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Looking for a good reference on US Shoulder sleeve insignia

Article about: the books that i've found so far have had a lot of information about the armies, divisions, etc that shoulder patches identify such as activation dates and deployments, but i would like to f

  1. #1

    Default Looking for a good reference on US Shoulder sleeve insignia

    the books that i've found so far have had a lot of information about the armies, divisions, etc that shoulder patches identify such as activation dates and deployments, but i would like to find some reference that was more specific to variations in the patch design and construction.

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    here are some examples of what i mean. the patches marked WWII are from my dad's collection. i know for a fact that he did not add anything to that box after the war, so i can definitely say those are pre-1946. the others may be from that era, but are notably different.

    were patches so non-standard that many different types can actually be from the same era, or do these differences correspond to a certain time period(?) this is the sort of information i would like to get from a reference. does anything like this exist?

    thanks...gary

  2. #2
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    Gary, there were multiple US manufacturers of Army SSI, some with different manufacturing styles, so you are going to see different variants as a result, all of which are war time examples. Add to that, theatre made patches and it can be quite confusing.

    Actually, this is part of the appeal, for me at least, as you can be looking for patches, and while you may already have one for a certain division, you may not have that specific variant. As an example, below are some manufacturing variants from my collection:

    44th ID - All US Machine Embroidered

    OD Border - OD border patches were typically early war manufacture and were phased out as the OD thread was needed for uniforms and such. The same applies to patches that used OD bobbin thread on the reverse (greenbacks). These are more desirable as they are wartime manufactured.

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    Snowy back

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    White back

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    5th Corps

    Greenback

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    Snowy Back with Felt Border

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    German Made

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  3. #3
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    As for a good reference, there are many out there, however one that focuses primarily on the construction of the insignia, which in turn helps to identify the period of manufacture, would be the following reference:

    U.S.-Made, Fully Machine-Embroidered, Cut Edge Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of World War II: And How They Were Manufactured a Collector's Guide: Hans De Bree: 9780764343551: Amazon.com: Books

    The books provides detailed photos of many SSI, including variants, and goes into depth about the manufacturing process, etc. It also touches on WWI to Pre-WWII as well as post-WWII patches. A really great reference and has been a tremendous help to me as I only recently started collecting SSI.


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  4. #4

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    thanks Eric... not that other references don't have some important information, but this is the type i was looking for.

    cheers...gary

  5. #5

  6. #6
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    No problem, Gary!

  7. #7

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    Quote by yuengling325 View Post
    As for a good reference, there are many out there, however one that focuses primarily on the construction of the insignia, which in turn helps to identify the period of manufacture, would be the following reference:

    U.S.-Made, Fully Machine-Embroidered, Cut Edge Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of World War II: And How They Were Manufactured a Collector's Guide: Hans De Bree: 9780764343551: Amazon.com: Books

    ...


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    just received this book and it is everything stated and more. delves deeply into the construction of the patches with many examples by the different manufacturers. sort of reinforces the existence of the many different variations which all could be WWII era. also has a good writeup on what to look for in reproductions.

    highly recommended.
    cheers...gary

  8. #8

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    continuing to read through the Hans De Bree reference book, it's gotten me to go back and scan all the patches, this time at a higher magnification. i bumped the resolution up to 600 dpi with some great results...

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    here is one example... of the seven 33rd Inf Div patches i had, there were at least four different styles...

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    sorry about the size of these, but when i reduced the image even a bit, a lot of the detail was lost. for example, there are two green back patches, but at the high mag you can see a definite difference in the back stitching.

    if anyone is interested in a larger version of the complete patches, try this...

    http://home.comcast.net/~marxtrains/..._33rd_comp.jpg

    it's about 2.4 MB so be warned if you have a slow connection.

    now that i have them all loaded, i have a lot to look through and with so many known period examples, it's giving me many good reference styles. i would certainly recommend high resolution scanning even over a good magnifier, the benefit in being able to compare so many pieces side by side.

    the quality of original patches can be well seen when you get down to the thread level.
    cheers...gary

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