Author Topic: VMSB/VMTB-454 "Helldivers" Squadron Patch  (Read 3146 times)

jpatrickstout

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VMSB/VMTB-454 "Helldivers" Squadron Patch
« on: January 08, 2016, 05:47:43 pm »
Commissioned 3.1.44 as VMSB-454, VMTB-454 on 10.14.1944, and finally, VMTB(CVS)-454 on 11.5.44.  It originated in El Toro and ventured to Mojave, Santa Barbara, USS Puget Sound and back to Santa Barbara by August, 1945.  While not as attractive as, say, VMF-214, it is part of the USMC history in WWII and has a screamer of a squadron insignia.  A Disney art design, it was approved in 1944 by HQMC.

HELLDIVER: Nickname derived from the insignia and original aircraft
BLUE Background: Limitless Sky
GOLD Triangle & CRIMSON Cloak: Colors of the USMC
FLASHING Bomb: Our Primary Mission
GRINNING Determination of Helldiver: The RESOLUTION to push the attack forewarn the face of all odds.

The Disney design is accurately reflected in the patch.  I am not sure if this was a Hank Porter art piece, but I am currently researching that aspect and hope to have information from David Lesjak and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  The original patch is a US embroidered on wool and quite attractive.  It is this patch that is present on the flight jackets in any wartimes photos I have seen. Here is the 1st issued patch...



jpatrickstout

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Re: VMSB/VMTB-454 "Helldivers" Squadron Patch
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 06:05:53 pm »
There is a second patch issued at sometime, probably in 1945, after moving to Mojave.  More research needed.  In Millsteins book on USMC Aviation Unit Insignia, the 2nd patch is described as "silk screened on leatherette".  This is likely not the case, but rather, decal on canvas.  In corresponding with Jeff Millstein, he told me that if it was not in the book, then he did not have an example of the patch to look at. I assume this information was 2nd hand information from one of his vet references.  What I have found is decal patches as well as individual decals in unused condition from at least 4 sources for a total of 8 pieces.  The leatherette-like background upon which the decal is placed has a rubbery feel as if it was coated.  When you look closely at the reverse side, it has the appearance of canvas.  Canvas was often used for silkscreening in WWII.  Look at the following attachments.

jpatrickstout

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Re: VMSB/VMTB-454 "Helldivers" Squadron Patch
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 06:10:28 pm »
Here is the decal, unused.  Vitachrome, Inc., is the maker, but I have not been able to find any substantial information on the company and their role in WWII.  More research needed.  Attachments include side-by-side of decal and patch.

jpatrickstout

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Re: VMSB/VMTB-454 "Helldivers" Squadron Patch
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 06:15:05 pm »
Here is an anomaly that appeared on ebay several years ago.  There is no question, I think, that it is an original decal, but applied on a brown thin leather.  However the condition and such reflects an attempt to make your own patch.  The decal could have been applied to thin leather in WWII, but there is no evidence at this time to substantiate that thought.

If you have wartime photos or other new information, please let me know.  I will update accordingly when I have some more information.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 07:00:01 pm by jpatrickstout »