WWII U.S. Navy Amphibious Forces Shoulder Insignia

Approved for wear in early 1944, this Naval Amphibious Forces patch has a nearly–identical U.S. Army counterpart (the same gold emblem instead on a field of blue) was the first of a handful of Navy SSI (Image source: eBay).

Posted on March 31, 2016. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Ronnie Balthrop

    My Father served in the Navy during WW II on a L S T. Among the medals he was awarded is an Amphibious shoulder insignia.I suppose that is what I’m looking at. Haven’t had any luck finding one till now so now I need to know where I can order one. Thanks

    • Ronnie,

      Thank you for your comments. Just a point of clarification, this patch is not an award but rather a visual indicator (for his uniform) that showed that he was a part of the fledgling “gator” navy.

      You can purchase a modern reproduction of this patch through militaria companies such as Medals of America. Personally, I would pursue a vintage original one on eBay (such as this one) or through a trustworthy vintage militaria seller.


    • my father also served on L.S.T. 316 during the invasion of Normandy on Omaha beach 6/6/44

  2. I have this patch from my grandfather! I am so excited to see the history…He said sailors would step aside when they saw the teident. I followed in his footsteps but retired USAF….Go USN!

  3. Holly Newman: Maybe you meant “trident”. If so, that is not a trident, that is a “Navy stock anchor” which was mounted on the stern structure of landing vessels such as the LST. The function of the anchor,which was dropped as the LST made its’ run to the beach, was to dig in and hold to prevent the LST from broaching. The weapon,of course is the Thompson sub-machine gun. (information from my personal experience in the PTO in WWII. )

    • Rod,

      It is probably best to take a less condescending approach when educating folks who may not have the same personal PTO WWII experience as you do. Holly is learning about her grandfather’s service. Perhaps I am reading into your tone because of your more recent comment assuming that my knowledge was acquired via eBay.

      Have a great day, sir!

  4. The identical patch ,except for the color was an Army Engineer patch. Not an Army Amphibious patch. BTW EBay is a poor source for valid military information.

    • Rod,

      While I certainly appreciate your application of sarcasm (“BTW EBay is a poor source for valid information”), it is best to actually have some credibility established prior to attempting to correct people. As you infer to have served during The War, I will offer to you, instead my gratitude and respect in reply. In addition, you might want to refer to your sources in regards to the “identical patch, except for the color” as it was worn by members of the U.S. Army Engineer Amphibian Brigades (specifically, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) prior to being re-designated as the Army Engineer Special Brigades in 1943. My source for shortening the title of the patch was my uncle who served the early part of the war with the 543rd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. You might also consider the (contextual during WWII) available sources that educated the civilian populous with unit insignia (for all services) such as these, often seen in the pages of National Geographic and Life magazines (I took the liberty to share a close-up of the image of the Amphibious Command patch just for you):
      Army Amphibious Command Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

      Please have a great day, kind sir!

  5. When did the Navy stop wearing these patches? I’m “Gator Navy” ’66-’67

  6. Thomas Senones

    My father spent 4 years in the Navy and 26 years in the Army. He wore this red shoulder patch. I also have his metal pins which I believe would have been worn on his epaulets. He also had it tatooed on his left forearm.

  7. Hello All,
    I know this is a bit (few years) late to this conversation, but I humbly seeking any information you could provide regarding my grandfather. I have been researching him for years, and all I have to go by is his WWll colorized portrait and some basic information that I have obtained through request of records and my own research.

    I am specifically seeking help here because the only unit information I have is his portrait showing him with the red amphibious forces shoulder insignia. This is confusing me as I thought Army amphibious engineers wear a blue version, with Navy being red (as I am sure you you all know). I was thinking perhaps there may have been a colorization error. After my dad and I requested his war records, we received little information as much of his records were destroyed in the archive fire. Dad said he only spoke of his experience once or twice, only replying that he saw combat when asked.

    Below is information I have…

    He served in the Army Corps of Engineers 1943-1945
    Arrived in Good Enough Island in April 1944 aboard the transport USS Hermitage
    Has Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (One Battle Star) and America Campaign Medal
    Spent some time in a hospital in NY in 1945

    Does anyone have any reasoning why an Army engineer would be wearing the Navy insignia?

    Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

  8. John C Brooks

    My dad wore this SSI during WWII. AKA-73 USS New Hanover. 43-45.
    He was in the Invasion of Okinawa

  9. My dad wore this patch on the right sleeve, after the war, when he served in the National guard. I know it was worn on the left sleeve when in active service. Was it to be worn on the right sleeve after discharged from the navy?
    Please reply. Thanks

    • David beaird here. The patch was:
      Naval Amphibious Forces Shoulder Patch

      • I can’t comment on what an individual state NG command might have authorized for wear, post-WWII. Since they use U.S. Army uniform regulations as a basis, they might have permitted the wear. Also, state NG units might have been somewhat lax with war veterans certain aspects. I would be interested in seeing a Navy Amphibious Forces insignia on an army uniform.

      • I have a picture but I don’t know how to place it in this reply format.

    • David,

      The Amphibious Forces insignia was only authorized for wear during the war and only on the left shoulder, just below the seam.

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