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US 80th Airborne ?

Article about: Just picked this up at flee market is this a wwii patch or a laterpatch

  1. #1
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    Default US 80th Airborne ?

    Just picked this up at flee market is this a wwii patch or a laterpatch
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  2. #2

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    Hi there
    There was a series of coloured Airborne tabs made in anticipation that they would of been worn by short lived Post WWII Reserve Army Airborne Division-80th,84th,100th,108th.
    The official US Army colour tab is White on Blue as per OQMG drawings 28-Jan-1949 for these Divisions with the exception of the 108th which had a Gold on Black tab.
    So your tab would be 1949 onwards the patch is WWII as they had stocks left over.
    Phill

  3. #3

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    It is difficult to tell from these pics but it does look like a "cut" rather than merrowed edge which suggests earlier rather than later. However the 80th which still exists and has served recently in the "sand pit" conflicts, was a standard Inf Div during the war. They landed in Europe in I think Aug 44 and did fight through the low countries into Germany. They were involved in the relief of 101 Abn Div during the Ardennes Offensive. They were deactivated in 1946 but reactivated the same year as an Abn Div which is how the Abn "Tab" would come about. Yours looks to be a separate tab but in any case I think that the lineage of the unit dictates that this must be a post war patch or maybe as said above wartime left over stock with added Abn tab. Pictures of the edge and reverse would help.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  4. #4

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    Hi Mark

    The patch is cut edge and embroidered on khaki twill.

    The post war variant tended to be on white twill and was also cut edge up until 66 when merrowed patches were officially manufactured.

    Also what people don't realize "officially " the Airborne tab was rescinded c1946 and then officially restored c1948, so during that time period you will see newbies without the tab , also these Airborne Divisions were Army Reserve's then were reflagged as Infantry.

    Phill

  5. #5

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    Quote by Phill Lockett View Post
    Hi Mark

    The patch is cut edge and embroidered on khaki twill.

    The post war variant tended to be on white twill and was also cut edge up until 66 when merrowed patches were officially manufactured.

    Also what people don't realize "officially " the Airborne tab was rescinded c1946 and then officially restored c1948, so during that time period you will see newbies without the tab , also these Airborne Divisions were Army Reserve's then were reflagged as Infantry.
    Phill
    Thanks for the clarification Phil. As I said in my post it looks like a cut edge from the picture and by that I was suggesting that if it was a merrowed edge it couldn't be wartime rather than that a post war patch couldn't have a cut edge.

    I didn't perceive the shade of the twill which I suppose would be fairly obvious in hand so thanks for pointing that out.

    The tab is clearly not integral to the patch (I don't know if any were ever made as one piece) so if this is a wartime patch and it was issued with the tab then the leftover stock theory advanced at the top of this thread would apply.

    Either way it's an interesting item and fits into both wartime (without tab) and post war (with or without tab) collecting categories I suppose. Certainly not a "run of the mill" item and from a unit with a longer and more diverse active service period than many!

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #6

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    Hi Mark

    The tab is clearly not integral to the patch (I don't know if any were ever made as one piece) so if this is a wartime patch and it was issued with the tab then the leftover stock theory advanced at the top of this thread would apply.

    There is several points to re clarify as I don't want people thinking this is a wartime tab.

    The tab was never made during WWII , the coloured combination tabs were made up by manufacturers in anticipation they would of been worn and brought by collector military insignia collector clubs and sold to who ever c 48-49.

    Officially the US Army banned all tabs as there was a proliferation during the occupation period in Europe and Pacific, actually anywhere GI's were stationed and officially rescinded the "Airborne" tabs 1946-48/49 period.

    There are some pics of tabs being worn and on uniforms 1950 but they were unofficial. I have no doubt there would be more pics of these tabs worn but we need them in colour to document or on more named uniforms.

    Again the only official tab is Blue on white (80th,84th,100th) and Gold on Black (108) for these short lived "Airborne"AUS Divisions re for official drawings OQMG 1948 and documentation.

    re 84th White on red tab and 100th Gold on Blue.

    Now these tabs are sort after by collectors and the hardest one to come by is the 100th tab.

    Its an interesting discussion but these are known as post WWII era tabs , its the actually worn and used date we collectors are still trying to document.

    Phill

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