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History of the Indian Head 1914-1945

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BerichtGeplaatst: 14 Mei 2009 7:42    Onderwerp: History of the Indian Head 1914-1945 Reageer met quote

United States Army - 2nd Infantry Division - 1914-1945
Members of the 2nd Infantry Division have been wearers of the famed Indian Head Patch in two wars. This insignia had its origin during World War One as the identifying insignia on the vehicles of the Division Supply Trains. The Commanding Officer of the trains held a contest in March, 1918, to select a distinctive identifying symbol for use upon the vehicles after he had seen the vehicles of adjacent French units decorated in this manner. Through his adjutant he sent out a memorandum authorizing prizes for the best designs submitted, with a first prize of forty francs. The winning insignia, which obtained the final approval of Division Headquarters for use upon supply train vehicles in April, 1918, was the striking red and blue Indian head, super imposed upon a white star. The head covered the reentrant angles of the star and exposed only the points. Maj Gen Omar Bundy, the Division Commander, and his Chief of Staff, Col Preston Brown, later Maj Gen Preston Brown, were riding in a command car one day in April when Gen Bundyís eye was caught by the insignia emblazoned on a truck. According to a letter from Maj Gen Brown written some time later, Gen Bundy stopped the driver, asked the meaning of the device, and was told by the driver that it enabled him to find his vehicle in the dark. The letter does not bring out that the insignia had been authorized and was probably coming into use on all the vehicles of the trains but at that time and at any rate, the Gen and his Chief of Staff promptly sent their cars to the area to have the insignia painted upon them. In this manner the Indian Head became associated with the 2nd Infantry Division as its identifying insignia some time before it became the standard shoulder patch so proudly worn by men of the Division.

In October, 1918, the CG of the American Expeditionary Force (CG AEF) (Gen John J Pershing) requested units to furnish insignia for approval. Maj Gen Lejeune, USMC, in reply to the request, submitted the red and blue Indian head upon a white star as the insignia of the 2nd Marine Division. The head was contained within the reentrant angles of the star in this design, the whole contained within a circle three and one-half inches in diameter. As the Indian head in the representation was somewhat crudely constructed, it was designated that the St Gaudens lndian, in use on the five-dollar gold piece, be substituted.
On November 14, 1918, an order was published by Headquarters 2nd Division announcing that the insignia as described had been made official for the Division. The cloth background for the insignia was of varying shapes and colors, designating the major unit to which the individual wearer belonged and the subordinate unit. The background chosen for the Divisionís Headquarters was the black shield.
In April 1933, Maj Gen Preston Brown, taking command of the Division, abolished the differentiation of all the backgrounds in use and made the black shield official for all elements of the 2nd Division.

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