5th Army patch as issued in Italy with Italian Theater-made parachute tab made of Italian wool uniform scrap. Tab was made to distinguish members of the 509th PIB from other 5th Army personnel. The 509th did not have an authorized shoulder sleeve insignia due to being only a battalion. The 509th was attached to the 5th Army while in Italy 19 Nov 1943 - 15 Jul 1944 which authorized their personnel to wear the 5th Army shoulder sleeve insignia.
5th Army Patch worn by Veteran Harvey Sutherland in World War II
Three variations of the italian theater made 509th parachute tab
A fourth variation of the 509th parachute tab
A fifth variation of the 509th parachute tab. Many street vendors in Italy would have produced and sold these easy to make tabs
This parachute tab is the variation most frequently found in Veterans collections.
Typical 509th PIB parachute tab with standard issue 5th Army patch
Another variation of the 509th parachute tab with standard issue 5th Army patch
Theater made 509th PIB parachute tab and 5th Army patch uniquely made for this lieutenants officer service coat. The patches seem to be made by the same shop as the one below with the addition of bullion trim and red wool behind the parachute tab. Note that it is sewn on the right sleeve as a combat patch. The officers name is unknown at this time (Sycamore Collection)
Bullion and wool 509th PIB parachute tab and 5th Army patch similar to the one above
Typical theater made 509th parachute tab belonging to Ed Solak. The 5th Army patch did not come with this tab but is of the smilar construction as the one above. One difference is the blue cloth instead of blue wool (Mark Bando Collection)
Typical 509th parachute tab with another variation of the theater made 5th Army patch
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