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Military History/Questions Answered by Expert John Vargas

SubjectDate Asked
US badge silver with 2 stars1/10/2015
  Q: I got my first enamel us badge silver with 2 stars, so can you tell me all about it please? I have ...
  A: Congratulation on your first US Badge, you got a nice one! This is called a Combat Infantryman's ...
L-4 Liaison Planes1/10/2015
  Q: Vargas, I'm wondering if you can help me identify the Army Air Force unit that supported my ...
  A: Yes, the Liaison Plane in the photos is an L-4 Grasshopper, the militarized version of the J-3 Piper ...
US badge silver with 2 stars1/10/2015
  Q: I got my first enamel us badge silver with 2 stars, so can you tell me all about it please? I have ...
  A: Congratulation on your first US Badge, you got a nice one! This is called a Combat Infantryman's ...
ladder bars, 250, 750, & 2000 hours9/4/2012
  Q: am attaching a photo of the subject bars. i assume aac for the number of flight hours in a specific ...
  A: These “Hour Bars” were awarded by the Army Air Force to those who were involved with the Aircraft ...
Unknown Wing3/6/2012
  Q: I have a some wings and was wondering what they really are. They are a small pair and have an anchor ...
  A: Sounds like you have a set of WWII Era United States Navy Air Crew Badge. Here is more ...
WWII WAC WAAF Flight Engineer3/3/2012
  Q: I am trying to find out more about something I recived as a question "...Interesting case of a WAC ...
  A: Yes, you are indeed correct there was one woman who was qualified and rated as a USAAF Flight ...
Dial, 489th AAA3/2/2012
  Q: I am looking for any details avaulable for cause of death for : Thomas F Dial, 1Lt, SN 01050633, SC, ...
  A: You can contact the Richland County, South Carolina Veterans Affairs Officer, the internet states I ...
Medals and badges12/18/2011
  Q: I sent you this before, but I lost the information, can you tell me what is on the board? LB
  A: This is what is on this board. 1. China Burma India Patch ...
my father in the 101st airborne10/29/2010
  Q: So my dad was a cook , headquarters gilder infantry , normandy, ardennes Rhienelad etcWhat was ...
  A: I did a Google search for John Granias and 101st Airborne WWII. This is all I could find. ...
War Animals10/25/2010
  Q: Mr. Vargas What was the most widely used animal for war in World War One and World War Two? Thanks ...
  A: The mostly widely used animal used in warfare thought the history of mankind has been the War Horse, ...
201 Mexican Squadron MEAF ww ll10/21/2010
  Q: 1- Did Mexican Squadron 201 use CBI insignia at anytime? These question is because a have a ...
  A: The 201st Air Fighter Squadron nicknamed “Aztec Eagles” (Escuadrón Aéreo de Pelea 201), was attached ...
AAF insignia question10/19/2010
  Q: John, Trying to find out what insignia my father would have worn in order to put together a shadow ...
  A: I am glad I could be of assistance to you. Garden City Army Air Field, was under the command of ...
WWII Army bases in United States10/18/2010
  Q: My step-dad was in the Army during WWII and we were with him part of the time in the states. Can ...
  A: Dot, The Army Camp located in Tullahoma, Tennessee, during WWII was Camp Forest. Here is the ...
Liason Pilots10/14/2010
  Q: Where there non officer liason pilots in WWII?
  A: Yes, there were Enlisted Men who were Liaison Pilots in WWII. The fact of the matter is that most ...
Identufying a symbol on and military crest...10/13/2010
  Q: A friend of mine, visiting parents in their new house in N.Carolina, called and with the following: ...
  A: During the Civil War, the symbol for Infantry (Union) was an Infantry Horn, the "Bugle or Infantry ...
Military Patches10/10/2010
  Q: I ran across a ‘treasurer box’ I had as a kid in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Inside I found two ...
  A: The three patches that you have are indeed military. They are officially called Shoulder Sleeve ...
Unauthorized Army Combat Badges10/5/2010
  Q: What unauthorized army badges do you know were worn in WWII to Korea, that were authorized for wear? ...
  A: There are several Combat Badges, that are “Official, but Unauthorized” by the US Army so to speak, ...
ID of WWII Infantry Badges10/4/2010
  Q: The attached pic shows WWII Infantry badges--two Combat Infantry, two Enlisted Infantry (I think) ...
  A: The one Combat Infantryman’s Badge (C.I.B.) has a flaw on the blue enamel paint, the flaw appears to ...
Base camps9/30/2010
  Q: I am transcribing my dad's diary from WWII and am wanting to know where his base camps were. He was ...
  A: These “Base Camps”, that your Father talked about, were actually US Army Air Force Engineer Camps, ...
Army MOS9/29/2010
  Q: when i returned from nam in 66, I had a secondary MOS of 859.128 Blaster. I was a combat eng that ...
  A: By searching all the U.S. Army MOS Codes, for you, I did not find an Army MOS Code of “MOS of ...
Army and Navy plane differences9/26/2010
  Q: How to you tell the difference between Army and Navy planes that pre World War II? I heard that the ...
  A: You are correct, prior to WWII; the Air Craft Tail Markings (paint scheme) are what set the US Army ...
Southern Phillipines campaign WWII9/22/2010
  Q: I'm trying to gather information on my Grandfather's service in WWII. He never talked about it much ...
  A: Here is the translation of your Grandfather Service in WWII, from his Enlisted Record And Report of ...
Airplane Question9/21/2010
  Q: John: My son wants to know how many P-28 Lightening are available to fly, and where he can get a ...
  A: There are currently six (6) known Lockheed P-38 Lightning’s that are still flying today. None of ...
WWII Bomber Flight Crews9/11/2010
  Q: How many bomber flight crews completed their 25 missions to go home?
  A: The answer is still a mystery today and the subject of many debates and arguments among aviation ...
military foot locker9/9/2010
  Q: I was recently given what I thought was just an old trunk. Honestly, I just thought it looked cool. ...
  A: What you have is a WWI US Officer Type Private Purchase Footlocker. Here are some footlockers that ...
WW1 Dog Tags9/8/2010
  Q: My wife's grandfather was in WW1 in the 82nd Div. 327th Reg. Company C. His dog tags are hand ...
