Jump to content

US Navy and Naval Hats Caps and Devices

Recommended Posts

Hi,  Anyone interested in US Naval headdress and insignia??  I am starting a thread on US Naval Headdress commencing with the US Coast Guard and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.  I confess to a limited knowledge on the subject of the Coast Guard so I would be most grateful for feed back especially when I get the description or ranks wrong - and I will!!  Thank you in advance.

Regards and best wishes  Michael R

Item 1 USCG Junior Officer's Summer pattern tan visor cap.  The cap device is of a very attractive bullion embroidered pattern comprising the US National Eagle in gold with the CG shield in silver over it's breast clutching a silver fouled anchor in a horizontal configuration.  This is the current standard device worn on both the visor (in full size) and garrison (in miniature) cap.  Note the cap band and device field are in a medium blue colour.

Item 2 Officer's Winter cap with white cover and blue/black cap band and device field.  The logic behind the two shades of blue is not known, at least by me!!  In this case the cap badge is finished in silver and gold finished metal.  This is a two part constructed badge which is held together and secured by a nut and bolt reverse fitting.

Item 3 A second Winter cap but with a bullion embroidered eagle, shield and anchor and again with blue/black cap band and badge field.  This is a far earlier cap than the previous items.





Edited by Michael R
Additional information
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for these.  The cap band and device backing for US Navy and Coast Guard caps were normally in black (mohair for the band.)   This may have changed for the USCG  when they shifted from Navy blue (i.e., black) to a lighter shade for their uniforms.  At one point mohair was listed as a strategic material, but I wouldn't want to speculate that it's because of the caps. 


In the States, we refer to the tan color as Khaki, although I realize that's a little different from the Brit understanding.

Edited by Hugh
Link to post
Share on other sites

Moving swiftly on, some visors worn in the ranks of Commander and Captain and Commodore?

Item 4 A senior officer's cap of the USCG with a tan cover and metal device as per previous caps.The cap band and badge field are of a lighter blue.

Item 5 A similar cap but with a very high quality gold and silver wire badge on a darker blue field and band.  This is a white cover winter cap. 

Item 6 A second "winter" cap but with an all metal cap device. The visors on these cap are, unlike junior officer's cap, covered in black cloth materiel. The materiel has seven oak leaves in an arc around the outer edge of each side of the visor.  The embellishment can be in either silk or high quality two tone gold bullion wire.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, And finally for the USCG caps and hats.

Item 7 Is a Flag Rank Officer's visor with all metal cap device on a light blue field and cap band.  A winter cap with white cover, the visor has th same outer arcs of oak detail as the Captain's visor but also has the addition of a further seven oak leaves on the iner portion of each side of the visor.  A very attractive and quite scarce cap.

Item 8 A winter , white cover female combination hat with an all metal device again on a lighter blue field and cap band.  The hat is of a generic pattern with only the cap band pattern differentiating the various grades of officer wearer.  the chinstrap is only worn by junior officers.  Enlisted grades wear the same hat with whatever device is appropriate to to rank of its wearer.


CG JO 1 (2).JPG

A small but interesting selection of US CG and US CG A cap and hat devices.

N 21.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the US Coast Guard we move onto the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Other than the last item, all of these caps all have summer tan covers and I am not certain of the r5anks which they represent??

Item 1 Is a fairly early cap with a gold crossed anchors metal badge centered on which is a disc bearing the Coast Guard shield  insignia.The outer edge of the disc is coloured in deep blue enameling and bears the legend "Coast Guard Auxiliary" in gold. The badge reverse has a single bolt and nut fitting and is mounted on a semi circular dark blue field. The badge is titled "UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AUXILIARY".

Item 2 This is a similar cap to Item 1 but has the badge anchors manufactured in silver bullion wire whilst the central disc is as per Item 1.  The backing field in this case is dark blue but in the form of a square. The badge is titled "US COST GUARD AUXILIARY".

Item 3 Again an early cap and almost identical to Item 1.  However, the cap device is finished in silver coloured metal rather than gold but with a gold central disc and is titled "UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AUXILIARY".CGA PO 16.JPG

Item 4 A current style cap with identical badge and field to Item 1. The badge is titled "UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AUXILIARY".

Item 5 An older cap with identical insignia to item 4 but on a square field as per item 2.  The badge is titled "US COST GUARD AUXILIARY".

Item 6 This cap has a white winter cover and a silver coloured badge as per Item 3.  The badge is titled "US COST GUARD AUXILIARY".

Any comments or opinions re the ranks, variety of colours and wording or the caps themselves would be very welcome.  Please note Item 2 has been uploaded out of sequence.






