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Remembered Today:

US Enlisted Collar Disks


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That is a very nice tunic. There is a thread on US uniforms I started if you would like to share it there. 4th Gordons (Chris) and myself have posted a number of items from our collections and are always glad to see uniforms from other members.

Here is a link if you wish to add it there.

Thanks,

Mike

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=202377&page=2#entry2019432

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A nice M1918 coat that. Out of interest does it have a tag in it? (usually stitched inside the front skirt of the jacket under the lining.

Chris

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Chris, does that coat look forest green to you? Maybe it's the lighting but I'm seeing USMC green.

Mike

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I think that's the lighting/ white balance on the camera Mike.

Chris

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Murrough - can you post them in the uniforms thread Mike linked to above?

Chris

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Here is another collar disk recently added to the collection and the meaning of this one is a mystery to me. I haven't located it in my copy of The Collar Disk Story. But what is curious is the method of attachment. The back has two prongs that would be inserted into the hole in the collar. An oval shaped washer is slipped over them and then bent over. I will have to do some asking around about the specifics on this disk as I have seen an artillery disk with this method of attachment. But I will add any information as I receive it.

Thanks,

Mike M.

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  • 2 months later...

I have seen a picture of a few Collar Disks that are supposedly rare. I have no idea if they are or not. I don't have a picture so I will try to describe them as best as I can.

This one had five-or-six lightning-bolts coming out from the bottom of the disk. It was smaller than the regular collar disks.

This one looked to be the same size as the more common ones. However I believe that it had an Indian Headdress on it, but I may be wrong.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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What I believe you are describing is the electrician/radioman disk. These seem to be pretty scarce and can probably be found on a number of dealer sites with a little looking. I took a pic of an example from The Collar Disk Story (1907-1999). This is an excellent reference and it is full of photos of rare and hard to find disks. On the subject of the smaller sized ones, they kind can be difficult to find and can bring a few dollars more than their full sized counterparts. I am not too sure the other disk you are describing. If you can locate a photo of one, I would like to see it. The subject of WWI collar disks is quite large and a collector could make a hobby of them alone. If you are interested in them and wish to start collecting, the book above is the bible on the subject. The same author (L. Albert Scipio II) also did another book titled E.M. Collar Insignia, 1907-1926, which is dedicated to the earlier disks.

But I hope I answered one of your questions and wish I could answer the other.

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here are a few more added to the collection. The disks are all infantry and have the company letters, L, HQ, 1st Regiment Co.K and the last is an Officer's 140th Coastal Artillery insignia. I have been attempting to acquire all of the infantry company letter disks, and Supply or S, has been the most elusive so far.

Thanks for looking,

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...
ErsteWeltkreig_TheGreatWar

I know that this is probably a dumb question, but is it possible that in the field that some soldiers only wear two U.S. collar discs instead of an Engineer, MG, Infantry, etc.?

Also, is a U.S. Tank Corps collar disc rare?

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I know that this is probably a dumb question, but is it possible that in the field that some soldiers only wear two U.S. collar discs instead of an Engineer, MG, Infantry, etc.?

Also, is a U.S. Tank Corps collar disc rare?

During the war I do not know of that being done. But post war yes. I have seen original untouched uniforms with 2 US disks on the tunic. And with a couple of them the branch of service (infantry, engineers, etc) worn on the overseas cap. I suspect that the soldier opted to wear that on the hat instead of the US disk thus the repetition on the tunic.

The tank corps disks can be rare, but in any case they are highly desirable. They command a premium at times and collectors need to wary of fakes when seeking them out.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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ErsteWeltkreig_TheGreatWar

Thanks for the help Mike!

-Seth

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  • 4 months later...

It has been a while since I have added anything to this thread and thought that now would be a good time to catch up.

First photo, starting at the top left US Enlisted, Engineers Company B, and Field Artillery Batteries A, B, HQ (Headquarters).

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Next up US, US National Guard, US, Texas State Guard, US Reserves. Bottom Row- Infantry, Infantry S (Supply Company), Infantry Machine Gun Co., 2nd Infantry Regiment, Co. M, and Motor Trans. Corps.

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Thanks for looking,

Mike

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello everyone. Here are a few more additions I have made in the past month.

First up is a matched and marked pair of US and Coastal Artillery collar disks made by US SPECIALTY CO. NEW YORK.

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Next we have are some variations of the Motor Transportation insignia. The smooth and knobby tire variations are screwback enlisted disks. The silver tire version is an officer's insignia that has been known to be worn by enlisted soldiers due to the fancier styling.

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-Mike

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Here is a variation on the Quartermaster disk that has the key and sword reversed. There is also a right facing eagle that is an earlier version that was used when they had the standing-falling collar that had a US and branch of service collar disk on each side. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate one of this variation.

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Last one for now. Here is an Army Band collar disk. There isn't much to say about it except that they can be difficult to find with any numbers or lettering.

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Thanks for looking and as always, feel free to ask any questions or add photos of your own.

