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WWII 1943 US ARMY Enlisted Man Jacket - When the United States entered World War Two much of the military was unprepared for combat. The unforms and equipment employed was very antiquated, most of it dated back to World War one. The US Army dress uniform was an exception. It had seen some improvement when compared to its much cruder descendant. Both types of uniforms were made of wool. However, the one used in WWII was more refined.

The following is an example of a US Army enlisted man Class A uniform. Four pocket tunic. Of wool construction. Four large, gold colored, metal buttons are used to close the front. Smaller buttons of the same design are employed on the pocket flaps.



US ARMY ENLISTED MAN RANK
All armies of ther world have a way to indicate the grade of each soldier.

The soldiers of the continental army in our revolutionary war showed their grade differently than we do, General Washington ordered sergeants to sew a stripe of bright red cloth on their shoulders, and corporals a green stripe.

Enlisted grades are shown by chevrons. The chevron is a very old and honorable device which was often painted on the shields of knights of ancient days. In the begining it was probably drawn to represent the rafters of a house, and so it points upward. In a sense it means "the top of the house". We have used chevrons since the revolution, but its present spot above the elbow dates from 1833.

Private First Class Tech Fifth Grade Corporal Tech Fourth Grade Sergeant
Tech Third Grade Staff Segeant Technical Sergeant First Sergeant Master Sergeant


MISCELLANEOUS PATCHES AND RIBBONS

In addition to the rank, unit, command, etc. patches. The US Army employed a series of miscellaneous patches to indicate accomplishments completed by the soldier.

LEFT ARM

PLACEMENT OF PATCHES AND AWARDS ON THE UNIFORM
The order in which the miscellaneous awards are placed are as follows (from bottom to top): Meritorious Unit Citattion, Service stripes, Overseas stripes.

The service stripe patch is placed approximately one inch abobe the top of the cuff. If no service stripe is earned the next award achiebed is placed at the prescribed distance.

RIGHT SIDE



The Ruptured Duck patch is sewn one inch above the right pocket.

The Presidential Unit Citation is placed at the top of the right pocket.


The following table shows the mosst common miscellaneous patches used:

Honorable Discharge
This patch was issued to soldiers who sucessfully completed their tour of duty. The soldier was allowed to continue wearing the uniform. Go into the base. but not access the classified areas.
Presidential Unit Citation
Is awarded to units of the United States Armed Forces, and those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941.
Overseas Stripes
Each stripe indicates six months of service in a combat zone.
Service Stripes
Each stripe indicates three years of service.
Meritorious Unit Citation
Displays exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service, heroic deeds, or valorous actions.


US ARMY AIR FORCE TECHNICIAN SPECIALIST PATCHES

There were five different technical specialties that an Army Air Force enlisted man could earn during WWII. A patch was given for mastering each skill. Of dark Blue background with a yellow thread embroidered design. Triangular shape. cut-edge construction.

RIGHT SIDE

LOCATION OF PATCHES IN THE UNIFORM
The US Army Air Force technician specialist patch is attached to the bottom section of the right arm. It is placed approximately two to three inches away from the end of the cuff.


Armament
Initially worn by nine occupations which included aerial torpedo mechanic, anti-aircraft machine gunner, and bombsight mechanic.
Communications
This patch was initially worn by 22 occupations which include: radio operator, control tower operator, communications chief, cryptographer, All radio mechanics ( 6 different types), radio observer (3 types), telephone and telegraph lineman, and wire chief.
Engineering
Originally worn by 33 different occupations which include: airplane inspector, crew chief, line chief, flight chief, all mechanical airplane specialists, depot engineer chief, parachute shop chief, parachutr rigger and repaiman, glider mechanic and welder.
Photography
This was worn by nine different occupations including; camera technician, photographic chief, photographic interpreter, photographic laboratory chief, and motion picture cameraman.
Weather
This patch was worn by six different occupations which included; weather cryptographer, forecaster, observer, station chief, and radio sonde operator.


PATCH PLACEMENT ON THE UNIFORM
The following photos show where the Patches are placed on the WWII US Army enlisted man dress tunic ( known now as the Class A uniform). The left and right directions are determined under the point of view of the person wearing the uniform.

