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Collar Brass with Backing


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George, these are Army branch insignia (worn on service jacket lapels) from WW2 and post-WW2 era.

From left to right: Women's Army Corps (WAC), Quartermaster Corps, Tank Destroyer Corps.

The colored discs are similar to the infantry blue (branch color) disc worn by enlisted infantry soldiers behind their cross-rifles branch insignia.  I know the infantry got their blue discs in the 1950s; so, other branches could have as well.  However, only the infantry are now authorized to wear branch color discs behind their insignia as an authorized distinction to honor the unique role of the infantryman. (Similar to the blue shoulder cord worn by all infantrymen.)

I don't know if the other branches were actually authorized and lost the privilege of wearing branch colored discs or if these are "unofficial".

The QM disc is definitely post-WW2 50s vintage due to its domed shape.  The TD units were disbanded in 1945-46; so, that disc is probably WW2 vintage.  WAC lasted until 1970s; so, not sure about that disc, but probably 40s/50s.

I Googled branch colors and those on your discs do not match what came up for those branches:

WAC: Old Gold and Moss Green - the one in your post appears "red"

QM: Buff (sort of a tan) - the one in your post appears "yellow"

TD: Gold and black - the one in your post appears "green"

PS: And yes, these colors would be the same for the piping on the overseas cap.

Edited by IrishGunner
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I found a reference specifically about the QM disc.  It states this domed type with an "unauthorized buff enamel edge" was popular late in the Korean War and immediately afterwards. The reference is "Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms" By William K. Emerson. A "preview" with many of the pages visible online at Google books.

The infantry blue disc was authorized specifically in 1952 and that same reference suggests other branches began to wear unofficial brass with their branch colors. 

Curiously though, Tank Destroyer as a branch ended in 1947.  I saw somewhere else that "green" was for the Armor Center; although "yellow" - the cavalry's color - became the Armor branch color at some point.

 

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If you browse the sellers linked through Google books, you'll find one seller (not me or anyone I know - it's a national book retailer) offering the book at $49.95.  That seems reasonable to me for an excellent reference of over 600 pages, but then again, my budget right now couldn't even handle $4.95.  Cheers.

Edited by IrishGunner
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