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Navy Armed Guard Patch

Discussion in 'Medals, Insignia, Badges & Recalls' started by SM Baker, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Came across this. Is it what you're looking for?
    [​IMG]
     
  3. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    Hi Lou,
    I guess I'm looking for an authentic patch from WW2 Armed Guard. My grandfather was an Armed Guard, so I'd like to get an original period piece. Do you own the one shown? I really like the color. Is it not a repro?
    Thanks!
    Steve
     
  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I don't own it. It's a picture from wiki. Sorry.
     
  5. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    No sweat. I have a hunch period pieces are out there. I've begun to develop a real interest in the AG, so I thought I'd start a little collection.
    Thanks, Lou.
     
  6. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Good luck. I've been trying to find a theater made 473rd Infantry ribbon. Very rare. No joy.
     
  7. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    Lou,
    I'd like to see that ribbon. Do you have a pic?
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    It's in my avatar at the bottom.
     
  9. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    The Navy wasn't very big on shoulder sleeve insignia, but they did have a few. My trusty guide "Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Armed Forces 1941-1945" by Richard W. Smith says this work display,and accounts for, all authorized shoulder sleeve insignia during this period. Unfortunately, Armed Guards apparently had no patch.
    The few listed are Minecraft, Construction Battalion (SeaBees), Amphibious forces, Mosquito Boat, Motor Torpedo Boat, V-5 Program, Navy War Corespondent, Merchant Marine, Maritime Service, and USMS Training Station. And Lou, I'm sorry, but it didn't list the 473rd rocker either. I believe it was like the Armored Division rockers, ie "Spearhead, Hell on Wheels, etc. they were worn during WWII, but not authorized. I have another book that lists just about every patch up to, and including the Vietnam war and couldn't find either patch or rocker in there either- although they do list the Armored Division rockers in that book.
     
  10. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    Thanks for looking, Buten. That's too bad. I wonder where the AG emblem would have been used, if not on a patch. It's such a neat looking motto!
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I think the 473rd rocker was theater made and unauthorized. I've seen a couple and the price is outrageous. The Army kind of turned a blind eye toward their wear. The 473rd only existed for a few months, mostly made up of former AAA men.
     
  12. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    It is a neat design. Someone may have designed it and tried to get it authorized, or it could just be a fantasy piece to sell to the AG veterans. Some of the patches for the airborne regiments during the Vietnam era (507th, 511th, 513th, 515th, etc) look like they were designed by someone at Disneyland. (they lost that noble feeling) but still pretty neat looking.

    If you do a display with his awards, I would add it for character.

    I'm not familiar with the Armed Guard-was their function actually to guard prisoners--kinda like the Army's MPs?
     
  13. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    Thanks, Buten. I do have a display and that is why I'd like to have one.
    The Navy Armed Guard was a specially trained section of the Navy who were responsible for protecting merchant ships (Liberty Ships). An Armed Guard crew (usually 28 men, trained as gunner's, gunner's mates, signalmen, and radiomen) was deployed with them in order to ensure their safety. They were a pretty tough bunch. A lot of sailors prayed they weren't picked for AG, considering it a perilous suicide mission. They were trained at Armed Guard Centers in Brooklyn, New Orleans, and San Fran. There are a bunch of websites and books on them. They were dissolved after the war. World War II US Navy Armed Guard and World War II US Merchant Marine


    ADD: Some more facts:
    Most of the Armed Guard sailors were volunteers since the U.S. Navy considered it a “hazardous duty” assignment. In fact, this is borne out by their casualty figures (almost 1,700 killed in action, 127 missing in action from sunken ships, and 27 captured – of which 14 survived the war) and the recognition of Armed Guard personnel heroism that garnered five Navy Crosses, 75 Silver Stars and 54 Bronze Stars.

    UNIT: U.S. Navy Armed Guard
    DATES: 1942-45
    STRENGTH: 144,970 total served
    CASUALTIES: 1,683 KIA; 127 MIA; 27 POW
    SERVICE: Gun crews on 6,236 merchant ships in all naval theaters of war
    TYPICAL CREW: 1 officer, 24 gunners and 3 communications specialists per ship
    TYPICAL WEAPONS: one 5-inch/38 naval deck gun, one 3-inch/50 anti-aircraft gun and eight 20mm machine guns per ship
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  14. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Can you post a picture of your display? It would be interesting to see.
     
  15. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    Glad to!

    IMG_0437.JPG IMG_0440.jpg
     
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  16. SM Baker

    SM Baker Member

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    Reginald James Baker (McG no dates).jpg

    This one I had colorized on rootschat forum The guy that did it added the ship and I kind of liked the effect, so I had a print done. The ship is actually the John Harvey (of gas infamy at Bari).
     
  17. Buten42

    Buten42 Member Patron  

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    Thanks for the information, I had no idea the merchant ships carried a crew of Navy personnel. Yes, I can see why this would be considered hazardous duty.
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    One of the more remarkable actions of the armed guard and indeed the merchant marine was the encounter the Stephen Hopkins had with a German raider and support ship. Worth reading up on.
     

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