Friday, February 18, 2011

U.S. Military Shoulder Patches of the United States Armed Forces

I picked up a fantastic reference book yesterday while I was down on Water Street at the William James Bookseller book store trading in some books for credit.  (There goes the credit!).

U.S. Military Shoulder Patches of the United States Armed Forces 3rd Edition, copyright 1981.

This book is a pre-internet reference book of all the US military shoulder patches used from WW1 through the 1970's, and includes not only the military, but also R.O.T.C., Civil Air Patrol, and NASA patches.  It is laid out in a great format with glossy group photos of actual patches and a list below the photo to identify them.  The book is spiral bound and published by the small independent publisher of M.C.N. Press of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The book was written by Jack Britton and George Washington Jr..

I have found the internet to be one of the most amazing research resources ever, and it has enabled me to learn about, document, and research so many of the items in my collection, but I have discovered that it does have its limitations when trying to identify an unknown patch, button, pin, etc.  With a printed book like this patch book, I can just flip through the pages, and scan the photos, until I spot the patch......... then I can go to the internet and find more in depth information on the item.  A book like this is like a locksmith's book of key codes.  Once you have the code, you can unlock the vault.  In this case the vault is the internet, and the "codes" let me find and access the addresses!

I would highly recommend this book and I noticed that copies are available on and most likely on eBay as well.  Now I'm inspired to start digging out that pile of old patches and see what I can identify! Stay tuned..........

1 comment:

DW said...

I think you are a very good researcher, my be your next vocation.