The U. S. Army Air Force patch is a winged star emblem embroidered in yellow, white, and red on a blue twill circle. It’s worn on the left shoulder of a uniform coat or shirt.  Known as the “Hap Arnold emblem,” it was approved for wear in 1942.

The U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) was created in June,1941, as successor to the Army Air Corps. A component of the U.S. Army, USAAF provided military aviation and controlled its own installations and support personnel. At its peak size, there were 2.4 million men and women assigned with nearly 80,000 aircraft. In 1947 the USAAF became an independent service, the U.S. Air Force.

Question about this artifact? Email the Collections Manager, Hal Sellars.

Every artifact in the Air Mobility Command Museum, including this one, is part of the United States Air Force Heritage Program. We are not able to loan artifacts in the museum's collection.


  • Hello, I bought a hand painted leather patch a few years ago, it has a P-51 on it or what appears to be one painted on it. It has yellow background with 3 red lighting bolts on it behind the P-51. The patch was sewn on a jacket at one point in time. I’ve searched a lot and can not find anything close to it. Any ideas on what squadron it’s associated with?

  • Ken Subala

    Trying to ID my father’s WW2 patches to learn more about his service. One is an Army Air Force winged 9 on a blue shield background. The other is a green background 4 sided patch with gold eagle in a gold circle. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • AMC Museum


      Those would be for the 9th Air Force and an honorable discharge insignia.

      • Christine Swanson

        Trying to identify 2 patches on the front of an A-2 Bomber jacket that was a career army relative who served in the 15th. One patch is a chevron shape with a winged horse and a bomb in the background. The horse wing is red and white striped. The 2nd patch has a skull wearing a top hat With a bomb Underneath the jaw and what looks like 7K behind it? And something I can identify but is long with a handle and smoking at one end. I can send photos. We do know he flew tours over Europe (went down in Italy) and in the pacific. Thank you for any assistance.

      • AMC Museum

        449th Bomb Group(H), Flying Horsemen.

        The other could be the 716th Squadron, perhaps? Quite a few patches with skulls donning top hats riding or holding or flanked by bombs.

  • Why was the Hap Arnold Emblem awarded?

    • Collections Manager

      Thank you for your question! The Army Air Force shoulder patch was worn by everyone assigned to the Army Air Force in WWII. It was not a medal or award.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

All comments are reviewed before being posted and may be edited for clarity.
Please check "I'm not a robot" before clicking Send.