B-26 Marauder 320th Bomb Group

 

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[Art][Patches]

 

441st Chest Patch

 

 


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The initial 441st Squadron insignia consisted of an outline of the U.S. map with the L
ions Heart escutcheon above it and the Air Corps winged prop over it on the left. Across the map ran a scroll with the Latin motto Finis Origine Pendet (the end depends upon the beginning). This earliest patch was constructed of tufted wool. The background was yellow with the U.S. continent, lions heart, and lettering being purple. This early patch was used by the squadron from its inception in 1943 and while stationed in North Africa.

A later version of this patch, but still used in North Africa, was made out of leather. The leather was most likely goatskin. The patch was made by local artisans. The U.S. continent and Lions Heart on this patch were a medium blue color. Special tooling was performed to demarcate the features of the patch.

 

In early 1944, while on Sardinia, the Squadron altered their design background to a quadranted circle of red and yellow overlaid with a royal blue (though sometimes green) silhouette of a B-26. The winged Air Corp prop was placed in the lower left quadrant and the Lions Heart in the upper right quadrant. There was no special tooling on the early examples of this patch. The reason for the change was that it had been mandated that insignias could no longer display any geographic features.

While the group was in France the patch underwent another change, albeit more subtle. The patch no longer was painted yellow in two of the four quadrants, but instead was kept a natural tanned leather. A royal blue circle around the perimeter was added. In addition, there was special tooling to demarcate the patch features and tooling performed from the back  to raise the scroll relative to the rest of the patch.

442nd Chest Patch

 

 
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The 442nd Squadron's original insignia was a cartoon figure of Donald Duck cradling a bomb and charging forward. This design which, caused the 442nd to be nicknamed the Ugly Duckling Squadron, was used throughout the war.

443rd Chest Patch

 

 


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The 443rd throughout the war used a black African native figure crouching in jungle foliage and blowing a bomb out of a blowpipe. The figure held a shield with the U.S. star insignia. The background was a natural tanned leather. All the major features of the patch were demarcated with tooling of the leather.

444th Chest Patch

 

 


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A Walt Disney style Thumper rabbit in foot-stomping pose was the original 444th Squadron emblem. The rabbit was depicted riding on a shark mouth painted bomb, wearing long johns, helmet, goggles, and scarf as well as holding a blunderbuss. The overall diameter of the patch was slightly larger than the others depicted here. This patch measured 5 3/4", while the others described above measured 5 1/4". The patch was painted without special tooling.

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