British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum

Recent Books by Forum Members

   

Go Back   British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum > South African Military and Police Insignia > Army

 Other Pages: Galleries, Links etc.
Glossary  Books by Forum Members     Canadian Pre 1914    CEF    CEF Badge Inscriptions   Canadian post 1920     Canadian post 1953     British Cavalry Badges     Makers' Marks    Pipers' Badges  Canadian Cloth Titles  Books  SEARCH
 
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 27-10-19, 04:47 PM
loupie1961 loupie1961 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,071
Default Odd combo of formation signs: 6th SAAD, 5th US Army

I have recently purchased a BD blouse badged to a Sargent Major of the South African Engineer Corps serving in the 6th South African Armoured Division but possibly seconded to the 5th US Army. The combination of formations insignie stitched to the BD blouse is rather odd, comprehensive the usual SAEC metal titles, overseas service orange tab, embroidered South Africa arc nationality titles and both 5th US Army and 6th SAAD flashes. What does not seem to make too much sense are the "South Africa" curved titles, quite redundant since the BD blouse does not lack other signs denoting the nationality of the wearer. Have you met this kind of occurrence before, gents? Thank you so much for your kind help!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SAEC_Combo_6th_SAAD_5th_Army_1.jpg (94.1 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg SAEC_Combo_6th_SAAD_5th_Army_2.jpg (88.7 KB, 60 views)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 27-10-19, 05:20 PM
54Bty's Avatar
54Bty 54Bty is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 5,542
Default

The US 5th Army SSI was awarded to those units that served with them in Italy.
I am sure chapter and verse will be posted soon.

Marc
__________________
I am still looking for the Army Unit sleeve badges from the Sultanate of Oman.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 27-10-19, 08:45 PM
loupie1961 loupie1961 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,071
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 54Bty View Post
The US 5th Army SSI was awarded to those units that served with them in Italy.
I am sure chapter and verse will be posted soon.

Marc
Thank you Marc, this is an occurrence I had overlooked, indeed!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 28-10-19, 03:55 AM
Milmed's Avatar
Milmed Milmed is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 1,226
Default

Just a gut feel but that looks like a made up uniform. The South Africa arm title is definitely out of place on that uniform. I hope you did not pay too much for it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 28-10-19, 05:08 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,420
Default

Agree with Milmed. I don't remember seeing any uniforms both with The shoulder-strap title & red tab as well as a national title.
Cheers,
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 28-10-19, 11:18 AM
loupie1961 loupie1961 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,071
Default

Hello everybody! thank you for the feedback. As a matter of fact I understand and share your doubts, still I am not sure the BD blouse has been made up. I mean, it looks like some kind of come back item, rather than a deliberate fake. Who would add the arc nationality titles on purpose, knowing that they would have been redundant? On the other hand, could an engineer seconded to the 5th US Army have wanted to add some titles that would explain openly his national belonging to the usually quite ignorant GIs? The BD blouse did not come alone, but in a lot (that could have put together) comprehensive of a 1940 dated SA MK II helmet, a pair of 1945 dated SA made battledress trousers, Canadian webbing belt, suspenders, revolver holster and compass pouch. So in the event the price paid for the BD blouse is balanced by the effective value of the other items in the lot (this is the second time only I have seen a pair of South African made BD trousers in almost 40 years of collecting).
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28-10-19, 11:30 AM
loupie1961 loupie1961 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,071
Default

I should have added that the BD blouse sports also two different Skill at arms forearm embroidered flashes: Light Machine Gun and VG (I guess Vickers Gun?). That's also quite odd for a sapper, isn't it?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SAEC_Combo_6th_SAAD_5th_Army_Skills.jpg (93.9 KB, 29 views)

Last edited by loupie1961; 28-10-19 at 03:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28-10-19, 12:52 PM
Milmed's Avatar
Milmed Milmed is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 1,226
Default

With those skill at arms badges it looks all the more that it is made up.. either to deceive or out of pure ignorance. You may need to look at contemporary photographs to see whether 6SAAD actually wore the American SSI, even though it was awarded to the unit. I have only seen it on ephemera but not on uniforms.

From what I am able to see, very little insignia was worn by 6SAAD troops on battledress uniform. Mostly only rank stripes were sewn onto the battledress jacket. Unit insignia was worn on a khaki drill slip on which showed the Div insignia, orange tab and unit shoulder title. The only instance I have seen where the Div insignia was sewn directly onto the jacket was in case of officers as there rank pips replaced the Div insignia on the khaki slip on shoulder boards.

