Patches in the US Military originated during WWI, but did not become a common military issue until WWII. The patches – much like military insignia – can signify rank, branch, unit and skill information. Over the course of time, these patches have become much more, they have become a source of pride for military members. Military patches have also become a favorite among collectors.
One advantage to collecting US military patches is their size. Since the patches are small in nature, they do not require a lot of space. The number of patches available is endless, making this a forever expanding challenge. Cost is also nominal for most patches. Rarer patches can certainly command a higher purchase price, but do not limit the size of an individual’s collection as so many others are widely available – both as originals and as replicas.
Where to Purchase
Original and/or replica patches can be purchased on-line, at auction houses and from other dealers. The price of an original patch depends on a number of issues – the age and quality of the patch, how rare is the patch and is the patch directly connected to a historical figure.
World War II has always been a favorite era among all war memorabilia collectors and US military patches is no different. A WWII issue of Life Magazine contains an article about how children would write to soldiers and/or commanding officers and actually ask for one of their patches. One of the most sought after patches today are the WWII aviation squadron patches and the Airborne patches. In addition to those, exclusive unit patches and original unit patches that were “Vietnam-made” are also growing in popularity.
With history as far back as WWI, US military patches offer a wide variety of possibilities for collectors of military memorabilia.