Evolution of the 381st Bomb Squadron Insignia
Ghisonaccia, Corsica, 1944

Although the 310th Bombardment Group was the first Group of the 12th Air Force to arrive overseas in the Fall of 1942 (by way of Presque Isle, Maine - Goose Bay, Labrador - Bluie West #1, Greenland - Reykjavik, Iceland and - Prestwick, Scotland) and the B-25s of the 310th BG were the first B-25s to enter combat in the MTO, the official 381st Bomb Squadron patch did not appear until late in 1944, a full two years later, while the Group was stationed at Ghisonaccia-Gare, Corsica.

381st pilot Bill Bierds tells how the official patch came to be:

"I bunked with Keith Gimson (top floor of the Hotel de la Gare,,, Wasn't I lucky!). As he was leaving for home about October 1944, he took down a watercolor painting from the wall and offered it to me. He told the story that the Squadron was asked to submit a design for a patch and that had been put together in the Officer's Club. You may recall the booze of choice at that time was a whiskey named Four Roses. Please note the number of blooms curled around the blue bomb. The only bombs painted blue are the 100 pound practice bombs filled with sand!! So, it was a bit of a joke. Headquarters held to the original idea except they honored the 12th Air Force rather than the booze that wasn't available in Corsica anyway." Note the 12 roses on the outside border of the official insignia above.

"The next page is a watercolor that I did of what I thought was intended as our patch. Next is a patch that I bought about the end of 1944. It's background is yellow felt with the colors machine emroidered. The last version was in leather. Quite stiff. But I managed to sew it to my Field Jacket (which I preferred over the A2 leather jacket). This was available much earlier than the felt piece." These last two versions became the official 381st Bomb Squadron Insignia. Notice that attached over Lt. Bierd's Wings in the last version there is a fine example of one of the good luck trinkets purchased during rest leave on the Isle of Capri by many officers of the 57th Bomb Wing. P-47 pilot Dwight Orman of the 65th FS, 57th FG calls it the Lucky little bell of San Michele.

Evolution of the 381st Bomb Squadron Insignia.
The evolution from the initial versions to the final versions for the official 381st BS Insignia.

Go back to 381st Bomb Squadron Index.

Go back to 310th Bombardment Group Squadron Index.