Edited by Michael R
Link to post
Share on other sites

The upcoming selection of US Coast Guard Auxiliary caps are for wear by Junior Officers. Unlike regular Coast Guard Officers of all grades, the basic badge, buttons and chinstrap colour is silver rather than gold.  Like their regular counterparts, there are discrepancies in colour shading for cap bands and badge fields ranging from a deep lighter blue to blue/black.

item 7 This is a current style cap with an Auxiliary pattern cap device featuring an open winged eagle with up swept wings.  The eagle is centered over a voided wreath of laurel and superimposed on its chest is a pair of crossed anchors all in silver. Superimposed over the central position of the anchors is a gold coloured disc with the Coast Guard shield at its center. Surrounding the shield, in gold on a blue enamel field is the wording "US COAST GUARD AUXILIARY"..  The all metal insignia is retained on a shaped field by means of a single bolt and nut fitting.  The badge field and cap band are of a medium deep blue colour.  The badge is positioned very low on the backing field due to the hole in the field used to accommodate the bolt being wrongly positioned, ergo too low? The cap has a white winter cover.

Item 8 Identical styled cap but with a high quality bullion wire embroidered cap device. The central disc is also wire embroidered but in gold.  This also has a white cove but with darker blue band and field.

Item 9 Another metal device but in this case worn on a tan summer cap and with a far lighter band and field. Note the positioning of the eagle device on its field relative to that on item 7.

Item 9 A far earlier cap again with a metal cap device.  This cap has a very dark, blue/black band and field.  Note the alternative shape of the badge field more usually associated with the Regular officer's badge field. Possibly worn by an ex regular officer subsequent to a transfer to the Auxiliary??





Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hugh,  thank you for your message and comments and apologies for my delayed response. I have a tick agains "notify me of replies" but to date I have had no notifications so assumed that no one was interested which is why I did not reply to you and have slowed down on posting. So sorry once again.  I was told of by an American for calling summer cap cover Khaki as, according to him, they are tan so I take the hat in good humor.  With regard to the cap bands, we over on this side of the pond still wear mohair bands but I have noticed on a lot if not most of my US caps that you use fabric and or elastic.  In any event, in my opinion, US visors are the smartest of the lot!!!  Which is why I collect them.

Thank you once again and if you have any caps etc to this thread, please feel free to jump in!!!

Cheers  Micheal

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Michael, 

Please forgive me for taking so long to find this thread.  You have a top notch collection of CG Headgear.  I do not have too much to share, but this is what I do have.


The two Chief's hats belong to a Chief Pharmacist Mate.  

Ayers Group.jpg





Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I have recently acquired this US Maritime Service Hat. It has the correct buttons on the gold braid. Not sure of its date of origin but I do have a name which I am researching at present. The hat was made by Wender & Goldstein, New York.





Edited by muckaroon1960
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Paul, Thank you for your latest contribution to "our" thread, perhaps we can build a bit of a community??. I particularly like the uniform especially given that it is medical as I have a bit of a leaning in that direction.  When I left the RAF, I almost applied to for a job as a porter!! in our local hospital but I did not fancy wheeling stiffs about!!

Anyway Paul, Keep the input going please!!

Cheers  Michael


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear you!  I would not want to be moving folks to the freezer flats after they die either.  I've seen way too many horror movies, I guess.  I wish I had more to input here!  I will have to keep looking for new things then!

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎07‎/‎05‎/‎2016 at 01:23, Paul R said:

I've never seen one of those before!  Those are beyond rare!

There is a name tag in the USMS hat for Ensign Edward Borth, 3100 Lafayette Avenue, Austin, Texas.

Information I have found is:

Edward William Borth born 16th March 1926 died 19th March 2011 (Baltimore, MD). Father was Reinhald, Mother Marie and a brother John (1940 census). 3100 Lafayette avenue was built in 1939. E W Borth signed onto Naval reserve 1953.

The long shot is that Edward was 17 in 1943 and eligible to join the merchant marine. Training was reduced from 4 years to 18 months during the war so earliest he could have qualified would have been circa late 1944? But then this is only supposition?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Muckaroon, First off, may I ask your name please, I hate answering to none d-plumes!!  You have a very nice and quite scarce cap and in not bad condition. A nice item.  "Only a supposition"..  Supposition it may be but logical it certainly is. I think that your investigations of the original owner are excellent and in my opinion you are probably correct. The cap certainly has a WWII look to it and if I owned it and I would like to, then to me it would be WWII.  Congratulations on both your cap and findings.  If you have anything else to add either on this subject or in addition, then please feel free.

With thanks, regards and best wishes  Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Again, I had a look through my caps and have added a couple of similar items to your cap, one for  a junior officer up Lt Cdr like yours and one for Commanders and Captains.  both have contemporary blue covers which were usually classed as winter uniform whilst yours has a tan or khaki cover usually accepted as summer or warm weather areas (tropical etc).  The junior officer's cap has an all metal device whilst the senior officer's has a bullion embroidered device and two arcs of oak leaves embellishing the visor. In my experience, although Merchant Marine caps are quite rare, they are not as desirable as USN officers caps to most collectors.  However, this is open to debate??  Hope this is of interest to you.

Regards  Michael



Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more US Coast Guard Auxiliary officer's hats as worn by female personnel.

Item 10 A tan summer hat bearing a high quality silver wire embroidered cap device as per Item 8 above. This cap would have been worn by a female officer of the USCG (A) in the rank of Commander or Captain, the rank being denoted by the conjoined pair of single arcs of oak leaves also embroidered in silver bullion wire.  This is a later hat with a semi hard domed skull.

