Original U.S. WWI 2nd Infantry Division 1st Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment Indian Head Service Coat

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Second Infantry Division (Indianhead) patch is one of the most recognized unit emblems in the U. S. Army because of its distinctive design and 80 years of proud service by its Warriors. The origin of the patch goes back to the earliest day of the division’s history. While training with the French in 1917, Col. Herringshaw of the Service and Support Supply of the Second Infantry Division noticed that the French trucks were marked with symbols representing the unit to which each belonged.. He sponsored a contest among his men to design a symbol for his trucks. There were three winners: first prize winner was a design featuring an Indian Head: second prize went to a plain white star and the third prize was lost to history. The colonel was not completely satisfied and it is believed that, by chance, he combined the two symbols of the white star and the Indian head and liked what he saw.

Some theories say the the single star represented the state of Texas, while other claim the star is from the American flag. Regardless, the design was then sent to command headquarters for approval. Brig. Gen. Omar Bundy, division commander, not only approved the symbol but also ordered it put on his staff car. The size and shape of the patch changed in October 1918 when Maj Gen. John A LeJeune, the new division commander, decided the color of the cloth behind each patch should represent the different divisional units. He also directed the Indianhead was to be patterned after the Indian on the $10 gold piece.

After World War I, the background of the patch was adopted from the design of the American shield. In World War II it finally took the shape, size, and color it has today.
This 2nd Division tunic is in excellent condition and features a lovely indian head patch on a red wool background. We believe this to be for the 1st Battalion 9th Infantry regiment, but the shape is not one we are familiar with. During the war, soldiers would cut off sections of these patches, especially bright red ones to help try and conceal themselves better before “going over the top” or moving through enemy lines, some would even smear mud and debris on them.

The white star features an embroidered indian head but unfortunately the colors have faded and the star is literally hanging on by a thread. Below the patch is a single red rank chevron and even lower are 2 overseas stripes. All buttons are present and still retain most of the original blackened finish to them. The collar discs are the standard US and crossed rifles for infantry, no number or letters on them for specific units.

This is a wonderful tunic featuring the ever so popular “Indian head” patch! Comes more than ready for display!

Collar to shoulder: 10”
Shoulder to sleeve: 25”
Shoulder to shoulder:17”
Chest width: 18”
Waist width: 18”
Hip width: 24.5”
Front length: 29.5"

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