Civilians supporting military activities wore insignia to identify their status and functions. Those operating with U.S. Forces, particularly overseas, often wore military clothing without usual insignia and some other insignia indicating their function. During wartime existing organizations, such as the American Red Cross, contributed important service and had insignia. I will show a sample of civilian insignia that were unique to the period.
First Version 1942 (1)
Second Version 1944
A series of these insignia state the function of the wearer embroidered in blue: War Correspondent, Chauffeurs, AAF Technical Observes and others. These individuals were authorized to wear an Army uniform without grade or branch insignia when overseas and assisting in operations. These are covered in more detail on another page.
|USO Camp Shows 1944||Hostess and Librarian 1944|
|Technical Representative (2)||Contract Carrier Ground Personnel (3)||Women's Auxiliary|
Ferrying Sq. c1942
During the Second War World existing civil air carriers were contracted by the War Department to move cargo. This insignia was worn by ground personnel and is the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk. The Women's Air Force Service Pilot's organization trained women to function as service pilots and free male pilots for overseas duties. During the war they were government employees but were not considered members of the military. Their status became a major issue when they were denied veterans benefits during the postwar period. The Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron accepted women who already were qualified pilots. In 1943 the two programs for women pilots were merged. The background of the pictured female insignia is poorly documented but it is clearly produced for collectors after the war. The cartoon figure on the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron patch is "Fifinella," a character from Roald Dahl's book "The Gremlins." Dahl was an former R.A.F. pilot who came to the U.S. after an injury and worked with Walt Disney (information courtesy Robert Nylander). There are period images of female service pilots wearing the "Fifinella" patch in the fashion of a squadron patch on flight clothing.