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Naval Amphibious Forces Shoulder Insignia

Gold embroidered patch on red field. depiction is eagle machine gun and anchor

Title: Naval Amphibious Forces Shoulder Patch
Accession #: NHHC 2018.052.001
Circa: 1940's
Medium: Fabric
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command

One World War II-era Naval Amphibious Forces shoulder patch. The patch has a domed top and a flat base. It is red embroidered with a gold depiction of an eagle, a Navy stock anchor, and a submachine gun. These three figures signify the close collaboration of air, sea, and ground units in amphibious warfare. 

The Naval Amphibious Forces shoulder patch was the first device of its kind authorized by the Navy. Similar in design and function to the shoulder insignia worn by the Army and Marine Corps, it identified the sailor as a member of the Naval Amphibious Forces. It was worn on the left shoulder above the rating badge.

The Naval Amphibious Forces were responsible for transporting soldiers and Marines to shore, often under heavy enemy fire. They were instrumental in the Pacific Theater of World War II, enabling US forces to land at Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, among many others. 

The Naval Amphibious Forces insignia was authorized in June 1944 to be worn by enlisted personnel who either:

  • Completed training in amphibious warfare at bases of the Amphibious Training Command
  • Were on duty with scouts and raiders, naval combat demolition units, beach jumpers, joint assault signal companies, beach battalions, standard landing craft units
  • Or were serving aboard the vessels: Landing Ship, Tank (LST), Landing Ship, Medium (LSM), Landing Craft, Support (LCS), Attack Cargo Ship (AKA), High Speed Transport (APD), Landing Ship, Infantry (Large) [LCI(L)], Landing Craft, Tank (LCT), Amphibious Command Ship (LCC), Attack Transport (APA), Landing Ship, Support (Large) [LCS(L)(3)], Landing Ship, Vehicle (LSV), Landing Ship, Dock (LSD), Amphibious Force Flagship (AGC).

By the end of 1944, three more shoulder patches received official approval for wear. These included:

  • Motor Torpedo Boat Personnel
  • Minecraft Personnel
  • Naval Construction Battalion Personnel (Seabees) 

In January 1947, the Navy revoked the authorization to wear the shoulder patch. 

Published: Wed Apr 29 14:55:26 EDT 2020