Last edited by Milmed; 28-10-19 at 01:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 28-10-19, 01:14 PM
manchesters's Avatar
manchesters manchesters is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 5,835
Default

Interestingly I have never seen the VG in wreath skill at arms badge before.

Its clearly in SA colours but is it common over there?

regards
__________________
Simon Butterworth

Manchester Regiment Collector
Rank, Prize & Trade Badges
British & Commonwealth Artillery Badges
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 28-10-19, 03:34 PM
loupie1961 loupie1961 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,071
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milmed View Post
With those skill at arms badges it looks all the more that it is made up.. either to deceive or out of pure ignorance. You may need to look at contemporary photographs to see whether 6SAAD actually wore the American SSI, even though it was awarded to the unit. I have only seen it on ephemera but not on uniforms.

From what I am able to see, very little insignia was worn by 6SAAD troops on battledress uniform. Mostly only rank stripes were sewn onto the battledress jacket. Unit insignia was worn on a khaki drill slip on which showed the Div insignia, orange tab and unit shoulder title. The only instance I have seen where the Div insignia was sewn directly onto the jacket was in case of officers as there rank pips replaced the Div insignia on the khaki slip on shoulder boards.
I agree: usually it was officers BDs that had the 6th SAAD sewn to the BD blouse, because of the epaulette slip ons hosting the rank pips. Just wondering what could possibly make one to put together so many insignia on a single BD blouse that have almost no relation to each other....
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-11-19, 06:42 AM
milhistry milhistry is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 304
Default

I've occasionally seen 6 Division flash in that position - NMR and DLI members IIRC. They weren't officers either but agree more common to see the slip ons.
The South Africa titles were apparently by some SA troops but usually by troops that were not part of SA Division eg independent SAEC and SACS outfits etc. To see both all on the same jacket does seem odd. Could be that a box of bits of different eras or people were made up by someone who didnít know any better or for theatre purposes or by someone trying to make a quick buck. The individual items are great though.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-11-19, 10:55 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,420
Default

Hi Loupie
I suppose you can never rule out that it may be one of those original anomalies. It might be worth carefully picking off one of the badges and seeing if the material underneath is still dark which could indicate the badge has been there since new?
Cheers,
Alex
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 13-11-19, 07:24 PM
Madziro Madziro is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Basingstoke UK
Posts: 488
Default

I agree with the other contributors to this thread and believe that this tunic is made up by somebody for whatever reason. There is no point in wearing the embroidered titles when he has metal titles that indicate that he is a South African in any case. It is highly unlikely that a man in this unit would have qualified for such proficiency badges either.

The attached is an original BD blouse from the 6th SA Armd Div. I have the man's records and as an aside, attache them for interest. He was a signaller and was wounded at some point.

My late father was in the SA Corps of Signals in Italy during the war. As has been previously said there were SA signallers and engineers in Italy who were not part of the 6th SA Armd Div. They were all attached to the British 8th Army. It was these soldiers who were issued with South Africa shoulder titles and while the shoulder titles on your BD blouse are original WW2 era the majority of SA soldiers in 8th Army had red embroidered titles. I attach images of my late fathers titles and 8th Army badges as an example as well as a photo of him in Italy wearing the 8th Army patches.

Completely separate to this I have a war time VG badge in the collection and post it for interest.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6 SA Armd Div bunny jacket Tvl Scots 1943.jpg (77.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 001.jpg (80.3 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 002.jpg (104.2 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 003.jpg (69.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 004.jpg (104.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 005.jpg (79.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg SD Wall on motor bike south Sangro Italy.jpg (58.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 8th Army (Dads badge) - North Africa, Italy, Austria.jpg (90.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg South Africa shoulder title embr red on khaki faded.jpg (29.4 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Vickers machine gunner.jpg (73.0 KB, 3 views)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 13-11-19, 07:26 PM
Madziro Madziro is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Basingstoke UK
Posts: 488
Default

Some examples of SA made cloth proficiency badges for interest.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bugler.jpg (70.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Gun Layer.jpg (78.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Machine gunner.jpg (77.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Mortar man.jpg (77.5 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Range taker.jpg (73.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Marksman.jpg (59.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Radio Operator.jpg (86.6 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Signaller.jpg (60.4 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Telephonist.jpg (72.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Vickers machine gunner.jpg (73.0 KB, 0 views)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 13-11-19, 08:55 PM
manchesters's Avatar
manchesters manchesters is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 5,835
Default

Thanks for showing the above badges.

Is the VG for 'Vickers Gunner' or not?

regards
__________________
Simon Butterworth

Manchester Regiment Collector
Rank, Prize & Trade Badges
British & Commonwealth Artillery Badges
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:22 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.