Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by alixreed, Aug 12, 2009.
can anyone help me identify these pins from WW2? thanks so much!
Top one looks like a Distinctive Unit Insignia, but I don't recognize which one. Would have to dig through books.
Middle row L-R
1. Marine Corps collar insignia? 2 Army or USMC captain's bars 3. not sure, looks like cap badge off of an Army officer's garrsion hat.
bottom row L- R
1. Army Enlisted man's service arm insignia-Infantry 2. ditto but for for MPs
Those are Army captain's bars.
The top pin seems to say "Rock of the Marne July 14-18, 1918" and "Our Country Not Ourselves". Maybe from the 3rd Infantry Division? I don't recognize the emblem in the middle, though.
thank you so much!
The most trouble I'm having is with the infantry crossed muskets. All the pictures I find, the muskets are by themselves. On these pins, there is a brass plate behind them. Is this an earlier edition, or is it even real?
How should I clean thm? Would a metal polish work? Or just soap and water?
The brass plate signifies that it is for an enlisted uniforms. Officers had the larger stand alone branch insignia. The enlisted branch insignia is also seen in a one piece stamped version.
I don't know what the top pin is but Jeff is correct about the USMC insignia, FJH is correct about the Captains "Railroad Tracks" The Brass Disc with the crossed rifles is collar insignia for Infantry, the iother brass disc w/ the crossed flintlock pistols is for Military Police and the last and largest badge is an Officers cp badge for the Peaked visored cap. I have one of those which is a double screwback-and is early war made and very nice to look at.
The Distinctive Unit Insignia is for the 30th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division, which was the "Rock of the Marne." I noticed the 3rd ID patch in the upper left of the shield when I read your post, Lou.
Jeff you're a mad man....nice find.
The discs look like they are anodized so may be post war ;Vietnam to current manufacture. I am open to corrections on this. If you do clean them use a cream paste and soft cloth. The collar insignia are the only things I would polish. The EGA, DUI, Capt's Bars, and hat device look good the way they are and cleaning would detract frm them.
Thanks, Jeff for filling in that detail. Better than I cold find.
That was going to be my next question, what do you two different cross guns mean, so thank you!
The officers cap badge is double screwback like yours. Is that significant?
I'm sorry if I'm asking silly questions, y'all. I havent researched much about WW2 beyond Ken Burns specials on PBS and my own family's war stories. I appreciate all the info y'all have given! Its been a big help. Do you mind if I continue to ask more silly questions? Because I have a bucketfull!
One such silly question would be, is it possible for one guy to get all these pins in one war? These are my uncle's pins, and all I know of his service was that he enlisted in the navy in WW2 and was stationed in north africa. He was promoted to captain, and was a merchant marine. He had two ships shot out from under him in the north atlantic by german u-boats. Even got picked up from floating in the water by the germans and questioned onboard before being let go. Him and a few other guys. Dont ask me what the names of the ships were because I dont know. He never could remember later in life when I asked and I never could find the information online.
But my uncle had a habit of pawning stuff for people, so I dont know it this is his own personal pins or if he just happened to by them. Y'all seem so knowledgeable about theses things, I just had to ask.
Thanks so much!
Sounds like your uncle had a tumultuous war. If he was in the Navy, it is unlikely that these pins were his. Maybe he traded stuff to get them. As far as I can tell, with the exception of the Marine insignia, the others are all Army issue items.
Do you know if he was in the Merchant Marine before going into the Navy? It certainly would make the most sense, but you never know. Having two ships shot out from under him certainly qualifies as eventful. I'm guessing they were Merchant Marine vessels if he wasn't taken prisoner.
If you can find any other information, please let us know.
You only learrn by asking and, I like to think that any question asked-is NOT a stupid question ;-)) The only stupid question is the UN-asked question.
They are all WWII or look to be WWII except (i'm guessing) for that "Rock of the Marne" piece.
There are two things to take into consideration here, as to cleaning them. If you never plan to sell them, go ahead and do so. If you are intending to sell them don't. The true collectors (correct me if I'm wrong Carl) seem to prefer the so-called patina to be intact.
If you wish to clean them, the metal parts, can be cleaned with a product called Nevr-Dull, this can be found at truck-stops, motorcycle shops, and even a few box-stores like Wal-Mart (some areas), Shop-Ko, Target, and K-Marts. It is a wadding soaked material in a sealed can, and harmless to silver, gold, pewter, aluminum, stainless steel, chrome, brass, and copper. It can also be used on glass, but needs to be cleaned up afterwards with a glass cleaner or ammonia. It is however NOT to be used on any fabric, wood, or painted surface, or surface which has paint on it.
It's possible that alixreed's uncle was in the Navy serving aboard a merchant marine vessel. I understand that the Navy had manned some of these civilian ships with gun crews to provide a modicum of defense.
In regards to cleaning his brass, my father shined his brass every nigth using a cloth specifically for that purpose (Blitz or Flitz??). Years later when I was in the Army I used the same thing.