LEFT ARM

UNIT/COMMAND
The Unit, Army and Command patches are placed on the right arm. Near the top of the arm.

RANK
The rank patches are placed in both arms at about mid-point, above the elbow. Two to three inches below the Unit / Command / Army patches.
RIGHT ARM






Placement of Unit patches on left shoulder of the uniform.

DISTANCE A: 1 Inch

DISTANCE B: 1/2 to 1 Inch

Shoulder tabs are centered between unit patach and shoulder seam. If no patch, 1 inch below shoulder seam.

Unit patch 1/2 to 1 inch below shoulder seam and centered.


UNIT PATCHES - GENERAL COMMANDS
There were three General Commands controlling the United States armed forces during WWII. Each was an autonomus component of the entire operation. One was in charge of air warfare. The other was in charge of all ground forces. The last one encompassed six technical units.

Army Air Forces

Active:
1941 - 9/18/1947

WWII Theater:
All

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Army Ground Force

Active:
1942 - 1948

WWII Theater:
All

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Services of Supply

Active:
1942 - 1946

WWII theater:
All

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UNIT PATCHES - THE FOUR ARMIES
The United States armed forces were divided into four different armies. They were labeled First army, Second army, Third army and Fourth army.

First Army

Active:
1918 - 1919
1932 - Present

WWII Theater:
West Europe, Normandy.

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Second Army

Active:
1918 - 1919
1933 - 1966
1983 - 1995
2014 - Present

WWII Theater:
USA

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Third Army

Active:
1918 - 1919
1932 - 1974
1982 - Present

WWII Theater:
Europe

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Fourth Army

Active:
1932 - 1971

WWII Theater:
USA

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UNIT PATCHES - ARMY CORPS

The structure of a field corps in the United States Army is not permanent; many of the units that it commands are allocated to it as needed on an ad hoc basis. On the battlefield, the corps is the highest level of the forces that is concerned with actually fighting and winning the war. Higher levels of command are concerned with administration rather than operations, at least under current doctrine. The corps provides operational direction for the forces under its command.



1st Corps

Active:
1918 - Present

WWII theater:
South Pacific

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2nd Corps

Active:
1 Aug 1940 - 10 Oct 1945

WWII Theater:
Europe and Africa

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3rd Corps

Active:
1918 - 1919
1927 - 1946
1951 - 1959
1961 - Present

WWII theater:
USA

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4th Corps

Active:
1918 - 1919
1939 - 1945
1958 - 1968

WWII Theater:
Europe

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5th Corps

Active:
1918 - 1919
1922 - 1924
1940 - 2013

WWII theater:
Europe

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6th Corps

Active:
1918 - 1919
1940 - 1946
1946 - 1950
1951 - 1953
1957 - 1962

WWII Theater:
Europe

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7th Corps

Active:
1918 - 1919
1921 - 1946
1950 - 1992

WWII Theater :
Europe, Normandy, Ardenes

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8th Corps

Active:
1918 - 1919
1940 - 1945

WWII Theater:
Europe, Normandy, Ardenes

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9th Corps

Active:
1940 - 1994

WWII Theater:
Pacific

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11th Corps

Active:
1942 - 1945

Theater:
Pacific

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UNIT PATCHES - DIVISIONS
After the civil war, patches were discontinued, but they appeared again during World War I, this time to stay. One of the big problems that commanders were facing at the time was the ability to reassemble their troops after a battle. The British came upon the idea of sewing a piece of colored cloth on the back of the jacket, just below the neck. The idea was foe all the men wearing the same colored cloth to assemble under the nearest officer who wore a like piece.

It was the American doughboy, however, who first wore a shoulder patch. This happened more or less by accident. In the summer of 1918 the 81st (Wildcat) Division sewed a picture of a wildcat on their shoulder sleeves when going through Hoboken on teh way to France. In France, General Pershing heard of this and ordered all the patches to be taken off. Later he changes his mind and not only allowed the Wildcats to keep their shoulder patches but required everyone to wear something similar.

