1. The AAF forum will close permanently on December 1, 2017. I no longer have the time to manage a project like this, obviously, or give it the attention that it deserves. I still think fondly of the early days in 1998 when this all got started. A small, but eager group of tech savvy 1st and 2nd generation descendants made great friends with the last of the WWII veterans thru the newfangled internet. They're all gone now. It's time for me to turn the page. Thanks for being along for part of the ride. I'm sorry it got so bumpy in the end.
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8th AF shoulder patch

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Medals, and More' started by peterDuck, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. peterDuck

    peterDuck Member

    What is the history of the 8th AF shoulder patch? I recently looked a a photo of my dad (see attached) and noticed that he is wearing the standard AAF shoulder patch. Upon further research I've noticed that other members of the 467th BG were wearing the same patch. I had expected to see the well known 8th AF patch being worn. Does anyone know the story behind the 8th AF shoulder patch? When was it first used? What was the standard for it's use? Ect......

    Attached Files:

  2. j.peters140

    j.peters140 Active Member

    From what I have learned over the years...some units required the 8th AF patch and others did not...it depended on the Group CO. This applied to the other AF's as well. Perhaps due to individual commanders, the wearing of the individual AF patch gave awy too much to the Germans if a POW...however, the German spies in the US, had a rather complete dossier on persons who were POWs, including high school photos, and home addresses.

    Jim B-17 Flight Engineer/Top Turret, 99th BG, 348th BS, 15th AF
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  3. peterDuck

    peterDuck Member


    Great to hear from you. Hope all is well with you.

    I very much appreciate the response. Great information as always.

    Interesting about it being a unit level requirement (based on Group CO desire). What was the requirement with your Group? Did you wear a 15th AF patch or the standard Army Air Corp patch? Since both 8th and 15th Air Forces flew over Europe I can see how it might not add that little bit if captured.

    BTW: I hope they can import the posts from the old forum soon. I enjoyed rereading many of them from time to time, including many that you posted.

    Happy Holidays

    -Peter (Son of-a Tailgunner)
  4. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    I flew missions with the 303rdbg, 8th Air Force from Feb. 1, 1945 through VE- Day. During that period we did not wear any patches on the uniform when on a mission to prevent identification if captured. We did carry two items, our dog tags and an American Flag arm band with attached safety pin. I folded my arm band and attached it to the handle of my 45 which I carried in a shoulder holster. This location gave me immediate access on the way down or shortly after hitting the ground. I still have the folded arm band. The safety pin has turned green from age but the flag is as bright as ever.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
    rthomley likes this.
  5. j.peters140

    j.peters140 Active Member

    peterDuck....Sorry....I am attempting to recall whether we wore the 15th AF patch or the standard AAF patch...I don't think that there was a requirement for wear the 15th AF patch. (However as I age, my memory is not as good as it used to be).

    Jim :)
  6. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    Jim............At age 90 I know the feeling.

  7. peterDuck

    peterDuck Member

    Bill - Brillant response. Very insightful. Thanks for sharing.

    Your response got me thinking a bit. I've never really considered what was underneath the crews jackets. I have the 467th BG Association archives in my possession (I've been digitizing the lot). Did a quick scan through many of the images and all I've found (so far) are photos with everyone wearing jackets. I'm now left with the question (from your comment about your flight uniform), "Did flight crews have a separate uniform, without any 'identification', that they wore on missions?". If so, it begs another question "How many uniforms did flight crews typically have?". Two of each (with and without identification)? More? Do you recall how many of each you had?

    It's been awhile since I've thought about what crew members carried with them. If I recall correctly there was a very nice description in a book (Reluctant Witness) written by the 788th BS Commanding Officer James Mahoney. I'll have to revisit the book. A very nice collection of recollections. I'm assuming, from your comment about carrying a pistol, that you were an officer. Do you mind if I ask what position you held? Just curious.

    Bill and Jim - I'm very glad you both survived your service and are still with us to share your stories and memories. They are very much appreciated.

    I wish you both, and your families, the very best this holiday season.

  8. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    Peter -I will try to answer your questions. We dressed differently for mission high altitude flight than we did for day to day activities.To see how I dressed for missions go to: http://303rdbg.com/runnels-memories.html and scroll down to "Mission Preparations". I was an officer, MOS 1035-Bombardier. By the way every member of the crew was issued a 45 pistol and shoulder holster. However, there was not a mandate they carry them and not all did. I carried mine.

    In my previous response I mentioned we carried two things on the mission. Actually I carried three the other being $100.00 in U.S. Currency to be used as bribe money if captured by a civilian.

    Hopefully by checking the above you will ge the answers to your questions. If not let me know

    B-17 Bombardier
    rthomley and Bomber Command like this.
  9. peterDuck

    peterDuck Member

    Bill - I very much appreciate your sharing the link. Wonderful recollections. You described quite well the attire and preparations you went through prior to each mission. I especially enjoyed your description of how your suit "plugged" together. One thing you mentioned brought up a question. You mentioned you left your flak suit and helmet on your plane. Since you didn't fly the same plane on each mission, did your ground crew take care of moving those items to each aircraft? What happened when you flew an aircraft maintained by a different ground crew? No worries if you don't recall. Just my curiosity getting the best of me ;-)

    I also particularly enjoyed your recollection of your "crossing". My father flew the southern route to transition to the ETO. While he (and the Group) had a number of interesting experiences, yours is the first I've read concerning the northern route. Quite the ordeal.

    On a final note, I got a kick out of your taking a "passing shot" at the B-24. "...The pilot shot fifteen landings and all were bad. I learned he was a B-24 pilot..........I figured the risk wasn't worth the $75.00 flight pay.....". After all this time it still goes on ;-)

    All the best

  10. billrunnels

    billrunnels Active Member

    Peter...As it turned out the crossing experience turned out to be my biggest challenge of the war, much more so than any mission.

    Regarding the Bombardier flak suit and helmet, they were not personal equipment but used by the Bombardier assigned to that plane on a given day. The suit was one size fits all, heavy and very bulky, and therefore remained on the aircraft for all to use.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my notes. They were written a long time ago to give our two sons an accounting of my experience. They were also a part of my personal Web Site before I cancelled it when Yahoo wanted to charge to retain it.

  11. peterDuck

    peterDuck Member

    Bill - Great info about the jacket and helmet. I learned something today. It's been a good day ;-)

    Glad to hear your passing your experiences on to your sons. I hope they appreciate your efforts.

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma with Yahoo. I might be able to provide a solution if your still interested in reposting your website. Send me a PM if your interested and we can discuss.


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