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Category: Colour patches

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Independent Companies (Commando) VDC, Intel, Tank & others

Index to Units on THIS page. Click the Links.

Miscellaneous Infantry Units Australian Tank Corps
Independent Companies (Commando) Australian Army Chaplains Department
Garrison, POW & Internment Battalions Army & Corps Troops AASC
Volunteer Defence Corps AIF AASC Middle East
Australian Intelligence Corps Force Troops AASC

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Miscellaneous Infantry Units

  • 1041. 101st Aust. Heavy Mortar Company, 1945: Auth. GRO 104/1945, 6.4.1945. Originally raised as the 1st Aust. Chemical Warfare Company RAE, and was then transferred to the Aust. Infantry in mid 1943 as 101st Aust. Brigade Support Company.
  • 1042. 3rd Aust. Division Carrier Company, 1943-1944: Auth. LHQ Memo No. 189005,
    29.10.1943, and GRO 24/1944, 21.1.1944.
  • 1043. 5th Aust. Division Carrier Company, 1943-1944: Auth. LHQ Memo No. 189005,
    29.10.1943, and GRO 24/1944, 21.1.1944.
  • 1044. 6th Aust. Division Carrier Company, 1943-1944: Auth. GRO 672/1943, 17.9.1943.
  • 1045. 7th Aust. Division Carrier Company, 1943-1944: Auth. GRO 672/1943, 17.9.1943.
  • 1046. 9th Aust Division Carrier Company, 1943-1944: Auth. GRO 672/1943, 17.9.1943.
  • 1047. 11th Aust. Division Carrier Company: A request was made to LHQ in February 1944 for approval for this unit to wear a colour patch, without apparent result. All examples noted of this patch are of Western Australian manufacture, and there is no evidence that they were worn.

Note: In passing, two further carrier units were raised. These comprised the 4th Aust. Division Carrier Company, for which no colour patch was approved, although a fake circular patch in the approved design has been noted, and the 1st Aust. Independent Carrier Platoon, raised at Merauke from personnel of units stationed there. Again no colour patch was approved for this unit. All carrier companies were disbanded by July 1944.

  • 1048. North Australia Observer Unit, 1942-1945: Ref. LHQ (DOS) Memo No. 76732,
    dated 14.1.1942. This memo advised that an order (MGO Order No. 2747) had been placed with the CCF for the initial supply of this patch. It would appear however that No. 1049 was actually supplied in error, and the approved patch was not issued to the unit until 1943. This unit was raised in May 1942 for long-range patrolling and surveillance tasks in northern Australia.
  • 1049. North Australia Observer Unit, 1942-1943: Ref. Curtin's Cowboys, pp 17, 19. All
    examples of this colour patch noted are of compressed felt, and according to the unit
    were issued by August 1942 and were not replaced by No. 1048 until late 1943.
  • - Norfolk Island Infantry Detachment, 1942-1943: Raised in March 1942 for the
    defence of Norfolk Island and was relieved by a New Zealand infantry battalion in
    April 1943. The unit was originally attached to the 1st Aust. Infantry Battalion prior to
    deployment to Norfolk Island and continued to wear the colour patch of that battalion
    (No. 837) until disbandment.
    (Memo, NI 21/42, undated but circa 18.9.1942, from the O.C., Norfolk Island Infantry Detachment, to HQ NSW L of C Area. AA(NSW): SP 1008/1, item 415/1/83 1.)
  • Aust. Anti-Tank Companies, 1940-1941: Raised for AIF infantry brigades only, and were allotted the colour patch of their respective infantry brigade headquarters. Disbanded between August and December 1941, most being absorbed by the divisional anti-tank regiments RAA. (The 26th Aust. Anti-Tank Company was absorbed by the 2/4th Aust. LAA Regiment, the 22nd, 23rd and 27th Aust. Anti-Tank Companies formed the 17th and 18th Aust. Anti-Tank Batteries RAA.)
  • Brigade Headquarters Defence Platoons, 1941-1943: Allotted the colour patch of their respective motor, armoured or infantry brigade headquarters.
  • - Defence and Employment Platoons, 1940-1945: Allotted the colour patch of the brigade, divisional or higher formation headquarters to which they were attached. Their role was gradually taken over by sub-units of the 2/1st and 2/2nd Aust. HQ Guard Battalions.
  • 1st Aust. LHQ Defence Company, 1942-1945: Personnel of this unit wore No. 401.
  • 1st Aust. Commando Platoon, 1942: Raised in the Middle East in March 1942 and was disbanded in November 1942. This unit wore No. 404.
  • 1050. 1st Aust. Corps Guard Battalion, 1940-1941; 
    • Aust. HQ Guard Battalion, 1941-1942; 
    • 2/1st Aust. HQ Guard Battalion, 1942-1943; 
  • 2/1st Aust. Guard Regiment, 1943-1948: Auth. GRO 375/1943, 7.5.1943, but was in use at least by early 1941. It was retained in the postwar period by 33 Platoon, 'J' Company, 2/1st Aust. Guard Regiment, which served in Japan as part of the Aust. Component, B.C.O.F.
  • 1051. 2/2nd Aust. Headquarters Guard Battalion, 1943; 2/2nd Aust. Guard Battalion,
    1943-1945: Auth. GRO 375/1943, 7.5.1943. Disbanded in March 1945.