  A: There are many reasons that the information could have been removed, and it was common (I have ...
How do I find out what happened to someone in the Military?9/7/2010
  Q: I have recently found a friend of the family, who was in the military (23 March 1942). His ...
  A: Here is the information that I could get from the information you have sent me. Mariano S. Malapit ...
Army Air Corps Gold Aviator's Ring9/2/2010
  Q: Mr. Vargas, I am trying to identify a ring my grandmother gave me 40 years ago when I joined the Air ...
  A: You have a very nice ring, and it was a wonderful gift from your Mother, they are rare, as I have ...
Military Hat Insignia8/29/2010
  Q: John, My Wife and I have come across a picture of my father-in-law that has evaded our searches. Can ...
  A: The uniform that your Father-in-Law is wearing is the uniform of the San Rafael Military Academy ...
WW1 Army patch W/Aero roundel8/26/2010
  Q: There is this above patch A W/the aero roundel described as "liberty Loan Patch". What does "liberty ...
  A: It is good to hear from you again, I hope that all is well. Liberty Loan Patches were ...
Army MOS8/24/2010
  Q: My wifes' ex-husband who passed away in 1976 was in the Army for 5 years from 1940 to 1945. We are ...
  A: Military Occupational Classification of Enlisted Personnel, or as it is commonly known, as Military ...
WWII my dad in Norway8/12/2010
  Q: I've recently been researching my late father's service in WWII. His name was Lawrence E. Collier ...
  A: This is the translation of your Fathers discharge. He went into the Army on August 20th 1943, he ...
Wings Insignia8/10/2010
  Q: What kind of insignia is this? This was in mt grandfathers stuff.
  A: This is a WWII US Army Navigators Wing Badge (officially called a Navigators Aeronautical Rating), ...
placement of horses feet1/9/2010
  Q: John: What significance does the placement of horses feet mean on military statues? Thanks, Keith
  A: The placement of horse’s feet (often called the “Hoof Code”), or how they are placed for military ...
100th Aero Squadron A.E.F. demobilization1/4/2010
  Q: I seek the date that the 100th Aero Squadron (2nd Day Bombardment Group) shipped out and returned ...
  A: The 100th Aero Squadron’s Date of Return (shipped out) to the United States was May 31st, 1919 ...
Identity of WW1 U.S. pilot wing marked ARA12/28/2009
  Q: I recently acquired a WW1 style wing that I have been trying to identify. The wing looks like the ...
  A: To be quite honest with you, I personally, have never seen an ARA wing, nor have I heard of one. In ...
Army Air Force Technician Badge from WWII11/19/2009
  Q: Vargas, Where can I purchase and original or replica of the WWII Army AF Technician Badge so that I ...
  A: It is nice to hear that you are creating a Shadow Box for your Father. The best place to purchase ...
Parade Images11/19/2009
  Q: I am a University student from England and I was wondering if you could help me with some of my ...
  A: The photos that you have are of the Inaugural Parade of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which took ...
Completed 25 Missions11/15/2009
  Q: What awards would a turret gunner on a B-17 be entitled to for completeing his 25 missions over ...
  A: The Turret Gunner in question should have received two medals for completing his 25th Mission. ...
Bar and Cross11/11/2009
  Q: Can you identify this bar and cross? It is Army and I believe it is after Basic but before being ...
  A: I am more than happy to assist you. The Cross and Bar is Officially Called a “Weapons ...
Military dagger11/9/2009
  Q: I have an old Military dagger & scabbard that has U.S. 1918 & under that it has L.F & C 1918. Can ...
  A: “L.F. & C.” stands for Landers, Frary & Clark Company they were located in New Britan, Connecticut. ...
WW II10/13/2009
  Q: I'm building a military shadow box for a WWII veteran and need input on ribbons and medals. He ...
  A: Let me say this, you did some good work! You did an excellent job, putting this information ...
uknown badge9/27/2009
  Q: John, Can you tell me hat is this? Jerome
  A: The badge that you have is officially called a Distinctive Unit Insignia, commonly called a D.U.I. ...
Help with my dads discharge9/22/2009
  Q: John, If you don’t mind I would like your help translating my dads army discharge. Thanks for your ...
  A: I am more than happy to help you with your Dads Army Discharge Papers. Here is a brief synopsis of ...
WWII pin9/22/2009
  Q: My brother and I hope you can identify a pin that was among our father's WWII items. The front has a ...
  A: The pin that you have is the Coat of Arms, or Badge for the Livermore Family (from the United ...
WWII AEF 107th SMALL PIN OR BADGE8/22/2009
  Q: I will attach a photo or photos if your site allows me. It has a threaded post on back with a nut. ...
  A: I enjoyed my vacation very much, thank you for asking. What you have is a Lapel Pin for someone who ...
D.U.I.-Unit Crest7/23/2009
  Q: In the endeavor to complete my late mothers quest to research my father's WWII service and replace ...
  A: Here are the Distinctive Unit Insignia for the 198th Field Artillery Battalion. ...
489th AAA Bn7/20/2009
  Q: My uncle served as a driver of a Quad 50 Half Track. His name was Roy Gordner. He was killed in ...
  A: Your Uncle Roy E. Gordner did indeed serve with the 489th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (Automatic ...
603 Bombardment Squadron WWII7/19/2009
  Q: My Uncle, Frederick A.Beach was a Staff Sergent in the Army Air Force, 603 Bombardment Squadron. He ...
  A: I am sorry to hear that your Uncle was Killed in Action. He was a Brave Man. Here is your Uncle’s ...
Propeller Badge7/18/2009
  Q: Can you identify this badge? I'm not even sure if it is military. It was among some U.S./Filipino ...
  A: This is indeed a Military Badge, and it is a United States Qualification Badge used in WWII and the ...
Where can I find information?7/17/2009
  Q: I have been slowly peicing together my grandfather's military record and I discovered yesterday that ...
  A: The Presidential Citation you are referring to, is actually called the Presidential Unit Citation, ...
Air Force Navigator Pin7/17/2009
  Q: I bought from an estate sale a Sterling Air Force Navigator pin. It looks almost like your pin with ...
