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Patches

The 1st Cavalry Division has had a vibrant history of its patches, especially its Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI). The division's SSI was approved by the War Department on January 3rd, 1921, designed by Colonel Benjamin H. Dorcy and his wife Gladys. At the time of the patch's design, Col. Dorcy was serving as the commander of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, serving as their commanding officer until his death in 1926.

The couple, both regarded as experts in heraldry, were inspired by the First Team's home at El Paso and the very soul of Texas is embedded in their patch. The story goes that they were relaxing on their front porch watching the sunset. Mrs. Dorcy was cutting up one of the colonel's old dress-blue capes, the liner of which was cavalry yellow. As she was cutting, a cavalryman rode past on a handsome, blue-black thoroughbred. It didn't take them long after to design the first prototype. Mrs. Dorcy is now remembered as Mother Dorcy and was named the 'Mother of the First Team.'

Featured in the collection are examples of 1st Cavalry Division SSI and various pocket patches of constituent units of the division.

Click on a photo  for a closer look or click on the arrows at the edges of the slideshow to look through the photos.

1st Cavalry Division Patch

This patch was made in Occupied Germany following the end of World War II. Many German, Austrian, and Japanese artisans produced SSI from all American units based off of articles from National Geographic and would showcase these examples in large binders to potential customers. This is a German example and is the only example of this type known to the CHief Historian. It is believed that the artisan utilized tinsel from Heer and SS uniform insignia for the outline of the patch.

1st Cavalry Division Patch

This patch was made in Occupied Japan during the Korean War. It was purchased and used by Cpl. John Cavanna, who is featured in the 'Korean War' section of the website. This specific patch features a gold bullion shiled with gold accented border and black velvet horsehead and bend.

1st Cavalry Division Patch

1st Cavalry Division Patch

This patch was made in Occupied Japan sometime between 1946-1947. It was purchased and used by T/3 Robert Davidson, who is featured in the 'Occupation of Japan' section of the website. This specific patch features a gold bullion shiled with gold accented border and black velvet horsehead and bend. Also featured is a matching 'Hell for Leather' tab and the phrases 'Tokyo, Japan' and 'F Trp' all in bullion. Some moth damage has impacted the velvet but the design is still apparent.

1st Cavalry Division Patch