Friday, January 13, 2017

WWII Military Insignia for Joseph Vidunas

This is not really the next post, it just looks like one.  I want to find out what the patches and medals are on my Grandfather's WWII Army uniform, and what they might mean.
About 1940
 (CyborgKitty, 2016)
This photo detail above is blurry, but it shows two pins or patches on Joseph Vidunas' lapel and collar.  I have a document showing him on a Navy transport in December 1941 on his way to the Canal Zone.  He was a tech sergeant in the Barrage Balloon Battalion.  I suspect the triangle insignia is an emblem of his unit.  I am not sure from the photograph if it has the decoration on the center, but it is three different colours.  Of course, I could be wrong, since I don't speak Army.  I've just started this research, and I could have it all wrong.  Looking closer, I see the colour combination is wrong.  On Joseph's uniform, the lighter colour (possibly yellow) is on the right side, not the top as in this sample.  The darkest colour (possibly blue) is on the top and the middle shade is on the left.  Not the same at all ... unless you take the sample and rotate it to the right?  I'm open to suggestions.

(affordablevintage4U, 2016)
The lapel pin seems to be a musician's lyre.  See the sample to the right.  The only thing is that the one in the photograph seems to be a bit rounder than my sample.  I think this photograph was taken about 1935 or so.  I have a 1930 census with him listed as a soldier musician.  I would love to know what kind of instrument he played.

1944, Right collar and lapel 
(Wikipedia, 2016)

(Daves Collectibles 
and More (d254 ), 2016)
Owned by dayspringacres
This detail above is likewise fuzzy.  It is his lapel and collar on the right side of his uniform.  The collar is most likely a duplicate of the US pin on the left side collar.  The lapel, though is enigmatic.  When he died, he was in the infantry unit as a 1st Lieutenant.  I thought all infantry pins had the crossed rifles, but these things are too thick to be rifles, and there is no detail to indicate trigger.  At the base of each crossed thing is a slight swelling and a point.  I think these are crossed field artillery.  I know that the Barrage Battalion was considered field artillery.  Yet, again, is a puzzle.  What is the circle and what is inside the circle?  I've searched the internet and found the crossed field artillery but nobody has this additional center piece.  The left lapel seems to show the letter "A" in the center, but this one is hard to tell.  Later on, suddenly, I come across an Ebay seller with these lapel pins.  They are brand new (75-80 years new!).  Joseph would have handled a card just like this as he pinned them on his uniform.  I had to get them.

1944, Left breast pocket

(steviewonder2002, n.d.)
The medallion hanging from the bar is on the left breast pocket flap.  The extra metallic thing below and to the left is his uniform button.  I don't even know the terminology, what is this "hangy-downy thing" called?  The bar may have something written on it, but I don't even see a hint.  There is one link of chain on each side holding the medallion.  Originally, I thought it was something like wings, the base of which are at the top flowing down to meet at the bottom with a hollow center.  Like a ring.    Then, I thought it might be a chevron?  Thanks to a member of the Facebook page "Friends and Family of the 84th Division" I was led to see it as the Pistol Marksmanship badge.

American Defense Medal
 (Worldwide Militaria LLC, 2017)

Army Good Conduct Medal
 (Worldwide Militaria LLC, 2017)
Now, the last decoration on Joseph Vidunas' uniform are the ribbons over his left breast pocket.  Again, I have gradations of grey to judge by.  I can see there are two ribbons.  The one on our left is dark colour, with triple light stripes on either side.  It almost looks like a third colour in the middle.  However, after google search of military ribbons for WWII, I conclude this one is red with white stripes, the Army Good Conduct medal.  The appearance of a third colour is the effect of the ribbon itself.  The lighter ribbon is, I conclude, the American Defense Medal.

affordablevintage4U. (2016, August 11). Etsy. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from WWII US Army Band Musician Hat Badge - Genuine Music Militaria, Lyre Pin Army Memorabilia - 1940s Band Uniform Badge - Gift for Music Lover:
CyborgKitty. (2016). Etsy. Retrieved 2017, from Army Armored Forces School US Military Patch Vintage Embroidered Sew On Armed Forces Uniform Insignia Triangle With Red Lightning Symbol:
steviewonder2002. (n.d.). Ebay. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from WWI WWII USMC Marine Expert Pistol Badge Pin Insignia STERLING ORIGINAL:
Worldwide Militaria LLC. (2017). American Defense Medal. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from Worldwide Militaria:

Worldwide Militaria LLC. (2017). Army Good Conduct Medal. Retrieved January 13, 2017, from Worldwide Militaria: