Product Description: This is a beautiful, original example of the US Army Airborne Infantry Parachute Cap Patch, worn on the overseas caps of all parachute-borne US Airborne Infantry troopers, until it was replaced by the “Paraglide” combined parachute/glider patch in August, 1944. This pattern, with an embroidered parachute on a blue backing, is regarded as an early type. It has a parachute emblem that is embroidered in cotton thread on a textbook light blue backing, made of a thin material with a twill weave. This US Army Airborne Infantry cap patch shows some very minor glue and paper remnants on the back, possibly from having been pasted into a scrapbook at one time. There are no stitch holes or any other indication that this patch was ever actually used, and this US Army Airborne Infantry Parachute cap patch remains in excellent condition, showing only very minor age toning, and no damage. A desirable, unquestionably wartime made piece of US Army Airborne regalia.
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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