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  #1  
Old 05-04-16, 06:46 AM
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Default Special Wireless / Signals patches - WW2

Can anyone help positively identify the two Australian badges shown here? The badges turn up from members of 1 Canadian Special Wireless Group that served in Darwin, NT in 1945/46. They have turned up together from multiple veterans so the question is, what it their meaning?

They are likely related to the Signals Intelligence and Admin/regional Formations that the unit worked for in Australia but I thought I'd ask instead of making assumptions....

Thanks for any assistance!
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Old 05-04-16, 07:31 AM
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Hi Joe,

I think Bill A has previously raised this question, same colour patches.

The top colour patch is for Aust Army Service Corps units allotted to 1 Aust Corps 1940-1946 and for a time in the Middle East was worn in a variety of positions, point down, point to front, etc, to denote individual AASC units in that formation.

However, for a brief period in 1940 this patch was also worn by 1 Aust Corps Signals, possibly with a slightly different shade of blue. It was replaced in February 1940 but no doubt by the time replacement stocks were available some sub-units had proceeded abroad and wore it for an extended period. There is no reason however to assume that it was still being worn by the time this unit had returned to Australia in 1942.

The second colour patch was the standard Aust Corps of Signals design approved for all signals units in late 1944 regardless of formation identity. Replacement was not immediate but priority of issue was to units which did not have an authorised Signals patch, and to new reinforcements joining signals units. 1st Canadian Special Wireless Group would have fallen into the former category.

I am not certain why the Group would have also been issued a colour patch for the AASC, particularly given that this patch was also superseded by a standard patch for all AASC units in February 1945.

Do you have photos of both patches in wear?

Cheers, Keith
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Old 05-04-16, 07:34 AM
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In fact I am surprised they were allowed to wear the grey background. This distinguished personnel who had volunteered for unrestricted active service outside Australia.

Keith
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Old 05-04-16, 08:21 AM
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In the case of 1 Aust Army Corps was not the grey backing an integral part of the patch rather than an addition to indicate 2 AIF? I ask since the backing colour was mid green for 2 Aust Army Corps and scarlet for 3 Aust Army Corps. Is the lower patch that of the generic post VJ Day "new service colour patch" for all Aust Corps of Signals units? I'm confused.pom
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Old 05-04-16, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jackson View Post
In the case of 1 Aust Army Corps was not the grey backing an integral part of the patch rather than an addition to indicate 2 AIF? I ask since the backing colour was mid green for 2 Aust Army Corps and scarlet for 3 Aust Army Corps. Is the lower patch that of the generic post VJ Day "new service colour patch" for all Aust Corps of Signals units? I'm confused.pom
The grey background was initially part of the colour patch issued to the original 2nd AIF units and denoted the unit had been raised for active service abroad. In 1942, because AIF reinforcements were sent to any unit that required them, either AIF or Active CMF, there was a big clamour for distinction between AIF personnel and CMF (Militia/Territorial) personnel. The grey background became it, and thus it became a personal distinction rather than a unit distinction (there was also the AUSTRALIA shoulder title but even that was withdrawn, or attempted to be withdrawn, from AIF personnel at one stage).

100% of the members of the original 2nd AIF units wore grey backgrounds from 1942 because only AIF reinforcements could be posted to these units.

For the rest of the army between 0% and 100% of personnel could be wearing grey backgrounds in any one unit. Some units were raised from 1942 onwards from 100% of AIF volunteers, but the unit was still part of the Active CMF. The only concession was that where 75% or more of the members of an Active CMF unit were AIF volunteers, and from 1943, 65% or more of the authorised War Establishment, the unit title was suffixed by the addition of (AIF).

Also when 1 Aust Corps returned home some of it formed First Aust Army, i.e., HQRAA 1 Aust Corps was absorbed into HQ First Aust Army as RAA Staff, G Branch. A new HQRAA 1 Aust Corps was raised in Victoria as a unit of the Active Citizen Military Forces from various individuals posted in. Its colour patch did not originally have a grey background, in fact it was not redesignated HQRAA 1 Aust Corps (AIF) until late in 1942 when 75% or more of its members were AIF volunteers. HQ 1 Aust Corps became HQ First Aust Army, the new HQ 1 Aust Corps was formed by redesignation of HQ Southern Command, a CMF unit.

The AIF/CMF stuff should never have happened in the Second World War and it affected relations between the Regular Army and the CMF for years after the war. For instance most of the unit commanders when the CMF was reformed post WW2 were all ex-AIF. In some cases they refused to accept officers and NCOs in particular from the pre-war and wartime antecedents of the new units because, although those individuals had been AIF volunteers, they had been posted to Active CMF units. In some cases like 2 Aust Fd Regt (AIF) and 4 Aust Fd Regt (AIF), they had fired more rounds on operations than some of the 2nd AIF field regiments, but were still looked down on. A sad process and boiled down simply to poor management at the highest levels.

Now you are more confused, I know.

Yes, the bottom colour patch is the 1944 Arm of Service patch for AIF personnel of Aust Corps of Signals, worn into the early 1950s.

Cheers, Keith
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Old 05-04-16, 12:24 PM
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Sorry Keith but thanks. Bill had passed on information to me but I didn't realize this is where he got it! I found the connection with the Aust Army Service Corps strange and was seeking further information. I will have to dig deeper into the unit's reporting chain while in Australia to see if there is a logical connection.

No, I haven't seen pictures of what the soldiers had on their uniform. Official history states that the unit CO acquired the badges prior to the return sail to Canada and that the soldiers sewed them on enroute.

I recently found a reference to "400 pairs" of badges being purchased so that reignited my interest in finding out what the "pair" was. I may have previously conceded that it was pairs of the Signals arm of service patch and my 'triangle' was unrelated however Bill came across the same two badges together and so I feel more certain now that the "pair" was as shown in my photo.

Joe
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Old 19-04-16, 11:33 AM
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G'day Joe, Keith BC and others,

The second horozontal Sigs badge is on the uniform that my father was wearing when De Mobbed in November 1945 and on his slouch as well. He had been in line of communications sigs in Aust and in Port Morsby before being seconded to New Guinea Air Warning Wireless and spending 3 monthe with 3 other sigs and a couple of native boys behind jap lines, on top of a mountain over looking the Lea airstrip when it was occupied by the japs

Today I have been at the Sigs museum at Simpson barracks in Watsonia - a northern Melbourne suburb, where I volunteer. We have a board of Sigs colour patches in the foyer, the one that you show is marked as being "Corps of Signals 1945 - 50".

I hope that this helps

Regards

Phil.
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Old 19-04-16, 01:04 PM
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Clarification Phil, the rectangular patch or the triangular patch?
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Old 21-04-16, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill A View Post
Clarification Phil, the rectangular patch or the triangular patch?
Hi Bill

Sorry for the confusion, the rectangular patch is the Sigs patch, the triangular patch is not a sigs patch, it wasnt on the board at the sigs museum. And to be an Aussie WW 2 patch it would have to have a grey background.

I hope that this helps.

regards

Phil.
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