The 23rd Infantry Division was activated on 27 May 1942, making it not only the first Army Infantry Division formed outside of the United States—an oddity that would occur for the division a little over two decades later—but also one of the few to not have a numerical designation.

At the request of the Division’s Commander, Major General Alexander Patch, the newest Division in the Army was designated as Americal, a combination of the words in the phrase “American, New Caledonian” (the island on which the division was formed). Following the war, however, the Division was formally redesignated as 23rd Infantry Division, though in every day usage it was still referred as simply “Americal.”

The 23rd Infantry Division Shoulder Sleeve was approved for the Americal Division on 20 December 1943. Featuring a representation of the Southern Cross using white stars on a blue background, the insignia highlighted the unusual nature of the Division’s formation and activation.

Learn more about the Americal Division and purchase Americal insignias using the links provided below.

Related Items:
23rd Infantry Division CSIB (Combat Service ID Badge)
23rd Infantry Division Unit Crest (Distinctive Unit Insignia)

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