  A: You have a vey nice Navigators Wing Badge. This is an original N.S. Meyer Inc., US Army Air Force ...
American Pilots in WWI6/17/2009
  Q: The film 'Pearl Harbour' has been criticized for historical inaccuracies, some regarding American ...
  A: Very good question. The number of Americans that flew with the RAF was very limited, around 250 ...
WW11 ensignia identification6/16/2009
  Q: Both my parents served in the army in WW11.I have an army ensignia I cannot id.It might be a unit ...
  A: What you have is called a Distinctive Unit Insignia. Commonly called a DUI, or DI. ...
Navy non combat deaths5/16/2009
  Q: John: I know this inst your specialty, but it seems from what I read, you really do help. Is there ...
  A: Here is the information I was able to obtain from the Department of the Navy: DEPARTMENT OF THE ...
Ring5/10/2009
  Q: We recently acquired a ring which has a gold colored "aircrew" style insignia which goes from the ...
  A: The ring you have is more than likely a custom one of a kind Army Air Corps /Army Air Forces Ring. ...
Thank You5/8/2009
  Q: Mr.Vargas, Thank You for your answers. The information you gave me was the missing piece of my ...
  A: I am glad I could be of assistance to you. In addition, I am glad that it was the information you ...
508 Airborne in WWII5/3/2009
  Q: Do you know where I can get copies general orders, reports, and general combat information from the ...
  A: I would contact the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association (WWII). They currently have most ...
AAF Air Fields4/22/2009
  Q: can you provide me with a list of all the World War 2 Army Air Fields? Thanks for you time! Todd
  A: There is no real list on the internet per say that has 100% of all the USAAF Fields, Bases, Depots, ...
Emblem of the infantry3/22/2009
  Q: When did the U.S. Army Infantry change from the horn to the rifles as their emblem? Thank you for ...
  A: The US Army’s Infantry Branch Insignia changed from the Horn to the Crossed Rifles during the Indian ...
Reading a Headstone3/20/2009
  Q: I came across my Great-Great-Uncles headstone with a sentence/statement on it I cannot interpret. ...
  A: It sounds like your Great-Great-Uncles Headstone has weathered and deteriorated over the years. ...
Helicopter Question3/19/2009
  Q: John, Were helicopters used in WWII? Thank you… Jeremy
  A: Yes, helicopters were used in WWII. The first truly practical helicopter (fully controllable) was ...
army air service memorabilia3/18/2009
  Q: I just recently have a chance to purchase this banner / cloth and wanted to know if you have seen ...
  A: I have never seen one like this one before. I have seen some that are similar. This is an ...
Balloonatics3/18/2009
  Q: John, we just had boxes of memorabilia from Howard K. Smith's personal effects donated to our ...
  A: I looked in “Gorrell's History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919”, and ...
WW2 Airplane3/18/2009
  Q: What is the fast most technological airplane of World War Two?
  A: During WWII, in the beginning there were only propeller driven aircraft, but by the end of the war, ...
feudal system of Europe3/17/2009
  Q: Can you help me with my school paper about the feudal system of Europe? Thank you, Emily
  A: I would be more than happy to help you get some good information for your paper. Here is a brief ...
Senior Service Pilot Wings3/12/2009
  Q: John, quick question about Senior Service Pilot Wings. Anyone earn them in WW2?
  A: Yes, I am sure that someone qualified and wore a Senior Service Pilot Wing in WWII, since the rating ...
Army Fireman from WW1 & WW22/19/2009
  Q: I am trying to find out any information about WW1 & WW2 Fireman. Can you help me with some ...
  A: During World War I, the US Army Quartermaster Corps did most of the Firefighting for the Army, and ...
army wings2/18/2009
  Q: I found this old army wing, I don’t have a camera, but I can tell you what they are like. They look ...
  A: This Badge is called a Senior Aircraft Observer Wing Badge. This is what your wing should look ...
Canvas Bombardment & Fighter Patches2/6/2009
  Q: I have some bomber patches that were found in a scrap book. I am writing to see if you happen to ...
  A: I just received this question this morning (February 12th, 2009) as it was in the “Answer Pool”, and ...
My Grandfathers WWII MP Units12/9/2008
  Q: Mr. Vargas, I read your response to a question about an MP co and am hoping you can provide ...
  A: The 552nd Military Police Escort Guard Company (552nd MPEG) was organized and activated on June ...
American Service Medal?12/4/2008
  Q: Mr. Vargas, I am putting together a shadow box for my dad. The only question i had is on his dad's ...
  A: There is a medal called the American Defense Service Medal, as well as the American Campaign Medal. ...
WWII Army Pin12/2/2008
  Q: My name is Kevin Sorenson. I recently acquired some of my fathers WWII Army records from my Mother ...
  A: The Pins that you have are called Distinctive Unit Insignia (D.U.I, or D.I.), and yours is the ...
Pre-WWII US Army officers breeches11/29/2008
  Q: John, I have a flawless M1926 US Army officers blouse, and I need to know more about the two kinds ...
  A: The regulations that govern the M1926 uniform can be found in Army Regulations (AR) 600-35, 1926 and ...
Air Crew, WW II11/29/2008
  Q: My good friend on our Legion Ritual team was a Radio Operator on a C-47 in the 45th Troop Carrier ...
  A: Here is a photo of a WWII Aircrew Member Wing Badge I took for you. ...
Tiffany stamped pin11/27/2008
  Q: I have a pin that I would like to know more about. I believe that it belonged to my husband's step ...
  A: What you have is called a “Winged Prop”, short for Winged Propeller. Yours is World War One Era. ...
46th Ferrying/Transportation Sq Emblem11/26/2008
  Q: John, Do you have access to copies of the emblems of the 46th Ferrying Squadron, Wadi Seidna, ...
  A: Here the Squadrons that had their own Patches/Squadron Insignia. 1. 2nd Ferrying 2. 11th Ferrying ...
WWI question11/25/2008
  Q: What fighter pilot had the most kills in WW1?
  A: World War Ones Top Ace (most kills, sometimes called Aerial Victories) was Manfred von Richthofen, ...
WW! Aviation Unit11/24/2008
  Q: My Dad, Clarence Benedict Thomas was in the 18th Co. 4th Bn. 3rd MM Regt, Air Services in France ...