Item 11 The same cap for wear by Lieutenant Commanders and below but with a white winter cover.The rank insignia is replaced by a plain silver chin strap and buttons also in silver. The badge is the metal version as described in Item 7 above.  Of interest is the fact that the device field is actually for a regular  badge rather than the Auxiliary device.

Item 12 Is the same as Item 10 but with silver tress added to the upper edge of the cap band and the cap skull is if the earlier soft flat style.  The silver embroidery is of a heavier and more "chunky" type.

Item 13 This cap is identical to Item 10 but with a white winter cover and also the addition of the silver tress around the hat band.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, And to finish up.

Item 14 Is a US Coast Guard (Auxiliary) Admiral's visor cap.The cap is Identical to Item 6 above. The only visible difference in the caps is the lavish use of silver bullion wire embellishment to  the visor which is identical to that shown in Item 8, the regular USCG admiral's cap but in silver rather than gold.

Onto a bit of a tangent.

Item 15 A nice Sea Scouting Officer's visor cap for a junior officer.  This is a current style cap with a white cloth cover and a silver chin strap.  The cap device comprises a central motif of a vertical clean anchor over the center of which is superimposed the insignia of the International Scouting Association, all in silver metal. The central motif is full encompassed by a plain vertical silver wire oval centered over a pair of crossed fouled anchors again in silver wire. The whole device is centered on a deep medium blue cloth field with a similar coloured cap band.  Although rather plain, this, in my opinion, a very attractive badge.

Item 16 Identical cap but of far earlier vintage. Note, on item 15 thee badge is embroidered on its field the the field is stitched to the cap band.  Whereas on this cap the device is directly embroidered onto both the field and the cap band.




Edited by Michael R
Add information.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Item 17 This is an early cap worn by USN Petty Officers. The visor is plain black as is the chin strap whilst the buttons are gold coloured metal The badge depicts a standing fouled anchor in gold metal across the center of which are the initials "USN" in silver. This is an early style badge with the initials in an arc above the blades of the propeller and is scured by a bolt and nut reverse fitment to a tomb stone shaped field sewn onto the cap band.

Item 18 Is a visor cap also worn by a Petty Officer but of far later manufacture and style.  The cap device is identical to that featured in Item 17 except for the initials which now run in a straight line rather than an arc.

Item 19 For wear by female personnel, this hat is also for a Petty Officer. The badge and fitment are identical to that shown with Item 18. This hat is worn without chin strap and buttons.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Item 20 This is an obsolete Junior US Naval Officer's visor cap with a dark blue cover and probably of WWII vintage. The cap has a later pattern two part cap device with a silver eagle facing to its right surmounting the National Shield centered on and over a pair of crossed fouled anchors in gold.  The badge is manufactured in metal with double screw back fittings to the reverse and is centered on a shaped dark blue materiel field.  The chin strap is of standard gold metallic wire braid on a leather backing and secured by Naval pattern buttons in gold metal.

Item 21 A similar cap but of earlier production.

Item 22. Universal pre shaped beret of current pattern badged to an officer using the miniature "garrison" cap badge.  The badge is identical to that detailed above in Item 20 but with the two parts riveted and utilizing the clutch and prong method of reverse fitments.

Item 23 Post WWII? Officer's cap with a later manufactured cap device.





Edited by Michael R
Correcting seaquence of photos
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some Officer and Enlisted hat and cap devices.  The first board contents is a variety of miniature "garrison" cap insignia to various Naval and associated Services.  The badge at bottom left is carved in wood??  The second board is of enlisted insignia.

N 13.JPG

N 14.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Still with US Navy Junior Officer's caps.

Item 24 to 30 These are all basic Junior Officer's caps of varying age and wear. All have metal insignia of two part construction and gold metallic chin straps.  They are all of early style manufacture dating from WWII through to the 60's.  All have white winter covers.








Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest. P
    • Hi ccj, Thanks for your comments. Funny how, for me at least, coffee has become a habit more than a conscience choice. It's the old, "Well if you having one (coffee) pour me as well". When I get together with my son-in-law, a former Brit, it's tea all the way. Thanks again. Regards Brian  
    • I live and grew up in the south (USA) and the drink of choice 7 days a week was cold sweet tea. I was unaware Lipton was British because that’s what most southern use for brewing tea. When I joined the army I learned most people in the north and western parts of the USA drank unsweetened tea and that was perplexing to my young brain. Now days I can’t stand sweet iced tea but it’s still the most common drink in the south, but, you can get unsweetened ice tea in the south. Im familiar with ho
    • I drink tea every day (Chinese tea), I used to buy Sri Lankan black tea at the fair before, it was great! I have been reluctant to drink them all. . The tea I’m talking about is just brewing water, not adding other substancesI
    • Thanks for your reply Patrick, just in case some might not know what the Belgian WW1 Medal you were referencing looks like I have included one here. I understand that the small crown on the ribbon denoted the recipient was a volunteer.  
  • Create New...