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(See further below for origin of the patch design.)

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  April 1941 - Sept 1944 Sept 1944 - Nov 1945 July 1947 - Jan 1992
  Jan 1970 - Jan 1992:
field use - subdued
field use - desert tan
field use - desert sand

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Our appreciation to the following for loaning us the above patches:

  • 1941-44 patch: the family of Floyd R. Miller - 36th Inf, 3AD 1943-45.
  • 1944-45 patch: Dominic Rizzo - 486th AAA Bn, 3AD 1944-45.
  • 1947-92 patch [dress]: Lee Edmunds - 503rd Admin Co, 3AD 1965-67.
  • Bottom row of three modern patches: Andrew Hahn - private collector.



The shoulder patch insignia of the 3rd Armored Division has a distinct heraldic meaning and a proud history in its mixture of form, color, and symbols. The basic pattern is that of three interlaced torques, no one of which would be sufficient without the other two. Combined, to form a single triangle, the device indicates integrity and esprit de corps. That basic design, designated in November, 1940 by the War Department, in fact became the authorized patch for all armor units with Arabic numeral designating the division.

The predominating colors of the armored force patch, yellow, red and blue, are those of the basic arms: Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Infantry - all of which are components of the present integrated armored command and progenitors of the present armored force. The super-imposed black symbols have a more modern meaning: The tank track for mobility and armor protection, the cannon for fire power, and the bolt of lightning to designate shock action.

The basic design and combination of colors are taken from the original insignia of World War I Tank Corps, plus that of various infantry-tank organizations; and the superimposed symbols from that of the old 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized). Most modern component of the 3rd Armored Division patch is the SPEARHEAD flash. That addition was authorized in late 1944 by Major General Maurice Rose, and later approved by the Department of the Army, after the division had brilliantly led many of the First Army's drives in the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.

[Sources: "Spearhead in the West" 1946, and Div. PAO files.]

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