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US WW1 badge?


Gunner Bailey
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I'm rationising my militaria collection at present, rather than hire another aircraft hanger for it all (joke).

Today I found this badge. I'm trying to remember how I got it but in 40 years of collecting it's a struggle sometimes.

The badge is quite well aged and shows 2 crossed P14 rifles (I think). My first thought were Home Guard, but it's unlikely a Home Guard platoon would produce such a badge. Could it be US WW1 vintage? I know the US 5th Division sign is a red triangle but maybe someone can shed some light on this for me.

Mods - If it's not WW1 then I'm happy for the thread to be deleted when this is proven rather than take up server space..

Here's a photo.

Gunner Bailey

post-8629-1193168970.jpg

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I can't give you an exact date for the badge, but I am quite sure that the number '5' refers to the '5th Infantry Regiment' rather than the '5th Infantry Division'.

Between 1917 and 1957, the basic administrative and tactical unit of the US infantry was a three-battalion regiment on the Continental (i.e. French or German) model. That is, under normal circumstances, the three battalions of the regiment were located in the same place and fought under the direction of the regimental headquarters. In addition to its three numbered battalions, the regiment had a number of specialized companies (i.e. machinegun, headquarters, service, 'howitzer' etc) that varied from one period to the next.

In conversation and informal writing, the word 'regiment' was usually omitted from the names of these units. Thus, one was much more likely to hear '5th Infantry' than '5th Infantry Regiment'. (This was true for other arms. That is why one is more likely to see references to 'Custer and the 7th Cavalry' than 'Custer and the 7th Cavalry Regiment'.)

After the US Army replaced most of its Continental-style regiments with a system that bore a vague resemblance to the arrangement used by the infantry of the British Army (regiments composed of a variable number of farflung battalions), this old practice led to much confusion. Thus, one sometimes sees (particularly in accounts of the world wars) the '_ Infantry Division' referred to as the '_ Infantry'.

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Bruce,

Thanks for that information. It certainly looks WW1 ere when you compare it to a button on this website

http://members.aol.com/Custermen85/Units/Uniforms.htm

See Branch insignia disks nearly at the end of the webpage. Very similar to the disk shown for F Company 20th Regiment.

Gunner Bailey

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Hoplophile has it right. That would be 5th Infantry (Regiment). That method of identifying regimental assignment (placement of the number) is still used today as an option (unless the command requires it). The rifles themselves are different today (That cited website has the old and the new) and, as said before, the WW1 exemplar looks more like what you have displayed here. There's a lot of detail in your example which I don't see today (looking right at one as we speak).

Mike Morrison

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Thanks Mike

You have a modern equivalent of this badge?

Is the 5th still in existence?

Regards

Gunner Bailey

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Yes, the 5th Infantry still exists. The current regimental system of the US Army is described here.

Hi Bruce

Do you know where they are based? Do they have a museum? It would be good to check it with them.

Gunner Bailey

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Gunner Bailey You'd be hard pressed to find an Infantry Regimental museum, but you might get some satisfaction from the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Phone:(706) 545-2958. Or write to them at Building 396, Baltzell Avenue

Fort Benning, GA 31905-5593. You are more apt to find historcal data in a divisional museum or through the Center for Military History, which is the same site as the link above.This http://www.army.mil/cmh/html/forcestruc/li.../inf/0005in.htm

will tell you that they were constituted 1808 and were assigned to the 17th Division in 1918, which, as I read it did not go overseas until it was over. (See here: http://www.bobcat.ws/history.shtml)

I don't have any modern Infantry insignia to hand, just a lot of Artillery stuff.

I hope this helps.

Mike Morrison

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Gunner Bailey You'd be hard pressed to find an Infantry Regimental museum, but you might get some satisfaction from the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Phone:(706) 545-2958. Or write to them at Building 396, Baltzell Avenue

Fort Benning, GA 31905-5593. You are more apt to find historcal data in a divisional museum or through the Center for Military History, which is the same site as the link above.This http://www.army.mil/cmh/html/forcestruc/li.../inf/0005in.htm

will tell you that they were constituted 1808 and were assigned to the 17th Division in 1918, which, as I read it did not go overseas until it was over. (See here: http://www.bobcat.ws/history.shtml)

I don't have any modern Infantry insignia to hand, just a lot of Artillery stuff.

I hope this helps.

Mike Morrison

Thanks very much Mike. I'll follow that through. As this is probably the only piece of US WW1 memorabelia I have (and is slightly out of place in my collection), if I find a US museum that would like it I'll donate it to them.

Gunner Bailey

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