  A: The 18th Co. 4th Bn. 3rd MM Regt stands for the 18th Company 4th Battalion, 3rd Motor Mechanics ...
army pin11/24/2008
  Q: I have an old army pin. I can’t find it maybe you can help. I don’t have a photo of it, I can try ...
  A: What you have is called a Distinctive Unit Insignia (D.U.I, or D.I). Here is the history of the ...
Red Missile Insignia Pin11/20/2008
  Q: This pin says NS Meyers New York with a mark I can't make out on reverse; sturdy screw back; the ...
  A: What you have is called a Distinctive Unit Insignia (D.U.I, or D.I). Here is the history of the ...
WW II pin11/18/2008
  Q: My grandfather was a paratrooper who served in the pacific theater. Among the possessions he brought ...
  A: It sounds like your Grandfather was an Airborne Engineer. The Collar Disk you are describing is ...
B17 question11/16/2008
  Q: How many members were on B17? What did they do? Thanks in advance, Misty
  A: A B-17 carried a Crew of 10 personnel to operate it in combat. Here is a list of the Crewmembers ...
American General11/16/2008
  Q: Who is the highest ranking general ever for America? Thanks!
  A: The Most Senior General Officer for the United States is General George Washington; he holds the ...
"Rank" patch found on CCC shirt11/14/2008
  Q: My late father's CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) footlocker contains 4 long sleeve woolen shirts; ...
  A: This is a real Civilian Conservation Corps Specialty Chevron Insignia, specifically made for the ...
WWII Navy red stripe on sleeve11/14/2008
  Q: What does it mean when there is a long diagonal red stripe on the left sleeve at about the forearm ...
  A: The “diagonal red stripe on the left sleeve” of a Navy Enlisted Sailors uniform is called a “Service ...
Requesting help identifying Army insignia11/14/2008
  Q: Vargas, I'm hoping you can help me identify some WWII Army insignia. Unfortunately I no longer have ...
  A: You are correct in your identification of your Fathers insignia. Your father is wearing the “Eagle ...
WWII Bicycle11/12/2008
  Q: Was there such a thing as an paratroopers bicycle?
  A: During WWII there was a Bicycle that was specifically made for the Allied Airborne. Most were used ...
WWII Navy rank11/12/2008
  Q: What would the sleeve insignia of a Pharamacist's Mate 2c V6 USNR look like.
  A: Here is what a Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class (Pharmacist's Mate 2c) Rate (rank) looks like. I included ...
pin id help11/9/2008
  Q: Can you identify this pin? My father was in the Army. Thanks Adrian
  A: What you have is a Navy Nurse Corps Insignia Device, which was worn on the Caps and Collars of ...
Irving Hake Stenson11/7/2008
  Q: I have a flag that was draped on my great-uncles's casket at his funeral at the Chelsea,MA Armory.He ...
  A: The only Irving Stenson I have is an Irving C. Stenson who was born in Chelsea, MA, and was the ...
phone11/6/2008
  Q: John, Please call me or e-mail. My comp did a trick and lost all e-mail from 24 Oct to 4 Nov. If you ...
  A: Jim, I am sorry to hear this! I will respond to your request! ...
wings question11/6/2008
  Q: I have a wings pin about 3” long with an atom in the center of it. They came of an old army ...
  A: It appears that you have what we call a US Army Air Force Navigators wing. Here is a photo that ...
My fathers military unit11/6/2008
  Q: My father passed away many years ago and was not able to find out much about his military unit. It ...
  A: Here is what Information that I have your Fathers Unit the 905th Field Artillery Battalion. Prior ...
B17 Aircrew11/5/2008
  Q: My father served in the USAAF during WWII. I have his Separation paper and other info. All of the ...
  A: It was common for ground crew / maintenance personnel to actually participate in B-17 Aerial ...
Badge11/4/2008
  Q: What is this badge? I have tried to look, but I can’t find it. Thank you, Kathleen
  A: What you have is called a US Army Branch of Arms Insignia for an Infantry Officer. This is a ...
russian headgear11/2/2008
  Q: John, I know your vast expertise seems to be in US Military history, but can you point me in the ...
  A: I would be more than happy to point you in the right direction to find out more about your ...
Piper L-411/1/2008
  Q: I'm helping a friend restore a Piper L-4.Believe it was used in the Ryukyus Command, paper work very ...
  A: I am more than willing to assist you and your friend in trying to find out the history of your L-4. ...
DI pin10/30/2008
  Q: I just bought a WW2 US service cap and it has on it this pin. I was told it's a unit DI pin of 71st ...
  A: The Distinctive Unit Insignia that you have is from the 39th Infantry Regiment. The 39th Infantry ...
WWI Era Foreign Award10/30/2008
  Q: I am trying to identify a cased medal with ribbon to be hung around the neck. The ribbon is red with ...
  A: The Medal you have is officially called the “Cross of Order of the Crown of Italy”. It was founded ...
unknown wings pin10/29/2008
  Q: I have this wings pin, I found in a box. I would like to know more about it. Thanks for your help.
  A: What you have is a WWI Son-In Service Pin for the Army Air Service. A “Son-in-Service” Pin, was ...
WW1 pin10/29/2008
  Q: This pin is from my grandfathers WW1 uniform. I have not been able to find any information on it ...
  A: The pin that you have is officially called a Distinctive Unit Insignia, commonly called a D.U.I. or ...
grandfathers army badge10/25/2008
  Q: These were in my granfathers army things. We tried to find them on the net without any luck. There ...
  A: What you found in your Grandfathers Army items is commonly called the Army Officers Unassigned ...
WW 2 Quartermasters10/24/2008
  Q: I'm trying to find out more information on my uncle, Joseph Henry Frank Jr. who served as a ...
  A: The date your Uncle was killed April 28th, 1944, coincides with the date of Operation / Exercise ...
eye and r platoon10/20/2008
  Q: I was watching the History Channel, and they mention an eye and r platoon. They didn’t explain what ...
  A: An “eye and r platoon”, is actually an I & R Platoon, which is short for an Intelligence and ...
1st Allied Airborne and MPs10/19/2008
  Q: My father was an Army MP(677)in the 713th MP BN and in the ETO in WW2. He had been in 4 campaigns ...
