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WWI US Army Chevrons


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Mitter2k1

Here are a few of my chevrons that I had out and photographed prior to putting them away. All of these are from the World War I era and were used by the US Army. The rank structure of the time is one of the most confusing things I have ever seen as they used branch of service insignia on some of the ranks, while others such as infantry, cavalry, and field artillery did not once the soldier was promoted past Private First Class. I have some more stashed away in a frame that I will add later on as well unless I can find the old photos on my computer. 

I will try to explain these a little before I post the photo. During WWI, there were two types of uniforms being worn by the US Army. The wool uniform was worn overseas and in the trenches, while the cotton twill uniform was worn stateside primarily during the summer. This was due to the wool uniform being too hot to wear in the summer, especially in the south where heat and humidity would likely kill you if you wore wool outside for any extended period of time. So the Army being they way they were, there were matching chevrons to be worn on their respective uniforms. The main construction of these chevrons was either wool or felt and twill. However, sometimes the "proper" material chevron wasn't worn on the matching uniform. So twill patches sometimes ended up on wool uniforms and vice versa. It was more of a supply issue than anything and that was reflected with collar insignia as well. To further breakdown the designs, there are a number of different methods of construction done among chevrons. Wool can be broken down into the following- Felt chevrons or insignia on wool, embroidered on wool, felt on felt or a combination of felt and embroidered on wool or felt. Twill chevrons are either embroidered on twill or felt on twill. I will post a group photo of some below and hopefully I can explain them enough where everyone can understand what they are looking at.

Top Row, On the Left- Quartermaster Private First Class, Matching pair of facing Quartermaster PFC. These are likely pre-WWI as the Army did away with the rank being worn on both sleeves and went to the single one worn on the right arm. Cook PFC, Wagoner PFC, Coxswain. This was used by Coastal Artillery Companies

2nd Row, On the Left- Infantry PFC, Infantry PFC, Bandsman PFC, Aviation PFC, 2nd Class Gunner, 1st Class Gunner

3rd Row, On the Left- Engineer PFC, Red Honorable Discharge Chevron, Pink colored Honorable Discharge. I do not know why these are different colors as the pink discharge chevron is not faded. It came out of a uniform pocket after nearly 100 years, so fading isn't an issue with this. It may of been a supply issue and was made by a local company that did what they could with limited materials. Signal Corps Corporal, Signal Corps Sergeant, and Company Supply Sergeant.

4th Row, On the left- Ordnance Corporal, Mess Sergeant, Sergeant First Class x2, and finally Regimental Supply Sergeant.

Thanks for looking,

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...
Mitter2k1

Thank you Mav. I am working on getting the rest added, but this crazy thing called life always has other things for me to do and I get disctracted. Hahaha!

Mike

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Mitter2k1

Well my new camera is having some issues. I guess that is what I get for spending $600 on something that my wife will use more than I will. However, hope is not lost. I tossed my chevrons in the scanner and it did a better job than I could of hoped. So here they are. Some of these have been posted above, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a better image of them.

Starting with the top left

Aviation PFC, Bandsman PFC

Cavalry PFC, Cook

Coxswain (Coastal Artillery), Engineer PFC

PFC2.jpg

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Mitter2k1

Last ones. I have been working on completing a set of Quartermaster chevrons for a while and have stopped for the fact that the twill versions are hard to find unless you want to overpay for them. I have a couple in my collection including a really nice matching pair of PFC that are a bit fancier than normal.

First up are Quartermaster PFC. Top one is wool and the bottom is the fancy embroidered pair that face each other. These are on a greenish twill that dates them prior to WWI.

QMPFC.jpg

Next up is a set of Corporal chevrons on wool

QMCPL.jpg

Here are the sergeants. The ones with the wreath below would signify a Quartermaster Sergeant in the QMC while the other is a Sergeant in the QMC if that makes any sense.

QMSGT.jpg

Last up. The tan rank is for a Quartermaster Sergeant Senior Grade. The ones with the flat "rocker" is for a Sergeant First Class.

QMSGT2.jpg

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Mitter2k1

I hope everyone enjoys these. They are a really interesting area to collect and this isn't even half of what is out there. I will add a link below that shows all of the chevrons that are availble. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. 

Thanks,

Mike

 

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gregkrenzelok/veterinary%20corp%20in%20ww1/WW1%20Army%20Insignia%20Identification.html

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Mitter2k1
23 minutes ago, Lenny said:

Impressive.. :)

Thanks Lenny. It has been a ton of fun collecting these and eventually I will get into some of the rarer ones like the electrician rates.

-Mike

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