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General Arms' Photograph Background Information

General Arms

Brigadier General Thomas Arms wears a scap-on, theater-made version
of the Chinese Training Command Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

(Courtesy of Jay Graybeal)

Brigadier General Thomas S. Arms, Chief Instructor of the Infantry Training Center, was photographed on June 16, 1944 at the headquarters building Kweilin, China. The United States established a training complex, which was devoted to creating a modern army for China and expelling the Japanese from the country. The Japanese would later overrun Kweilin and the center was moved to Kunming.

The photograph clearly shows General Arms wearing a theater-made, snap-on version of the Chinese Training and Combat Command shoulder sleeve insignia on a regulation shirt. This insignia was never approved by the War Department, but was worn by local authority. The image clearly show several interesting features. Photographed on edge General Arms' patch has a three dimensional quality of an embroidered patch. The edges of it are turned up, indicating that it is a snap-on patch rather than one that is sewn-on. Snap-on patches were popular in the China-Burma-India theater where khaki shirts were commonly worn and frequently laundered. A bullion embroidered patch would be destroyed in the laundry and needed to be removed from the shirt or coat each time it was cleaned.

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