  A: The 713th MP Battalion was part of the First Army, and attached to the Headquarters of the First ...
questions about my grandfathers company/unit10/19/2008
  Q: my grandfather was in CO A 82ND QM BN LM what can u tell me about this co.I am wondering if it has ...
  A: CO A 82ND QM BN LM, stands for A Company 82nd Quartermaster Battalion (Light Maintenance). A Co., ...
Brothers Army Badge10/17/2008
  Q: Vargas, We recently found my brothers items from Vietnam in the lot of items was this badge, with ...
  A: The badge that you have is officially called the Pathfinder Badge; it is awarded to those who ...
dads wwii army insigna10/16/2008
  Q: I found this insignia in my dads WWII army box. I can’t seem to find out what it is, and I looked ...
  A: The Insignia that you found in your Fathers WWII box is the Woman’s Army Corps female officer ...
My Grandfathers lapel insignia10/16/2008
  Q: you just recently helped me with my father-in-law James M. Butler's shoulder patch...thank you. ...
  A: It was a pleasure to help you. The “Unknown Lapel Insignia” is officially called a Distinctive ...
World War 210/8/2008
  Q: My father served in World War 2 and like most veterans he rarely talked about his war time ...
  A: There is very little information on the web pertaining to the 3599th QM Truck Company. However, I ...
military pin10/7/2008
  Q: I recently found these pins in a box and I believe were a relative pins but I am unable to find out ...
  A: What you have is World War One United States Army Collar Insignia. The U.S.R. stands for United ...
WTS Relationship to Army Air Core10/7/2008
  Q: My father was a WTS instructor from 1942 through 1944, in the Dallas, TX area. I've read quite a ...
  A: You are absolutely correct. The CAA-WTS Instructors, such as your Father were Civilian Contractors ...
43rd Infantry div. WW2, Luzon campaign10/6/2008
  Q: My father was in the 43rd Infantry division Luzon campaign. He arrived there 20 Feb.1945 and was ...
  A: During WWII, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge was an Individual Award, not a Unit Award. What this ...
WW1 US Army collar insignia,brass10/4/2008
  Q: I have a WW1 uniform in excellent condition that belonged to a Clifford Dewey Koch enlisted in May ...
  A: The Enlisted Collar Disk on the right with the US over the 21 stands for the 21st Machine Gun ...
US Army insignia9/30/2008
  Q: The attached photo of my great grandfather dates from 1920. I think he might have been an Army Field ...
  A: The photo shows that your Grandfather is wearing the Army Field Clerk, Quartermaster Corps (Field ...
809 AAF Base Unit9/29/2008
  Q: I have my father's discharge papers from WWII. I am trying to find info on the 809 AAF Base Unit. ...
  A: The 809th Army Air Force Base Unit was assigned to Blytheville Army Airfield, from June 16th, 1945 ...
Kelly Field WWI9/28/2008
  Q: I have always wanted to find out more information about my grandfathers WW1 military experience at ...
  A: I found your Grandfather, Capt. Marr, William M., listed in my book of WWI Aviators, and I ...
army insignia9/27/2008
  Q: I have been trying for find out what this insignia is. It was in an old family members box. Can you ...
  A: The US Army Badge that you have is called the “Original Air Assault Badge”. It is a badge that was ...
Question from reader9/26/2008
  Q: John... Since you are the patch expert on the board, may I send you a question/my answer to Sherrie ...
  A: I would be more than glad to help. If you can send me the photo that would be great. I tried to ...
military buttons9/23/2008
  Q: John, You have helped me in the past with a military pin, and now I have some buttons that I cannot ...
  A: Good to hear from you. Yes, you can email me the photos of the buttons, and I will try to identity ...
Brothers badges9/22/2008
  Q: I'm going thru my brothers old military stuff and came across two pins I don't recognize. One is a ...
  A: The Jump Wing with the Star on Top is called a Senior Parachutists Badge, or “Senior Jump Wing” as ...
987th Field Artillery Battalions-Battery B9/22/2008
  Q: Well I could not find a place to give a good comment on what you found for me. Thanks for taking ...
  A: It was my pleasure. I only wish I could provide you with more information on B Battery, 987th Field ...
WW2 USAF Officers Uniform and Insignia9/20/2008
  Q: I was hoping you could help me. I am trying to research the above. There seems to be very ...
  A: I am sure that we can sort this out for you and help you understand how WWII Uniforms were worn. ...
WWII US Army Medals and Pins9/19/2008
  Q: I have been reviewing my recently deseased father's medals from WWII. He earned two Purple Hearts. ...
  A: I am sorry to hear about the loss of your Father. What you have is the Distinctive Unit Insignia ...
About ww1 and ww29/16/2008
  Q: How did the fighter planes effect the US during ww1, ww2, and the war now?
  A: The easiest way to answer this question is to say “technology”. The result of WWI, and WWII ...
U.S. Army's 31 st Combat Engineer Battalion9/6/2008
  Q: Can you tell me when the 31 st Combat Engineer Battalion was formed, how long it was active, and ...
  A: The 31st Engineer Battalion was formed, and activated on July 1st 1940, as the 31st Engineer Company ...
Japanese Surrender Document9/4/2008
  Q: My father worked for Macarthur at the time of the signing aboard the Missouri. He was directed to ...
  A: Your Father was a very lucky man. Here are local ephemera dealers and collectors in your area. One ...
Army AAC and AAF9/4/2008
  Q: What is the difference between the AAC, and the AAF?
  A: The AAC and the AAF are the same. The Army Air Crops (AAC) was renamed from the Army Air Service ...
WWII9/3/2008
  Q: Mr. Vargas, In going thru my fathers pictures and papers from WWII we found reference to APO 75 and ...
  A: APO means Army Post Office. APO 75, was located in Nielson Field, Manila, in the Philippine ...
Unauthorized AAC Chevrons9/1/2008
  Q: Did the 6 unauthorized AAC Pfc-Spec 1 thru Spec 6 chevrons have the winged prop on them? and were ...
  A: Yes the unauthorized versions of "Private 1st Class, Specialist 6th Class" to "Private 1st Class, ...
