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American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2002

Qualification Badges

U.S. Army Second World War

Airborne Qualification Badges

Airborne Oval glider
Parachute Badge
Artillery Background Trimmings
Glider Badge

Airborne forces were an inovation of the Second World War. The Parachute Badge was approved on March 10, 1941 and was worn over the left pocket. The badge was designed by then Captain William P. Yarborough, an officer with the 501st Parachute Battalion, acting under authority of the Chief of Infantry. Captain Yarborough began the project on March 3, 1941 and in record time returned to Fort Benning with the first 350 badges that were manufactured by the firm of Bailey, Banks and Biddle. The first award ceremony was held March 21, 1941. To qualify for jump wings a paratrooper typically had to complete five training jumps.

The airborne qualification badges often worn over oval background trimmings in colors adopted by particular airborne regiments. These background trimmings do not appear to have been approved by Army Regulations at the time, but since have become regulation insignia. The Parachute Badge was of sterling silver and was one and one-half inches wide. A second badge for glider troops was approved March 14, 1944 and worn in a similar manner to the Parachute Badge.

MORE: Kevin Born's Detailed Page on the Parachute Badge
MORE: Kevin Born's Detailed Page on the Glider Badge
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