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Artifact Friday: 10th Engineer Battalion insignia

The Tenth Engineer Battalion was born after the Civil War.

They regrouped from the 6th Engineer Battalion which served with General Winfield Scott during the War with Mexico.

The Tenth Engineer battalion was designated to provide combat operations for a brigade combat team.

Engineers provide necessary support for U.S. military missions by building bridges, detecting minefields, clearing dangerous substances, and much more.

It is safe to say that they are an important part of military activities.

Our museum is home to many diverse types of military insignia, uniforms, and other priceless artifacts for preservation and exhibition.

One of those uniforms that we examined this week was a World War Two wool uniform.

It had several special patches and pins, including a Tenth Engineer Battalion insignia.

So, because our uniform with the insignia is from the World War Two era, let us dive a little bit into where the Tenth Engineer Battalion served during World War Two. They were sent to Algeria, Rhineland, Anzio, Tunisia, the Ardennes, and even Sicily.

They helped with amphibious landings, maintaining vehicles, and destructive objects in the way of the infantry. They were the equivalent of the Seabees in the Pacific.

One of the most famous missions that engineers were involved in was retrieving stolen Jewish art from the Nazis. These special engineers are now known as “Monuments Men.”

While we may never know the full back story behind the uniform and insignia in our possession, we can tell you a bit about what the insignia itself means.

The insignia bears the coat of arms of Winfield Scott to honor where the 10th Engineers were descended.

The black of the insignia was because the Civil War engineer’s facings were that color.

The anchor and oars were the seals of the engineers of the Army of the Potomac.

The pale color on the top stands for their service at the Marne and the seven-pointed star is for assisting the Australians at Amiens.

The silver oak wreath represents the capture of Clairs Chenes Woods in 1918 and finally, the gear in the middle represents that the 10th Engineer is a mechanized engineer unit.

Their motto, “We work to assist” has been true in every conflict in which they have served. It is a privilege to have this in our archives!

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