Military Patches9/1/2008
  Q: John... I am a fellow expert in infantry ops on this board. For some reason people ask me about ...
  A: I am more than glad to help. The only thing that can come close to that description is US Navy ...
506 Military Police Battalion8/31/2008
  Q: A family member who was in the 506 Military Police Battalion. I can’t find any information about ...
  A: Here is the history of the 506th Military Police Battalion. I was able to locate and call one of ...
315 Engineers, World War I8/28/2008
  Q: My father's discharge papers from World War One read that he was a cook in "E", 315 Eng.; battles ...
  A: The 315th Engineer Battalion was a “Special Troops” Battalion; therefore, it was a unit on its own. ...
Id'ing Military Unit8/24/2008
  Q: I know you are an expert in Aviation, but this questions is about a ground unit with the Army. My ...
  A: The 297th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company was a unit on its own. It was attached to the Third ...
Silver Creamer8/22/2008
  Q: I have a small silver creamer with AC and wings engraved on the side of it. The stamp on the bottom ...
  A: Very Nice Creamer. I am sure that this creamer is WWII Period. The A.C. inside the stylized wings ...
812 Aero Rep Sq and 237 Aero Sq8/20/2008
  Q: My father was in WW1 and he had told some stories but not very clear. Now that he is gone I am ...
  A: The 812th Aero Squadron and the 237th Aero Squadron, were two of the many “Home Training” Squadrons, ...
WWI Veteran Rank8/19/2008
  Q: I am trying to learn the rank of my Grandfather when he was discharged from the army. His name is ...
  A: You are correct in reading that the Co A 5th Fld Bat. S.C. A.E.F. France, is the 5th Field ...
militaty canteen8/16/2008
  Q: I recently bought a canteen at auction and by doing a little research am more confused than when I ...
  A: It sounds like you have a standard issue M1885 Mounted Canteen (commonly called a Cavalry Canteen) ...
USAAF Badges8/11/2008
  Q: I'm making up a shadow box with my Dad's WW2 ribbons,Squadron patch,ect. On his discharge papers it ...
  A: It is nice to see family members preserving history. "SS carbine,1cl gunner, aviation badge", means ...
Continental Marines8/7/2008
  Q: After signing on at Tun's Tavern, and before sailing off in January 1776, what did the Continental ...
  A: I just found this question in the question pool several minutes ago. You did not as me, nor was it ...
WWII US Military Dress Uniforms8/7/2008
  Q: Your specialty of aviation may not help in answering my question, but your knowledge of badges just ...
  A: Yes, the Army, and the Navy, and the Marines had what was called Special Evening Dress Uniforms, ...
Help identifying branch of military 1917-19197/30/2008
  Q: I am doing a family genealogy and found this information on Ancestry.com under the "Maryland in the ...
  A: Your Great Uncle George Zarbs, volunteered for the US Army, as that is what the RA stands for, it ...
WWII Japanese surrender document7/26/2008
  Q: My late grandfather was one of Douglas MacArthur's staff generals (G-2) and was aboard the U.S.S. ...
  A: The Original Japanese Instrument of Surrender Documents are located at the National Archives in ...
WWI US Army Air Corp Swagger Stick7/23/2008
  Q: I was given a US Army Air Corp swagger stick by the original owner (Woody Woodyatt). I am wondering ...
  A: A “Swagger Stick” was a short cane (tucked under the arm) used by Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs’), ...
Info on a WWI Aero Sq7/22/2008
  Q: I recently found an ancestors grave and was wanting to see what information I could find out on his ...
  A: The 612th Aero Squadron, was one many “Home Training” Squadrons, that was part of the Aviation ...
WW1 button on collar7/19/2008
  Q: I have a picture of a WW1 serviceman. On the collar is a button that has 123 then a big X and a ...
  A: I would be more than happy to help. Is there any way you can send me a clear photo of scan of the ...
US Army Air Corp Silver Tiffany Wings Pin With Gold US on center front7/18/2008
  Q: I just received a pin, Sterling Silver wings, very detailed with gold U S raised on top of center of ...
  A: Is there any way you could send clear photo/scan of the front and back? The reason I am asking is ...
Badge and Insignia7/13/2008
  Q: What is the difference between insignia, and a badge? I was told they weren’t the same.
  A: Good question. Badges and Insignia are completely different in Military Terms. The definition of ...
169th Aero Squadron7/11/2008
  Q: We have received a WWI uniform as a donation to the Denton County Museums. The uniform belonged to ...
  A: Unfortunately, the 169th Aero Squadron did not go Overseas and therefore did not see any ...
216 Aero Sq.7/8/2008
  Q: My father, Edward H.McCormack,was in the Army Air Corp.from Dec. 1917 to Dec. 1918. I had been told ...
  A: Unfortunately, there is not much information on the 216th Aero Squadron. For the era, if they did ...
683rd Aero Squadron7/5/2008
  Q: I recently found a grave for SFC Charles D Youngman. His headstone said he served in World War I in ...
  A: The 683rd Aero Squadron, was one of the 15 “Construction Companies”, also known as Squadrons, that ...
Badge Identification7/3/2008
  Q: Vargas: My wife presented me with a military badge believed to be from her father who served in ...
  A: Not a problem, I would be more than happy to identify the wing, The wing sounds like a civilian ...
306 Field Signal Bn. , WWI6/26/2008
  Q: My father, Private Wiley Thomas Shingleton, was in the above unit (Company A)in France from July 3, ...
  A: The 306th Field Signal Battalion was pat of the 81st Infantry Division, 9th Corps, First Army A.E.F. ...
Insignias6/25/2008
  Q: John, I was wondering if you might be able to help me find the insignia of the 489th AAA Auto ...
  A: I am sorry to hear of your Grandfather passing. "Here is a brief history of 489th Anti-Aircraft ...
cot and flags6/24/2008
  Q: one of our offices is in Selma, Ca. it was built in 1889. i went down in the basement last week ...
  A: David, Not at all a problem, I would be happy to look at them and I will do my best to date them. ...
CCC and military insignia 1933-19416/21/2008
  Q: I'm researching the Civilian Conservation Corps for programming in our state parks, and one thing ...
  A: Good Question, it took me a while to find some helpful information for you, and to pull out the best ...
