Conflicting Division Patches

Discussion in 'US Units' started by Takumar, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Takumar

    Takumar New Member

    My father was in WW 2 in the 42d Rainbow Div., E Company. I have done a lot of research into what and where concerning his experiences over the years and compiled it into a book. I even have a roster of E Company from 1945 with his name and home address, and I also have declassified action reports from March and April 1945.

    My father recently passed away and my Mom sent me his summer and winter dress uniforms. However there is something I am confused about. On his Eisenhower Jacket, of course on the left sleeve shoulder above his T-Sgt patch, is the 42d Rainbow Div. patch. And I know from my research and talking to him that he was assigned to the Rainbow right out of boot as a replacement in 1944 and he stayed with the Rainbow until his discharge in 1946 while stationed in Saltzberg, Austria.

    But on the right sleeve shoulder of the Jacket, again above the T-Sgt patch is the 103d Cactus Division patch. I do not understand that at all. I also looked into affiliations of the Cactus Division with other divisions and the 103d had a brief affiliation with the 45th in April 1945 (which was in the same geographical area as the Rainbow (42d) at that time, but the 103d did not have any affiliations with the 42d.

    So I can't understand why he would have a Cactus Div patch anywhere on his uniform. Any thoughts concerning this would be appreciated as this is a mystery.

    After this, my next research project will be to figure out his campaign ribbons. I did notice that one of them has a small bronze star.

    Thanks much! Bill
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    You might be better off asking on the sister forum
    There's more Americans on there who maybe able to help.
  3. Takumar

    Takumar New Member

    My father was in the 42nd Division called the Rainbow Division. I have his army records on this and he told me the same. In was in the Rainbow from boot until discharge. He recently passed away and my Mom sent me his uniform. On the left shoulder above his rank was the Rainbow Division patch. But on the right shoulder, just above his rank was the Cactus Division patch which was the 103rd Division. He was never in the 103rd and neither division had any elements attached to the other.

    Does anyone know why someone in the Rainbow Division would a Cactus Division patch sewn anywhere on his uniform. Thanks much. Cheers.
  4. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    Many soldiers returned to the US with units other than their combat outfit. The 42d ID was inactivated in Germany in 1946 so he must have left them to at least return to the US.

    The 103d ID returned to the US in September of 1945. What date does your father's discharge document state for his return to the US?

    But as you say the patches appear to be on the wrong side. Wearing a combat patch on the right shoulder was new at the end of the war so mistakes are made. I would go with what the documents say.
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    The 43rd ID and the 103rd ID have a connection.

    The cadre that formed the 103rd ID 15 Nov 1942 came from the 102nd ID. The cadre that formed the 42nd ID in Jul 1943 also came from the 102nd. It is possible that he was part of the cadre that began the 103rd, but that he did not stay with them? Just guessing.

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