US Army Patches Flashes and Ovals *Hard Cover*
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cloth Unit Insignia
U.S. Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals brings together in a colorful source more than 3600 cloth insignia worn by U.S. soldiers from World War I to the present. Picking up from where his well-known best seller U.S. Army Patches left off, Barry Stein has gathered officially approved patches from both active and inactive units, patches approved for local wear, as well as many unauthorized patches. The book, with its sharp, vivid, photos takes a snapshot profile of each unit.
- Hard Cover: 584 pages
- by: Barry Jason Stein
Review by Don Sexton, President, American Society of Military Insignia Collectors This year marks the 80th anniversary of this nation s entry into World War I and the advent of shoulder sleeve insignia within the U. S. Army. Thousands of patches have been worn by American troops since the 81st Division gained authorization to wear its wildcat design in 1917. Documenting and identifying the shoulder patches that have figured in America s wars has always posed difficulties for collectors and historians. Barry Stein has overcome this problem by expanding his U.S. Army Patches (1997) into a comprehensive 600-page volume that illustrates and examines the origins of over 3,600 shoulder and pockets patches, Army Air Force squadron patches, flashes and wing backgrounds or ovals. There is no other work in print today that is comparable to this valuable reference volume, which is worth every cent of its price. Not only are Army Air Force patches covered within this book, but so also are the patches of the U.S.-German Labor Service and the reconnaissance teams of the Vietnam War. Modeled on the format of the late Richard Smith s popular books on patches, the color plates of U.S. Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals are complemented with anecdotal information and insights about individual units that puts a human imprint on them. These brief historical profiles explain the symbolic significance of each design and describe the service record of each unit whose insignia is depicted in the book. The origins of the 2nd Indian Head and 1st Cavalry Division patches are recounted, as well as many of the cavalry and armored cavalry regiments. Tank destroyer battalion and contemporary artillery and infantry brigade patches are covered, as are also the phantom units of Operation Fortitude, which protected the Normandy invasion forces. It should be readily apparent to even the most cursory reader that Mr. Stein has invested much of himself in researching U.S. Army Patches, Flashes and Ovals. His passion for insignia is evident on every page of this well organized and clearly written book. No collector who professes a deep interest in cloth shoulder patches, flashes and wing backgrounds worn by troops of the U. S. Army since 1917 can afford to overlook this book. It ought to be on the book shelves of all serious collectors and form a part of the reference collection of all major libraries, including the service academies. –Don Sexton, President, American Society of Military Insignia Collectors