Saturday, March 31, 2012

Submarine Service Uniform Pins

His 2 uniform pins. The top one is called the Dolphins pin. It was the symbol of a man serving in the submarine service. Every enlisted man had this, it displayed his branch of the military. The Air Force equivalent would be the pilot wings.

The pin below is called the Combat Patrol Insignia. The CPI was awarded upon completion of the first successful combat patrol in enemy waters. A small star was affixed on the pin for each subsequent combat patrol. The USS DARTER had 4 combat patrols, and was lost on the 4th one. Thus he has a CPI pin with 3 stars on it.

The Combat Patrol Insignia was the equivalent of the US Army Combat Infantry badge. It was worn with pride and showed you "lived through Hell and came back"

The following is an official description of the Combat Patrol Insignia badge and what it represents.

"This insignia shall be awarded to the officers and men who complete (or have completed since December 7, 1941) one or more patrols during which the submarine sinks, or assists in sinking, at least one enemy vessel, or accomplishes a combat mission of comparable importance. Further successful patrols to a total of three will be indicated by gold stars mounted on the scroll thereon, the third star being indicative of four or more successful patrols.

The decision as to whether a patrol was a successful one within the meaning of the above paragraph shall be made by the submarine type or task force commander under whose command the submarine may be upon return from patrol immediately upon the receipt of the report of the patrol. He shall, in person, present the awards to both officers and men as soon as possible after the return of a submarine from a successful patrol. If it is impossible for him to make the awards in person, the next senior submarine commander present shall do so.

The insignia shall be worn by both officers and enlisted men in the horizontal position on the left breast and when worn with ribbons and medals shall be located just above the center of the ribbons or medals; except that qualified submarine officers, who wear the submarine insignia (dolphins) in that position, shall wear the submarine combat patrol insignia in the corresponding position just below the center of the ribbons or medals. Appropriate notation shall be made in the service record of each man who receives this award."


  1. My grandfather and I always use to collect Navy pins together since her served as well. He was always finding new ones all of the time because he wanted many mementos of his service. Thanks for sharing.

  2. A fantastic read….very literate and informative. Many thanks

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