Monday, June 14, 2010

U.S. Maritime Service Chief Petty Officer

U.S. Maritime Service Chief Petty Office hat badge (1st design, 2nd pattern)
One piece construction.  Seal, 25mm diameter; Anchor, 50mm length.
Obscured AE CO N.Y. hallmark (American Emblem Company).
Anchor and device stamped nickel; blue enamel band and red, white & blue shield.

This is the second pattern of the first design of the USMS CPO hat badge; it was worn from 1939, with the creation of the USMS training program, until  the dissolution of formal Coast Guard management of training program and its transfer to the War Shipping Administration in 1942.  1942 saw a re-design of U.S. Maritime service insignia, and with it, the USMS CPO hat badge.  Both the first pattern of the first design and second design have been respectively treated before, here and here.

This specific badge is often misidentified as a USMS Warrant Officer device; this is an understandable error, as mid-war, individuals who trained at USMS Radio Officer schools were issued USMS CPO hat badges and collar disks, and upon graduation held the appointed rank of Warrant Officer within the U.S. Maritime Service. Compounding some of confusion is that by war's end, USMS Regulations published in 1944 stated that officers in the Radio Department, depending upon vessel tonnage and class, and certificate status could rank anywhere from Lieutenant to Ensign, vid.: U.S. Maritime Service Officers' Handbook, 1944 p5.

USMS CPO Hat badge, obverse.

USMS CPO Hat badge, obverse detail.

USMS CPO Hat badge, reverse.
Note that the screw post and pins have been sheared off and replaced by a flat pin. It, like its predecessor has the curious "CO N.Y." or "CD N.Y." hallmark.