MP Co. U.S.Army WW2 Egypt6/20/2008
  Q: My uncle was in the 128th MP Co. in North Africa 1942-1946 I can't find anything about them but I ...
  A: I searched the net, and I couldn’t find any history to the 128th MP Company during WWII. I also ...
WWI6/18/2008
  Q: John, My father served in France in World War I. His dates of service were From: August 14, ...
  A: There is not much information on the 424th Telegraph Railway Battalion, on the interment. The Unit ...
WWII Military Police Battalion6/17/2008
  Q: I have an Uncle (Domingo Trevino) who was assigned to Co. C, 512 MP Bn, APO 483 c/o P.M. New York, ...
  A: Good question. The 512th Military Police Battalion was based in Europe during WWII. Very little is ...
World War 2 aircraft6/12/2008
  Q: I came across a site that is dedicated to the P 51 Mustang. It even featured an old video of an ...
  A: This is a subject amongst aviation historians that could be argued for years, as to what was/is the ...
military pin6/9/2008
  Q: I HAVE FOUND THIS PIN, IT LOOKS LIKE A "LIFESAVER" FLOATING RING FROM A SHIP. IT MEASURES APPROX. 1" ...
  A: From the sounds of it, it sounds like you have the First Pattern Squadron Pin for the 32nd ...
483 aero squadron6/9/2008
  Q: can you tell me where I can find information on the 483 aero squadron, such as where formed, where ...
  A: The 483rd Aero Squadron was a Construction Squadron; they were the ones who built the Hangers, and ...
WW2 terms for German Army6/7/2008
  Q: I am currently doing a directed study on the battle of Stalingrad and came across this terminology ...
  A: I just found your question in the Question Pool about 5 minutes ago, so sorry for the delay. The ...
APO 8726/4/2008
  Q: my question is that my grandfather did his basic at camp wolter in texas was shipped over seas and ...
  A: In WWII, prior 1945 APO 872 was the official US Army Post Office Designation for the area ...
Hollywood vs History4/11/2008
  Q: I'm interested in the Hollywood vs History angle. The film "300" won big at the box office so it ...
  A: Believe it or not, this is not as easy a question as you would think, and it could be the basis of ...
83rd service group AAF 19444/11/2008
  Q: I'm trying to find out details about my Dad's AAF service. Samuel T. Dalton S/N 15082722 I've got ...
  A: You are correct when you say that the 83rd Support Group was attached to the 100th Bomb Group. ...
4 star General flag3/24/2008
  Q: I have been a collector of WW1-2 military items since I was 12 (nearly 28 years) Saturday I picked ...
  A: I have been to ever website that I know of that has Military Flags. Here are just a few of the ...
336 aero squadron3/21/2008
  Q: Do you have any information on the 336 aero squadron ?I know my grandfather was in the 61st truck ...
  A: It sounds like you Grandfather had one exciting military career, first chasing Poncho Villa, and ...
A.S.A.Det.3/17/2008
  Q: My uncle Harold Maxwell was a pilot during the very final days of WW1 and his headstone has the ...
  A: Good question. The abbreviation for A.S.A. during WWI stood for Air Service, Military Aeronautics. ...
Aero "Roundel"3/11/2008
  Q: Used in WW1, what is the origin, British, French? This is the symbol for aeroplanes. Why was ...
  A: Excellent question. In order to understand why the Roundel is the way it is for Military aircraft ...
chauffeur2/26/2008
  Q: my dad was in WW1. he was in the 1st Aero Squadron. i believe he went to France. Anyway his ...
  A: The title of Chauffeur was a rank in and of itself. Here is what your fathers rank looked like. ...
Chevrons2/22/2008
  Q: I work at the valiant air command and warbird museum; a non profit charity run by volunteers ...
  A: The PFC rank as we know it, which is one chevron up, and one rocker did not become an official US ...
27th Balloon Company2/21/2008
  Q: John, do you know where I can get that photo of the 27th balloon company? My grandfather was ...
  A: In fact I do, I know the person who owns the original. If you make the question, then next one ...
Japanese Instrument of Surrender2/19/2008
  Q: I saw your answer to this question a month ago. To be more specific, in my case: My wife's mother ...
  A: In this case, the answer would be yes. They would be have more value then the ones that were made ...
650th Aero Squadron in WW12/9/2008
  Q: would my uncle have worn a 1st Division and 1st Army patch? Or any Divisional patch? He got some ...
  A: On the left shoulder, your grandfather would have worn the First Army Patch with the Aero Roundel in ...
APO 858 and APO 0232/6/2008
  Q: John, Your recent answer about a WWII APO location gives hope that you may have access to info about ...
  A: Thule AFB is still the Northern Most DOD Base for the US. http://www.thule.af.mil/ It has been ...
27th balloon co2/3/2008
  Q: have collected militaria for 58 years and daily come across something about which i have no specific ...
  A: You are correct with A.S.S.C., being the Aviation Section – Signal Corps. Here is a brief history ...
622 Aero Sq. and 660 Aero Sq.2/1/2008
  Q: I've been doing some research on my grandfather and discovered he was associated with the 622 and ...
  A: Sorry, for my delay in not getting back to you last night, it took me a while to find the book I was ...
WW II sergeants jacket1/24/2008
  Q: I am interested in constructing a memorial frame for my fathers WW II jacket, medals and ribbons. My ...
  A: It is nice to see a family member restore and display their relative uniforms and medals. Here is ...
L-4 question1/23/2008
  Q: I have a L-4 that saw service in WWII, It was shipped to Italy in July 20 1944, 12th Air Force, and ...
  A: Hey Fred, This what I wrote to the USAF, and the NASM, and both responded in kind. Now we just ...
L-41/22/2008
  Q: I am building a Piper L-4 from scratch. I want to match the paint scheme to an L-4 that was famous, ...
  A: The most famous of the L-4 Grasshoppers that flew in WWII are the ones that flew with D-Day Invasion ...
650th Aero Squadron in WW11/17/2008
  Q: My uncle was in this unit in France in WW 1. He was a Chauffeur/ Mechanic. I have his discharge ...