1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division 4th Division 5th Division
6th Division 7th Division 8th Division 9th Division 26th Division
27th Division 28th Division 29th Division 30th Division 31st Division
32nd Division 33rd Division 34th Division 35th Division 36th Division
37th Division 38th Division 39th Division 40th Division 41st Division
43rd Division 44th Division 45th Division 76th Division 77th Division
78th Division 79th Division 80th Division 81st Division 82nd Division
83rd Division 84th Division 85th Division 86th Division 87th Division
88th Division 89th Division 90th Division 91st Division 92nd Division
93rd Division 94th Division 96th Division 97th Division 98th Division
99th Division 100th Division 102nd Division 103rd Division 104th Division
Hawaiian Divisions


The American tunics held a variety of patches and insignia in the left and right arms. Also in the breast area.

American uniforms were clearly marked with tags which contained various information regarding the manufacturing of the piece. These tags were found inside the front lower pocket, inside the interior pocket or inside the sleeve. In many cases the tag has been removed or it is no longer legible due to normal wear.

This page is a recognition and identification guide for WWII US military uniforms. Multiple detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined points that should be noted.

One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my WWII US uniform worth?". A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the uniforms is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth of the American military uniforms in the collector's market is illustrated.

This service is provided free of charge to the visitor/enthusiast courtesy of MilitaryItems.com, a company dedicated to the preservation of military history and to providing quality military antiques and collectibles to museums, institutions and the general public.

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US ARMY ENLISTED MAN COLLAR INSIGNIA

All enlisted men who have completed basic training wear gold disc insignia bearing the block letters U.S. and insignia of branch of the unit to which they are assigned. Basic trainees wear two U.S. insignia until they complete basic training at which time the U.S. insignia worn on the left collar is replaced by the appropriate branch insignia of the unit to which they are assigned, except as described below.


  1. Men assigned to headquarters or headquarter companies of divisions or higher units wear the insignia of the branch which indicates their specific assignment.

  2. Enlisted personnel unassigned to branch wear the coat of arms of the United States on a 1-inch disc, all of gold color metal.

  3. Men who are reassigned continue to wear the insignia of their former branch until they report for their new assignment.

  4. Men assigned to medical units which are organic to TOE units of other branches wear the Army Medical

Service insignia. The U.S. insignia and insignia of branch are worn on the service coat, jacket and shirt collar (when shirt is worn as an outer garment).



US Collar Disc
Indicates that the soldier belongs to the United States armed forces. As a general rule it was always placed on the right side lapel.
Army Air Corps Corps of Engineers Field Artillery Coastal Artillery
Cavalry Infantry Signal Corps Armored Force Ordenance Department
Chemical Warfare Service QuarterMaster Corps Transportation Corps Medical Corps Adjutant General's Assistant
Finance Department Judge Advocate General's Department Military Police WAACS Christian Chaplain
Jewish Chaplain Army Band




RIGHT SIDE LEFT SIDE


US ARMY QUALIFICATIONS, MEDALS AND AWARDS

The United States army issued different types of awards in order to recognize the diferent achievements of a soldier. Most of the awards were placed on the left side of the uniform. Above the top pocket. Among the exceptions include the Presidential Unit Citation. A table showing some of the awards follows.

Expert Badge
To earn the qualificatin for pistol at the Combat Pistol Qualification Course, one must have a combined hit count of 26 out of 30.
Sharpshooter Badge
To earn the qualificatin for pistol at the Combat Pistol Qualification Course, one must have a combined hit count of 21 out of 30.
Marksman Badge
To earn the qualificatin for pistol at the Combat Pistol Qualification Course, one must have a combined hit count of 16 out of 30.
Combat Infantry Badge
The badge is awarded to infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers in the rank of Colonel and below, who personally fought in active ground combat while assigned as members of either an infantry, ranger or Special Forces unit, of brigade size or smaller, any time after 6 December 1941.
Medal Ribbons
The medal ribbons were worn, instead of the medal itself, because they took less space and avoided noise made by medals hitting each other. The ribbons are displayed in order of importance. From right to left.
Presidential Unit Citation
is awarded to units of the United States Armed Forces, and those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941.






This US uniform is currently being reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this headgear. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of the collectible.



If you have an interest is seeing other WWII American military uniforms, you can do so by going to our WWII US Military uniforms identification guide. Where we cover Army, Navy, Army Air Force and other organizations.





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