Mike

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here are a couple of photos of some officer's insignia that I recently acquired. The first photo is a shot of my 1st Lieutenant Cavalry officers uniform and how the insignia was worn on the collar. This was duplicated on both sides of the collar and for the sake of simplicity, I will just show the side that is not missing the lieutenant's bar.

In the second photo is a pair of Field Clerk Adjutant officer insignia. Or it may be Adjutant Field Clerk. I am not too sure how this works with the 2 different branches of service being represented on one device. I would assume that the Field Clerk (Crossed Quills) takes some sort of precedence over the Adjutant's shield since it is added below. So if anyone knows for sure, chime in and let me know. Here are a couple of photos for you guys to enjoy.

Thanks,

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone,

I have gone back and read over this thread and realized I have not offered much in-depth information that I’ve learned since I began collecting. I will attempt to cover as much as possible on the timeline starting with the right side organizational disks and then moving to the left side branch of service disks. All of this information can be found in The Collar Disk Story (1907-1999) by L. Albert Scipio II. If at any time you have a question, feel free to ask and I will try to answer it as clearly and concisely as possible.

There are 5 organizational types of right side collar disks that were used to show the origin of enlisted troops during WWI. Within these five disks, there are numerous variations that will reflect the 3 changes that took place from 1917 to 1918. The following abbreviations that were used show us where troops had originated in the organization of the Army.

US- Regular Army

USV- Volunteer Army (Individuals)

USR- US Reserves

USNG- US National Guard (In Federal Service)

USNA- US National Army (Draftees)

At the onset of WWI, there were only four organizations of the US Army that troops could have been drawn from- US Regular Army, US Volunteers, US Reserves, and the US Army National Guard. The early National Guard disks used an abbreviation for their state of origin until the regulations were changed and the supply was used up. This led to the creation of the generic USNG that simplified the disks these troops were using instead of the before mentioned state disks. The creation of the US National Army and its subsequent disk was added a few months after the US entered the war and its introduction will be covered with one of the three major changes that affected the style and function of the insignias being used.

These are the three important changes that took place within the regulations of the collar disks starting on August 15, 1917 and ending May 7, 1918.

SR 42, August 15, 1917- This first change simplified the collar disks to 4 basic right side styles and added the US National Army (USNA) disk. The USNA and USNG disks were done in a script style during this period.

Change #1 to SR 42, December 29, 1917- This simplified the appearance of the disks and added the use of unit numbers on these right side collar disks. Primarily this was done with the US (Regular Army) disk. While there was no mention in Change #1 that specifies unit numbers on any disk other than the US disk, there are numerous examples of USNA and USNG disks in this style. Also change #1 to SR42 changed the appearance of the USV, USR, USNG, and USNA disks. These disks now had the letters V, R, NG, and NA superimposed in a box over the letters US instead of continuing with the style that was previously encountered.

Change #4 SR42 on May 7, 1918 -The US Volunteers disk was eliminated as they had been reassigned to other units by this time. There is no other information on this change.

Here is a visual timeline that I put together with examples in my collection and, unfortunately, it is incomplete. I will soon follow this up with the left side branch of service disks and their use with an afterword on the overall use of collar disks.

Thanks,

Mike

Photo-

1st Row Starting on the Left- US Regular Army, US Regular Army SR42, US Regular Army 1st (Insert Unit) Change #1 SR42

2nd Row From the Left- Texas State Guard (National Guard) August 1917, US National Guard (Script Style) SR42, US National Guard Change #1 SR42

3rd Row From the Left- US National Army SR42, US National Army Change #1 SR42

4th Row- US Reserves Change #1 SR42

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  • 5 months later...
trenchtrotter

Re the above disks, is it common to see them worn on the overseas field cap?

TT

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Yes, it is common to find both US and "Branch of Service" disks on caps.

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re the above disks, is it common to see them worn on the overseas field cap?

TT

Sorry for my lack of reply. Chris is correct, both the US and Branch of Service disks were worn on the overseas caps. Now to figure out why all the topics I was following suddenly stopped being followed.

-Mike

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  • 2 months later...

Thank you John. That was the wake up call I needed to update this thread with a number of interesting disks I have acquired since my last post.

-Mike

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Sorry I haven't been very active for the last couple of months, I have been hitting some research pretty hard and trying to make headway while hitting numerous bumps in the road. Anyways, here are a number of interesting disks I have added to my collection that I thought I would share with you guys.

Here is an assortment of US right side disks. I will start with the top left and work my way across and explain what they are or what makes the unique.

US- Made by Whitehead & Hoag, marked on the back of the nut.

German made US Button Style disk- This is probably my scarcest disk so far. Usually these are seen in the gilt style used during the occupation. This on in particular is marked "EXTRA FEIN"

USNA- This one is more of a variation than anything. The letters are thinner than what I usually encounter.

USNA and USNG boxed versions

US14- Made by H-A Co. (Henderson-Ames) Kalamazoo, Michigan and marked on the nut.

US17- French made pinback version (Left one) Standard US made version with a nut (Right)

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And the backs of the US, German made US, US 14 and US 17

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