers Coms' so i'd like to be able to quote the correct source and correct any misconception.
    Thanks again, Jim.

  2. #12


    Hi Jim

    I had Kurt Keller look at this and he agree's with gel65 it is more likely Asian made late 50's , either was it is definitely not WWII.

    The one you have, should glow like a Xmas tree. Generally speaking polyester thread was slowly introduced in the 50's then thru out the 60's, so you will get a mix. To try and date a patch from that era (1945-60) can be tricky especially for elite units and more so WWII era-55 as slight manufacturing changes were made.
    If you are interested ,The Kellers have a book on US Airborne:Emblems of Honor WWII-Cold war period.

    Emblems of Honor: Airborne Book update pt. 2 - ARMY AND USAAF - U.S. Militaria Forum

    By the way was that info on Airborne Aviation of any help?

    The 501st during WWII had "Geronimo: underneath and it wasn't until the late 50's that 501 Apache was added, so to answer your second question political correctness , didn't stop the 501st/509th PIB from having the Word Geronimo (aka Gingerbread men) on their patch during the war. In the book the Kellers have examples of WWII era 501st and all the other Airborne units during that time period.

    Also these were all unauthorized and for local wear only. As you know the Yanks used locals to produce all sorts of Insignia, patches etc... so there could be one with 501 Apache but you would have to have very good photo ,documented provenance from the vet and then again it could be post WWII 46-56 made for reunion.

    To date there is no evidence of one been made during WWII era. And in this field you never say never as patches do turn up from old collections , families of veterans who pass on and don't know what they have etc..

    If you do know of any let me know and I could try to verify.

    If you want to ask more question's or are not to sure feel free.


  3. #13


    I would agree with the statement above when it comes to patches in general the Kellers are the ones to go to. The fact that the patch would glow does not worry me, as it would make sense for the period, and being theater made

  4. #14


    Hi Gel

    The patch in question is late 50's ,so is not English WWII Theatre made.

    Are you referring to said patch when it was part of the Pentomic era ,1st Abn Battle Group 501st or Vietnam era 1/501st 101st Abn 1967?


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