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The origin of the 42 APS Patch

            
 
In the summer of 1952, I painted a sign for the "headquarters" of the Air Police Section, 4215th Air Base Squadron (located in a temporary one-story building just west of the water tower near the Arch Hangar.  See photo below.  
While the picture is not that clear, it shows a helmeted Air Police bulldog on a cloud witnessing a B-36 clipping the tail of a mallard duck.  In February 1953, the unit became the 42nd Air Police Squadron.  And in the winter of 1954-55, USAF initiated a contest to craft an emblem or patch for the 42APS.  I entered a simplified version of the sign and won when the design was approved all the way up the chain.  I do not have any documentation on the matter largely since I declined the modest monetary prize since the money would have come out of the squadron fund.  
I left Loring in September 1955 and did not know more about the matter until a year later when former buddies showed me a decal in the above design.  Sometime later a matching patch was produced, though apparently never worn by squadron personnel.  This model was in my opinion amateurish and varied so much from my entry, that I was led to believe it was made locally and unofficially at Loring.  This is not the case.  
Trying to track down the correspondence associated with the matter, I contacted the Air Force Historical Research Agency.  They have an emblem specialist who maintains all the records on the subject force wide.  The specialist informed me no approval correspondence is in "the unit's official emblem folder."  But she did send an official color image of the above design - considered the "approved" version.  
When I questioned why it varied so much from my submission, she said my version "represented a draft proposal only."  The draft was forwarded to the U.S. Army and it rendered a simulacrum - an inferior copy.  (My entry featured a much less threatening dog, absent the studded collar.  And the duck was a colorful adult mallard drake - only immature ducklings are yellow.)  With the Army's acrylic painting in hand, HQ USAF gave final approval in December 1955.  The specialist explained:  "The Army has been and remains the single source manager for all military heraldry . . ..  Air Force organizational emblems, then and now are approved only on the basis of the final artwork rendered and received by the Army"  The bulldog-duck design itself was superseded by an entirely different emblem two years later.  (Story submitted by:  *Ellis, James (1952-1955)
 
 

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