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American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2001

Army Branch of Service Colors

Second World War

The colors used to indicate branches of service in the U.S. Army have evolved and expanded since their introduction in 1851. During the Second World War they saw limited use mainly as trim on garison caps. The colors were also occasionally used in shoulder sleeve insignia, distinctive insignia, etc. The pattern of the weave of the cord varies between manufacturers and has no significance.

Adjutant General's Corps Dark Blue Scarlet 1936 Adjutant General's Corps
Air Corps Ultramarine Golden Orange 1920 Air Corps
Armored Center & Units Green White 1942 Armor
Cavalry Yellow 1855 Cavalry
Chaplains Black no enlisted men
Chemical Warfare Cobalt Blue Golden Yellow 1918
Coast Artillery Scarlet 1902 Coast Artillery
Corps of Engineers Scarlet White 1902 Corps of Engineers
Detached Enlisted Men Green
Field Artillery Scarlet 1851 Artillery
Finance Dept. Silver Gray Golden Yellow 1921
Infantry Light Blue 1851 Infantry
Inspector General's Dept. Dark Blue Light Blue 1936
Judge Advocate General's Dept. Dark Blue White 1936
Medical Dept. Maroon White 1916 Medical Dept.
Military Intelligence Golden Yellow Purple 1936 no enlisted men
Military Police Yellow Green 1922 Military Police
National Guard Bureau Dark Blue 1921
Ordnance Dept. Crimson Yellow 1921 Ordnance Dept.
Permanent Professors USMA Scarlet Silver Gray 1936 no enlisted men
Quartermaster Corps Buff 1902
Signal Corps Orange White 1902
Specialists' Reserve Brown Golden Yellow 1936 no enlisted men
Tank Destroyer Golden Orange Black 1943
Transportation Corps Brick Red Golden Yellow 1942
Warrant Officers Brown 1936 no enlisted men (1)
Women's Army Corps Old Gold Moss Green 1942 WAC


  1. Warrant officers wore a silver and black cord, other officers gold and black cord and general officers a gold cord on garrison caps. The above listed colors were just used on enlisted men's caps not those of officers.

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