U.S. Marine Corps
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Historical Note: Marines serving with the Army's 2d Division in World War I wore the Indian-head shoulder patch, and during the occupation of Iceland, in late 1941 and early 1942, members of the Marine brigade adopted-the polar-bear flash worn by the British garrison they were relieving. The Marines who sewed on the polar-bear insignia included men of the 5th Defense Battalion. Marine shoulder insignia proliferated after the official recognition of the 1st Marine Division's patch in 1943.
The designs chosen by the wartime defense battalions might either reflect the insignia of a Marine amphibious corps or of the Fleet Marine Force Pacific, but they might also be created by the individual battalion. Worn on the left shoulder of field jackets, overcoats, service blouses and shirts, the patches identified individual Marines as members of a specific unit. On 1 August 1945, Marine Corps headquarters recognized 33 such designs, although others existed.
The wearing of unit shoulder patches by Marines was discontinued in 1947.