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Red Ball Express Patch

Article about: Hello I would like to share with you two patch I got at the local flea market. The Red Ball Express and the white ball express. I am not sure the point of the white ball express. Here is som

  1. #11

    Default Re: Red Ball Express Patch

    The so called burn test is not always accurate thread made before 1950's suspose not to have the nylon or some chemical that will melt. Problem is there was a maker of SS and other rare insignia in Austria in the 1970 &80's that made all of them with ww2 or late 40 's thread so it passed the burn test all of the insignia he made was made 70 80's before he was caught and charged with fraud. I had some of it I bought thinking it was OK and it passed the "Burn test " of the threads on it. Another case in point was a mid western dealer I won't name he is deceased now who bought up a bunch of thread and material from the 1930's and made WW1 patches some of which were hard to find units my collector friend bought a bunch of it and got burned His operation was not exposed until a worker for him confessed to it. So buyer beware. timothy

  2. #12



    There was indeed a "White Ball" highway express route (there were six routes in total). Originating in Le Havre, the White Ball was a more northerly route than the more famous "Red Ball." My uncle mentioned it thusly in a letter he wrote to his wife:

    "The next day we started moving back and they told us we were going to operate on the Red Ball, so we did. What a grind that turned out to be, and we would haul from either the beaches or Cherbourg all the way across France. Many times (we hauled) as far as Belgium and it took several days to complete this, and the trucks would break down and all kinds of trouble developed every day. Just the same, plenty of supplies were moved this way and all of it was worthwhile. We were not on the Red Ball too many weeks before the railroads were getting in operation, and soon they replaced the trucks in this sector, so we moved again."

    "This time we went north to Rouen, and this was all British territory and at first it was a little difficult to do things as they did. (redacted) While here we operated on the White Ball highway system, which was similar to the Red Ball, only not on such a large scale."

    As for the patches, I've never seen a wartime photo showing a White Ball patch. Maybe there is one out there somewhere, but I've yet to see it.


    G. Kelly

  3. #13


    Wow thanks for the info I had no idea, interesting it is hard to find any pictures related the red ball.

  4. #14


    The Red Ball route had at least some photographic coverage because it made for good press releases at the time, but the other routes were more-or-less ignored. For a number of reasons, the truck companies weren't extensively written about after the war with one or two exceptions that tend toward being sociology texts, and many of the best photos will be in technical books like Boniface and Jeudy's "The GMC: A Universal Truck : 6x6 and DUKW" or Doyle and Canaday's "The GMC CCKW Truck in U.S. Service."

    A brief but informative look is available on line at: HyperWar: Logistical Support of the Armies, Vol. II

    Any knowlege I have on the subject is strictly due to having a favorite uncle who had been one of the motor vehicle maintenance officers in a QM truck company. Because he would actually talk to me about his time in the army (even in a present tense, as he remained in the reserves for over 20 years), I picked up a little of the history.


    G. Kelly

  5. #15


    Very interesting. I had never heard of the "White Ball" express.
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  6. #16


    Me too. I have a book on the red ball express and there is no mention of the white ball express. Very interesting.

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