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Author Topic: Questions about Insignia worn in Vietnam.  (Read 563 times)

Offline Mick_in_Switzerland

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Questions about Insignia worn in Vietnam.
« on: August 13, 2022, 11:04:59 AM »
Please can you help me improve this description of Insignia worn in Vietnam.
I am struggling with ANZAC and NVA insignia.

US Army And USMC
US Army soldiers had their surname above the right chest pocket. This was initially black lettering on white tape but from summer 1966 this changed to olive green tape. US ARMY in black letters on olive tape was sewn above the left chest pocket. Tapes were horizontal until September 1969, after which they were slanted parallel to the top of the chest pocket. USMC followed the same system but with US MARINES above the left chest pocket.
Divisional  patches were worn on the sleeve at the shoulder. These were full color and usually followed WW2 designs until June 1966 when subdued black insignia on olive green were introduced. Units such as the 82nd Airborne Division, 101st Airborne Division, and 1st Infantry Division retained full color insignia throughout the conflict.
Rank insignia also changed to subdued colors from June 1966. Sergeants stripes were worn on both sleeves. Pin on insignia were introduced from July 1968, so that the soldier could switch it to a clean uniform, making laundry management easier. By 1970, pin on insignia were normal.

ARVN soldiers had their surname above the right chest pocket with gold lettering on olive green tape. This changed to black lettering if other insignia was subdued. Divisional  patches were worn on the sleeve at the left shoulder. Subdued designs were issued by many units but Paratroopers and Rangers and other elite troops retained full color patches. Sergeants stripes were worn on the left sleeve.

I am struggling with the ANZAC insignia. I thought that it was similar to the American system but combat photographs appear to show no insignia at all.
There is a sometimes a cord or ribbon woven through the hatband, which I think it a rank symbol. Any help would be appreciated.

As far as I understand no insignia was worn by VC or NVA in combat zones. During Tet, some VC wore blue and red ribbons pinned to their (left?) sleeves



« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 11:07:02 AM by Mick_in_Switzerland »

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: Questions about Insignia worn in Vietnam.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2022, 05:47:04 PM »
I think you’ll find it was rare for the Marines to have name tapes. The original USMC shirts simply had the Eagle and Anchor device printed onto them and the tendency seemed to be no service/ branch or individual marking on the jungle fatigues. Branch marking seems more common when individual marines were serving as advisors to SVN units.

Australia. The general rule, at least for infantry, was no rank insignia in the field. Subdued rank did not come in until the adoption of the Ozcam bunny suits in the 1980s. It could/ would be worn around Nui Dat or on leave etc but generally not on operations. No real need in the bush, generally speaking everyone knows who the NCOs and officers are within their company.

I think name tapes were adopted sometime in the 1970s. Might have been earlier, perhaps with the short-lived pixie shirt.  It was a fashion picked up from the tin-tanks anyway. They were certainly being worn by the 1980s. My daughter gets around in one of my old shirts with the name tag on. Shirt itself dates to 1966. Vietnam era shirts were adorned with a gold rising sun bade on the upper left arm but again, not something typically worn in the field.

At times, on a particular operation, an identifying band might be worn on the bush hat as a security measure, as had been the case in Malaya and Borneo. Typically that might be a length of flannelette pull-through threaded through the foliage bands. Beyond that it was the fashion to loop lengths of hutchie cord through said loops as a way of individualising the giggle hat. You occasionally see the same thing done with strips of sweat scarf material, being drawn through the loops.  Unlikely to be visible on a 28mm figure as both hutchie cord and the sweat band are green as well.

The VC were known to adopt field signs of their own for security reasons. Typically it came down to the manner in which the traditional scarf was worn or tied. Obviously as with any temporary measure that would change frequently.

Hope that helps.
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Offline Mick_in_Switzerland

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Re: Questions about Insignia worn in Vietnam.
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2022, 03:12:28 PM »
Dear Carlos,

Thank-you very much for your help.

Best Regards


Online bluewillow

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Re: Questions about Insignia worn in Vietnam.
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2022, 03:44:33 PM »
The Australians would wear insignia on base or outside the base, but on patrol very rarely, a Brazzard (a piece of cloth the wrapped the upper arm) on the left shoulder, the Australian rising sun badge (yellow) under could be the single stripe for lance corporal, twin stripes for corporal, sergeant three stripes, staff sergeant three stripes and crown above, warrant officer crown.
Officers wore slide on rank insignia (slide onto the epaulettes) on both shoulders, sub lieutenant one pip, lieutenant two, captain three, major crown, lt colonel one pip crown, colonel two pips crown.

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