World War Two (WW II-2) shoulder sleeve insignia patch worn by personnel of the Third Air Force unit of the United States Army Air Force. Patch has been examined and DOES NOT GLOW under ultraviolet light. Made of natural fiber consistent with an authentic vintage insignia, and was most likely manufactured during World War II. Acquired by us with other genuine WW2 insignia here in Connecticut, a center of textile production during the Second World War.
The 3rd Air Force command was activated in December 1940, and based at MacDill Field, Florida with a mission of air defense of the Southeastern United States and Gulf Coast regions. It flew antisubmarine patrols along coastal areas of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico after Pearl Harbor until October 1942. Thereafter, the mission became the training through Army Air Forces Training Command of units, crews, and individuals for bombardment, fighter, and reconnaissance operations, including those of B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder medium bomber groups; A-20 Havoc and A-36 Apache light bomber groups; and replacement fighter pilots for P-39 Aircobra and P-40 Warhawks, and later for P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs.
This insignia was approved in September 1943, and officially described as a blue disc within a yellow border and an Arabic numeral "3" in white shaded in red perspective, with a white star charged with a red disc in the lower loop.
Shoulder insignia appears to be machine-stitched twill, and is round (2-3/4" in diameter).
CONDITION: One shows very light soiling from actual use; the other is in excellent condition, and whether or not it was actually used has not been determined. However, neither of the two glow when examined under ultraviolet light, and appear to be made of all-natural fiber material, most likely of World War II vintage. All significant flaws are visible in photos.
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