Helmetone: That's a great looking uniform. I envy you. I have a question about the shoulder patch. I found this very similar patch in American Armies and Battlefields in Europe, American Monuments Commission, GPO, 1938.
What does the "I" stand for in the patch on the uniform? I couldn't find a match for it in the book and the only patch that was even vaguely similar was for the 79th Division, which features the same cross but no letters and is a different color combination. Dwight
Hi Dwight. Thanks for the comments! It was suggested by another member that the "I" may have been for "intelligence" but I have not confirmed this. According to the lady I got this uniform from, it belonged to her grandfather who was a WWI medic. That's was her understanding. I don't know how medic would relate to intelligence, if that was the case.
Helmetone: The patch certainly isn't for a soldier assigned to Intelligence in the AEF. AEF Intelligence was under Col. Dennis E. Nolan whose office was in AEF General Headquarters. Those people wore the GHQ shoulder patch shown first in the tables below. Intelligence officers and EM who were assigned at Corps and Division levels wore the shoulder patch for the Corps or Division to which they were assigned. The Advance Section was established on 4 July 1917 and within its TO&E was the Army Medical Corps with the Chief Surgeon assigned to AEF GHQ. So, what the woman told you about the uniform's former owner being a medic is probably true. But that doesn't explain the "I" on the patch where an "A" should be. On 13 March 1918, the Advance Section was subordinated to the Services of Supply (SOS). To be honest, I have a growing doubt as to the authenticity of the patch, but who knows what might have slipped through the cracks. Hopefully, other members will weigh in on this. The two sources I used for this information are: American Armies and Battlefields in Europe, American Battle Monuments Commission, GPO, 1938; and Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the War, Vol. 1; Center of Military History, Washing, DC, 1988. Dwight