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1914-18 war • American Expeditionary Force

• Photographs of Allied troops have found their way into family albums through wartime friendships.

• Recognising United States Soldiers:- Look for dark bronze eagle buttons and collar discs
AEF Corps of Engineers

This soldier is wearing a Montana peak hat which was replaced with the more practical Overseas cap once the troops arrived in Europe.The overseas cap was a folded woollen item based on the French "Bonnet de police" ;similar to a British forage cap.
Until the last weeks of WWI when some "doughboys" The nickname for US soldiers began to adopt the colourful embroidered patches which we associate with the US Army ; insignia was restricted to dark bronze buttons and informative but rather understated collar discs.
This man's right hand disc (not visible, on the left as we face him) would be a bronze U.S for United States. His left hand collar disc on show here displays his branch of service. In this case a castle indicating the Corps of Engineers.

Bronze Tunic Button Army buttonUSMC United States Marine Corps

• Photograph above probably taken in America.

Quartermaster Collar disc

• Collar discs are rarely legible in photographs but a selection is shown below for reference purposes.

• NATIONAL DISC worn on a man's right hand collar

USUnited States Regular Army Collar Disc
USNAUnited States National Army  • [equivalent to British "Service Battalions"]
USNGUnited States National Guard • [equivalent to British "Territorial Battalions"]

• Arm of Service Collar Disc worn on a man's left hand collar.

15th Infantry collar disc 'B' Company 15th Infantry • A Regular Army Regiment(worn with US disc)
129th Infantry collar disc 'G' Company 129th Infantry  • A National Army Regiment (Worn with USNA disc)
Artillery collar disc 'D' battery 337th Artillery
Engineers collar disc United States Corps of Engineers
Signals collar disc United States Signals Corps
Medical collar disc United States Medical Corps
Quartermasters collar disc Quartermasters  • Equivalent to the British Army Service Corps