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

Variations of Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

Second World War

9th Engineer Command

The 9th Engineer Command shoulder sleeve insignia is presented as a study in variations that exist for a given shoulder sleeve insignia. I do not claim that I show all existing variations. The unit was part of the 9th Air Force and was given the important mission of airfield construction and rehabilitation. It advanced with the front and built runways with unbelievable speed. The command was created on March 30, 1944 with less than 300 men and grew in size to become a large organization by the end of the war. Three of its battalions were airborne qualified.

Although it may have been worn prior, the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 9th Engineer Command was not approved by the Quartermaster General until June 6, 1945. This is after the end of hostilities in Europe. The 9th Air Force was inactivated in December 1945 and likely its aviation engineer component was broken up. The insignia would have been worn as a former wartime unit insignia on the right sleeve by personnel who were still on active duty after that time. Despite the rather short period of time this unit's insignia was worn, it exists in a good many variations.

Machine Embroidered U.S. Made

MEMB red center MEMB blue center w/tab
Machine Embroidered
with red center
Machine Embroidered
with blue center red airborne tab

Fully machine embroidered patches are generally made in the United States. The majority have a blue center, but the one above has a red center. The red airborne tab was used by three battalions of the 9th Aviation Engineers as well as other aviation engineers worn over the Army Air Forces insignia and postwar by the 84th for a few years when it was an airborne unit.

Machine Embroidered European Made

Theater made Theater made
Machine Embroidered European Made
Light Blue Background
Machine Embroidered European Made
Dark Blue Background

These thin fully machine embroidered shoulder sleve insignia appear to be European made and were likely what was originally worn in the Europe. Their manufacture is not typical of U.S. made shoulder sleeve insignia.

Bullion Embroidered

Bullion Embroidered
Bullion Embroidered

Many soldiers had bullion hand embroidered insignia made for their uniforms and wore them in place of issued insignia.

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