  A: The 650th was an Aero Supply Squadron. Meaning they did not fly anything, or operate any aircraft. ...
ww ii Sergaent Major Stripes1/14/2008
  Q: My dad was discharged from the Army in March 1946 with the rank of Sergeant Major. Please describe ...
  A: During WWII, there was no such rank as Sergeant Major; the highest enlisted rank at the time in the ...
WWII Japanese Surrender Document1/13/2008
  Q: My grandpa served in World War Two, and while going through his things he found a copy of the ...
  A: The Original Japanese Surrender Documents are located at the National Archives in Washington D.C. ...
Fuel for German Tanks & AFVs in 194412/31/2007
  Q: If German tanks were Diesels, why was one of the main objectives of the German offensive we know as ...
  A: FOLLOW UP… Hey Tim, Not a problem and my pleasure. If you need any more specifics please let me ...
APO Address in 194512/29/2007
  Q: My father served in the pacific theatre in at APO 337 and was transferred later to APO 704. Do you ...
  A: Good Question… There are two versions of the US Military Postal System. One id the Army Post ...
rebuilding a Piper J-3 Cub (military L-4??)12/29/2007
  Q: I would like to find an exploded-view poster of the Piper J-3 Cub. I have a parts manual and several ...
  A: The L-4 Grasshopper is a great plane, I had a chance to fly one several times, and it was fun to say ...
WW1 Photo found12/13/2007
  Q: I just found a photo of a Great Great Uncle Hugh Emerson who was in Balloon Corp in WW1. Any ...
  A: Of the 102 Balloon Companies in the US Army during WWI, only 69 went overseas to serve with US ...
Short AWOL12/5/2007
  Q: During the US deployment of troops to Great Britain in WW2,while waiting for D-Day, if a private ...
  A: Good question. Moreover, a tough one to answer, given the broad spectrum of what Absent Without ...
Identify a WWII US Army ETO(?) patch11/14/2007
  Q: I am doing a family history Legend is that my late Uncle was awarded the Silver Star in WWII ETO We ...
  A: Sure, I would be honored to look at the patch. I do not think I can give out my email address on ...
Esquadron 201 (Mexican Squadron in the Pacific)11/3/2007
  Q: During WW2 there was a Mexican Squadron in the Pacific called "Esqudron 201". Do you have any info ...
  A: Yes, the was an all-Mexican squadron of P-47 fighter pilots called Escaudron 201, Escuadrón Aéreo de ...
"enlisted men bear watching"10/30/2007
  Q: I have seen the quote stating that" enlisted men bear watching"....i would like the entire quote or ...
  A: Great question. “Enlisted Men Bear Watching”, stems from the Army Officers Guide Circa 1880’s. ...
unit10/29/2007
  Q: my grandfather ssgt Harry Blake s#32-080-881 was discharged from Ft Dix NJ June of 1945 last unit ...
  A: If you grandfather had earned a CIB and a Bronze Star it would have been on his DD-214. The ...
WWII Enlisted Rank10/17/2007
  Q: A photograph of my wife's grandfather in his WWII uniform shows a rank insignia as 1 chevron up, and ...
  A: No photo needed, however it is nice to know you are prepared to present one. One Chevron Up and ...
Battles and Aviation Badge10/16/2007
  Q: bombs, armorer, etc. and his little notebook lists bombing missions and instructions on preflight ...
  A: Your Dad was a specially trained man. He was quite smart. He flew on B-17’s. On a crew of 10, ...
WW 1 Dog Tag (Balloon Corp?)10/7/2007
  Q: A friend recently found a WWI dog tag with the following info under the name: BAL. Co. B Second ...
  A: Your hunch about it being a Balloon Company is Correct. BAL. Co. B --- Balloon Company B Second ...

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John Vargas

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Expertise

I can answer general as well as specific questions about U.S. Army – Naval Aviation from 1913 to 1946 and WWII U.S. Airborne, to include key personalities, units, commands – doctrines. My specialty is U.S. Aviation Badges (all Branches of the Service, from WWI to the Present), U.S. Airborne Badges and Insignia (from WWII to the Present) as well as Issued Flight Gear (flight uniforms, helmets, sunglasses, etc.). I also specialize in Airborne, as well as Infantry Badges and Insignia (from WWI to the Present), both authorized as well as unauthorized of the period. I have all the actual original badges, insignia and most of the flight gear that are specific to this period of history as they are part of my personal collection. I also have access to a vast personal library of publications – text, which includes original orders, manuals, books, die card, die envelopes, guides and many other publications that are period, as well as publications – text from others...such as museums.

Experience

I have over 20 years’ experience in collecting and cataloging WWI to WWI U.S. Army Aviation – U.S. Naval Aviation, WWI to WWII U.S. Issue Aviation Flight Gear, U.S. Airborne Badges, Insignia and Airborne Equipment. I was the former assistant curator at the Gen. Wm. C. Lee Airborne Museum in NC. I have written histories of Wing Badges – Aviation Insignia for several manufacturing companies to include The Robbins Company, Bailey Banks & Biddle, and I am working on the histories for several other companies at the moment such as Bausch & Lomb Tiffany, Herff Jones as well as several others. I am a consultant on regular basis to many museums, including the U.S.A.F., U.S. Army, Private and Public Museums, the Institute of Heraldry, as well as the Department of National Defence (Canada), for the Canadian Armed Forces. I am regularly called upon to authenticate U.S. Aviation Badges, Insignia and Flight Gear (all Branches of the Service) for Fine Auctions Houses such as Bonham’s, as well as sunglass manufactures such as Including Bausch & Lomb (vintage verification) and many others.

Organizations
Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA-FL) Historian – I am not a Vietnam Veteran nor a Vietnam Era Helicopter Pilot, I was not old enough to serve in Vietnam, unless the U.S. needed a one-year-old and then I would have Proudly Served.

Education/Credentials
I am perusing an advanced degree in history (Ph.D.), with a concentration in WWI and WWII U.S. Aviation. I am a U.S. Army Paratrooper and I am a Qualified and Rated Aviator.

Awards and Honors
Kentucky Colonel, National Honor Society, President’s List, Campbell University, Distinguished Honor Graduate, Various “Who's Who”, from 1988 to Present, Numerous Special Recognition Awards both Military and Civilian.

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