WWII US Army 101st Airborne Patch, Type 7

Condition: Excellent

SKU: EA6203 Category: Tags , , ,


Product Description: This is a great example of a very desirable 101st Airborne Division Patch shoulder sleeve insignia cut edge, dating from WWII. There were many different variants of 101st Airborne Division shoulder sleeve insignia before 1945, and this is the variant that is known to collectors as Type 7. This is regarded as one of the most attractive of the US made variants. The patch depicts the famous “screaming eagle” of the 101st, and has an “Airborne” tab that is made together with the patch as one piece. The “Airborne” lettering nearly fills the tab, which is a diagnostic trait of this Type 7 patch. The patch shows textbook construction including the typical wartime type cut edge and does not glow under UV light. The reverse of the patch shows some marks in pink and purple ink; these marks are not visible from the front. The overall condition of the patch is excellent. It does not appear to have ever been used, and shows only very minor age toning, and no damage. This is a great representative example of the 101st Airborne patch shoulder sleeve insignia, perhaps the most iconic US Army sleeve patch of WWII.


Historical Description: Shoulder sleeve insignia in the US Army dates back to 1918. Some units going into battle in WWI were authorized to wear a distinctive patch indicating their unit assignment, on the left shoulder of their uniform. By WWII, all army groups, field armies, corps and divisions had their own unique insignia. Many of these were made with bright colors and eye-catching designs. Different units had different distinctive patches beyond the shoulder sleeve insignia patch; there were also enameled pins, patches worn on pockets of jump uniforms or on the exterior of flight jackets, as well as cap patches that were worn on the overseas cap. Soldiers who deployed to combat zones, and later transferred to different units, were permitted to wear the insignia of the unit they belonged to during wartime, on the right sleeve of the uniform. It is possible to date US Army insignia by looking at design and construction details. Patches from WWII and before were embroidered on sheets of fabric that were then cut into individual patches, resulting in a distinctive “cut edge” as opposed to having a “merrowed edge” that has stitching that wraps around the edge of the patch on all edges. The color and appearance of the bobbin thread on the reverse of the patch can also indicate age. During WWII, as the war progressed, unit patches were also made in England, Italy, France and Germany. Hand-embroidered bullion patches were worn by some Army personnel, and some printed patches were also produced. Some original WWII-era US Army insignia remains extremely common today, while other variants are very scarce, and can be extremely desirable collectibles.


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