SSI - Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

The first cloth unit insignia originated at the end of World War One and were authorized in 1920. From 1930 to 1966, most unit patches were machine embroidered in color threads on a tan cotton backing ('flat edge'). After 1966, regulation unit insignia were manufactured with a tick border to prevent unraveling ('merrow edge'). During WW2 the Army ordered most of its cloth insignia from civilian companies, but it also produced some of its own. Thes patches can be told apart by their distinctive olive drab border, an olive drab thread being also visible in the weave on the back of the insignia. Many patches were also procured locally in Europe and they offer a great variety of materials, colors and designs.

Shoulder Sleeve Insignia were worn at the top of the left sleeve, 1/2 inch below the shoulder seam. Unit patches were sewn on the wool service coat or Ike Jacket, the wool or cotton shirt (worn on its own), the wool overcoat and various field jackets. SSI were not worn on the fatigue uniform. As of 1944, a veteran being assigned to different unit could continue to wear the patch of its former combat unit ('Combat patch') on the right sleeve.

You can wander through my collection of SSI by following the various links below. The collection consists of insignia dating back to the WW1 until WW2 period. It is quite obvious that I try to get 100% original items into my collection and as far as I am concerned following items are original. But off course there are far greater SSI-experts so if you do find any fault, just as in any other part of this website, just let me know.