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Pocket Patches...

During the Vietnam War basically all units created and wore their own pocket patch.  The patch was generally of local manufacture and was worn sewn on the fatigue or flight suit right upper pocket or encased in plastic and suspended on the khaki or Dress Green pocket button.  The 281st designed a Company patch and patches for the individual platoons and some sections.  The first four designs were submitted by WO Donald McCoig (KIA).  The McCoig prototype patches are presented below as well as the patch eventually adopted by the 281st.  There are also variations of the original patch shown as well.

NOTE:  As these images are actually scans of the original patches, the files were kept large enough to show the detail.  It takes just over two minutes to fully open this page at 56.6 KB but it is well worth the wait.

McCoig patch

The above patch design uses the lighting bolt from 5th SFG and the delta associated with Project Delta.

McCoig subdued

The above patch design while having the same basic shape of the first patch is slightly larger and has the Company callsign "Intruders" added at the top.

2nd patch

This patch is closer in design to the patch that was eventually selected, notice it still has the Project Delta patch included in its design.

=McCoig variation

This patch is a variation of the patch just above with 281st AHC added, but still has the references to Special Forces and Project Delta.

Intruder original

This patch was adopted in 1967 as the official patch of the 281st AHC.  Note the absence of the Special Forces and Project Delta references.  It is shown in the unit histories as being submitted to the US Army Department of Heraldry.  The designer of the patch is unknown.

patch almost final

In 1968 this variation of the Intruder patch appeared.  The Project Delta patch reappeared and the torch and stars disappeared.  Also the bar color was changed from the Vietnam colors to solid red.  There is no documentation of a change in the official designed submitted to the Department of Heraldry, but this design was worn as a patch and displayed on the Company Headquarters and Operations signs.

patch final

By 1969 and through the units inactivation in 1970, the above patch design was used.  It is the basically the same as the design seen in 1968 but with a little better art work on the helicopter.  This is the design that was adopted by the 281st AHC Association as its official logo.

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