RE: Insignia clarification
To all who have an interest in the origin of the 460th Bomb Group insignia.
The "thumbnail" print posted skybear 45 was used by the 460th Bomb Group Association. I did this in 1989 and it was used until the organization was reorganized as the 460th Bomb Group (H) Society, Inc. in 1998, then I revised the logo to reflect the name change.
There were no squadronj insignias, only that of the Group. The origin of the Black Panther insignia is quite interesting. It owes its existance to Col. Robert T. Crowder who was our original Group Comander. A West Point graduate who had a flare for making the 460th distinctive, it was Col. Crowder who came up with the idea of using a Black Panther as our Group insignia. He put Lt. Cliff Stone, a 763rd squadron pilot in cxharge of conducting a contest among all 460th personnel for the best drawing of a "Black Panther". There were only two entries, that of Cpl. Victor Eric Newberg, a 761st Squadron clerk and that of Sgt. Vernon Greene of the 761st Squadron. When it came time to judge the propsal Col. Crowder selected the winner. We are not totally sure who the winner was, but it appears that Newberg came up with the winner, we know that Crowder did not select the proposal of Greene. Both Green and Newberg are deceased.
By the time we came together as a Group at Kearns Field, (Salt Lake City) in October 1943, the insignia was already in place and patches were available. Shortly after this were were transferred to Chatham Field, GA (Savannah) and assigned our first aircraft. These all carried the Black Panther on the nose as did those we took overseas in January 1944.
The first jacket patches were about 4 1/2 inches square, made of white leather with the Panther logo silk screened on them..Later patches tended to be round, but the Panther remained the same. As Lee Ording mentioned, there were a lot of variations available that were provided by local artisans, especially on the Isle of Capri. We have a number of them.
I hope this answers the question of how the 460th Bomb Group insignia came to be. Should you have further questions please feel free to get back to us.
Sparky and Betty Bohnstedt
460th Bomb Group Historians