The rare and the very rare

Yardstick

Well-Known Member
2 more CBI multi-piece leather patches today. First up is the 432nd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion. This is supposedly one of the rarest patches amongst collectors with no more than 20 originally having been made. Having said that, since I first read about it, at least 4 more have appeared on the net (make that 5 - just found another one!). Anyway it's an interesting patch that, seems to have been made out of offcuts from a bunch of handbags. But it' certainly falls into the colourful end of the spectrum. My one (left), as with the original (right) is all pebbly goat, with painted and stitched detail.
Image2.jpg


Next is a properly rare patch - 91st FS (P-47 era). In almost 30 years of researching patches, I have only ever come across two examples of this one. Again as with the original (right), my version uses a mixture of smooth and pebbly goatskin, with detailing in black ink.
Image3.jpg
 
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ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Unusual for a 'leg' unit to have a jacket patch like that. Have you seen any pics of it attached to a jacket? Thinking M-41 or tanker...
 

Yardstick

Well-Known Member
Unusual for a 'leg' unit to have a jacket patch like that. Have you seen any pics of it attached to a jacket? Thinking M-41 or tanker...


There is wear and stitch holes on 2 out of the 6 leather versions I have pictures of. The other is uncut silk embroidered, so also never used on a jacket. Having said that I'd estimate that more than 50% of the CBI multi-piece patches I have seen are un-stitched. Many may have been bought as souvenirs and ended up in scrap books but I also heard a story that back in the '70s a number of patch collectors toured the tailors of Karachi & Calcutta etc buying up all the NOS patches left over from the war. If that is true, it would explain the very good condition of many of the examples that appear on the market.

You do occasionally see a rear echelon patch on a jacket, even an A-2 (like the 3rd Air Depot below) but they are the exception. However, it was not uncommon for these units to have emblems (see CBI-History.com) and most of those appear as patches. It seems logical to assume that some of these found their way onto cloth jackets or privately / 'alternatively procured' regulation leather flight jackets.

3rd Air Depot (4).jpg
 
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ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
There is wear and stitch holes on 2 out of the 6 leather versions I have pictures of. The other is uncut silk embroidered, so also never used on a jacket. Having said that I'd estimate that more than 50% of the CBI multi-piece patches I have seen are un-stitched. Many may have been bought as souvenirs and ended up in scrap books but I also heard a story that back in the '70s a number of patch collectors toured the tailors of Karachi & Calcutta etc buying up all the NOS patches left over from the war. If that is true, it would explain the very good condition of many of the examples that appear on the market.

You do occasionally see a rear echelon patch on a jacket, even an A-2 (like the 3rd Air Depot below) but they are the exception. However, it was not uncommon for these units to have emblems (see CBI-History.com) and most of those appear as patches. It seems logical to assume that some of these found their way onto cloth jackets or privately / 'alternatively procured' regulation leather flight jackets.

View attachment 73615
Very similar to the Wright Field patch.
 

EMBLEMHUNTER

Well-Known Member
2 more CBI multi-piece leather patches today. First up is the 432nd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion. This is supposedly one of the rarest patches amongst collectors with no more than 20 originally having been made. Having said that, since I first read about it, at least 4 more have appeared on the net (make that 5 - just found another one!). Anyway it's an interesting patch that, seems to have been made out of offcuts from a bunch of handbags. But it' certainly falls into the colourful end of the spectrum. My one (left), as with the original (right) is all pebbly goat, with painted and stitched detail.
View attachment 73601

Next is a properly rare patch - 91st FS (P-47 era). In almost 30 years of researching patches, I have only ever come across two examples of this one. Again as with the original (right), my version uses a mixture of smooth and pebbly goatskin, with detailing in black ink.
View attachment 73602
Not sure if this is an original WW2 patch, and I don't recall where online I found it ,but here's another "variation" of it
91st Fighter Squadron (6) - Copy.jpg
 

Yardstick

Well-Known Member
Not sure if this is an original WW2 patch, and I don't recall where online I found it ,but here's another "variation" of it
91st Fighter Squadron (6) - Copy.jpg
To me that looks like an embroidered copy of a leather multi-piece patch. Although the image is v. small, the fact that the quirks and errors found in the leather versions are also replicated in the embroidered version i.e. bent left wing, distorted gun fire on right wing, leads me to be suspicious. Also as the 91st converted to the P-47 in theatre, it's almost un-heard to see a wool-felt embroidered patch for a 14th AAF unit. My guess would be that this is an image of an 'Old Club Badges' repro.
 
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