Patches and emblems are displayed in albums by system, sometimes by base, and for specific purposes (achievement, commemorative, competitions, exercises, etc.). Art work for approved emblems is sometimes used when images of patches are not available.
PATCHES PICTURED IN THIS GALLERY ARE NOT FOR SALE OR TRADE.
They are the personal property of those who contributed the images, as are the images themselves. The patches/emblems are presented as part of our proud missile history for you to explore and enjoy. Images of patches may not be copied, downloaded, or otherwise used without the prior written permission of AAFM and the owner(s). Contrary to popular belief and statements accompanying certain images on Wikipedia pages, images of military organizational emblems are not in the public domain. Federal regulations prohibit “commercial reproduction of officially approved USAF emblems without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.” For inactive units, permission should be requested from the Air Force Historical Research Agency. For personal, non-commercial use, if you have a need for a specific patch image, we gladly offer high-resolution scans for our AAFM members; contact information for our curator is below.
Although we have recently opened this gallery to allow all AAFM members the opportunity to post missile patches they have that are not already displayed, the gallery was created to allow me to share a portion of my rather extensive patch collection with you. I have thousands of missile-related patches, and this gallery illustrates patches from virtually every missile organization that ever produced insignia. You’ll be viewing “pieces of history” that, collectively, relate the mission of primarily nuclear-tipped missiles and those who operated, maintained, and supported that mission—and, in fact, who are still doing so today. Patches are a tangible part of our rich missile legacy, linking us to those who wore them on their uniforms. A patch announces, “Hey, I am part of this organization, and I’m proud of what I do!” It was true more than 50 years ago and it’s still true today.
One thing I have learned from collecting and studying what I collect is how diverse the missile community is--and how important the TEAM effort is to ensuring mission accomplishment. It’s not just crew members sitting on alert, or team members turning wrenches in a silo or on an ALCM. It’s also the cops providing security, the transportation folks readying vehicles, the logistics personnel providing supplies, the weather forecasters warning of blizzards, the engineers fixing glitches, even the contractors who built the weapons system--and all the other individuals doing the jobs they were trained to do so that we have the capability to accompany the will that makes nuclear deterrence effective. You may not have the launch codes, but your individual contribution is key to the team’s success. That is why not every patch in this gallery has the word “missile” on it, but without a doubt every patch pictured here is a missile-related patch!
A word about the images you’ll be viewing: Most of the scans are of patches, but when a patch was not available, a decal, metal plaque, or art work, may have been used. And remember, just because something other than a patch was scanned does not necessarily mean a patch does not exist. Even after more than 40 years of collecting, I still occasionally discover a patch I have never seen before. With a few noted exceptions, all scanned patches are authentic patches from the period when the unit was active rather than modern reproductions or collector copies. You may have noticed I said “a portion” in the opening paragraph. Not all missile-related patches are posted. That’s because I also have what collectors call variations, and because most viewers aren’t really interested in subtle differences in colors or size, you will be viewing only patches that differ in some clearly significant way. If you are a collector and you’re curious about sizes or variations not shown, please contact me.
If you have a patch that’s not pictured and you’d like to share it with everyone else, please scan it or take a high-resolution photograph of it and forward to AAFM so we can add it to the gallery. Remember, any enjoyment you derive from viewing these patches has been made possible only because someone took the time to image and post them. And if you have access to newly created patches, like those for test launches, SELMs, competitions, training (class patches), or other unofficial “morale” patches, please scan and forward those “newbies” for all to see. Also, AAFM would like to record the backstory of your patch to preserve the rationale, subtleties and nuances that can otherwise easily be lost over the years, so along with the scan please tell us what you know about the patch (e.g., significance of the elements, who designed it, when it was created, how many were made, etc., etc.). Such information not only preserves the history, but also enriches the viewing experience. And now, I invite you do just that – look, read, and enjoy your journey through this gallery!
Greg Ogletree, AAFM Life Member
You can reach Greg through AAFM at email@example.com or
P.O. Box 937
Lompoc CA 93438-0937
For more about a system or base, visit the AAFM Online Museum.
AAFM is in the process of implementing a new patch gallery with higher quality images and descriptions of each patch. Note those with the "NEW GALLERY" heading to see what the final product will look like.