Commenced forming in July 1941, eight companies eventually being raised although more were planned. In May 1943 the remaining seven companies were transferred to the 2/7th Aust. Cavalry (Commando) Regiment, the RHQ of which acted as an administrative headquarters. Independent Companies were redesignated Cavalry (Commando) Squadrons in September 1943, becoming simply Commando Squadrons progressively from January 1944. At this point several companies lost their individual colour patches. A further four squadrons were formed at the end of 1943 and wore the patch of the former Cavalry regiment from which they had been raised.

The double diamond colour patch was designed by Major J.W. Jordan who was on the staff of Army Headquarters at the time. In addition to the authorities for supply which are quoted below, No's 1052 to 1060 appear in MGO Branch Line Drawings, p.14, while No. 1061 is referred to in the AWM colour patch file card register.
See also plate 24.

  • 1052. 2/1st Aust. Independent Company, 1941-1943: Ref Branch Registration No. MGO 7/386, Order No. 2064, 2.2.1942. The majority of this company was captured on the islands north and east of New Guinea during January/February 1942. Remaining subunits were absorbed by other units in late 1942, although a section remained active on Bougainville until early 1943.
  • 1053. 2/2nd Aust. Independent Company, 1941-1943; 
    • 2/2nd Aust. Commando Squadron, 1943-1945: Ref. Branch Rep No. MGO 7/3 86, Order No. 2064, 2.2.1942.
  • 1054. 2/3rd Aust. Independent Company, 1941-1943: Ref, Branch Rep No. MGO 7/386,
    Order No. 2064, 2.2.1942. Superseded by No. 503.
  • 1055. 2/4th Aust. Independent Company, 1941-1944; 
    • 2/4th Aust. Commando Squadron, 1944-1946: Ref. Branch Rep No. MGO 7/386, Order No. 2064, 2.2.1942. This patch was initially issued to members of No. 4 Cadre Course of 7th Infantry Training Centre following disbandment in October 1941, 4th Aust. Independent Company not actually being raised until December 1941. An unsuccessful attempt was made in mid 1944 by 9th Aust. Division to have this unit wear No. 506.
  • 1056. 2/5th Aust. Independent Company, 1942-1943: Ref. AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 19793,
    24.2.1942. Superseded by No. 503.
  • 1057. 2/6th Aust. Independent Company, 1942-1943: Ref, MGO Order No. 2222, 17.3.1942. Superseded by No. 503.
  • 1058. 2/7th Aust. Independent Company, 1942-1944; 
    • 2/7th Aust. Commando Squadron, 1944-1945: Ref MGO Order No. 2222, 17.3.1942.
  • 1059. 2/8th Aust. Independent Company, 1942-1943; 
  • 2/8th Aust. Commando Squadron, 1943-1945: Ref. AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 44262,1.5.1942, MGO Order No. 2268. The unit history states that initially a yellow colour patch (No. 1060) was allotted, but an appeal by all ranks resulted in the reallocation of No. 1059. (Commando White Diamond, Astill, p.5.)
  • 1060. 9th Aust. Independent Company: Ref. AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 44262, 1.5.1942,
    MGO Order No. 2268. This unit was not subsequently raised, although the full quota
    of 2,000 patches was supplied by the CCF, 1,996 of them still held in 2 BOD in January 1947. These were almost certainly destroyed after handover to the Disposals Commission, however this design of patch is very common in collections, all examples being of WA or NSW manufacture. It is possible therefore that these were manufactured in error for 2/8th Independent Company in 1942 (see No. 1059), or following the formation of the 2/9th Aust. Commando Squadron in late 1943.
  • 1061. 10th Aust. Independent Company: Ref. AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 44262, 1.5.1942,
    MGO Order No. 2268. This unit was not subsequently raised, although the full quota
    of 2,000 patches was supplied, and was still held in 2 BOD in January 1947. They are
    believed to have been destroyed after hand over to the Disposals Commission.
  • Special Independent Company, 1942; 
    • 3rd Aust. Corps Guerilla Warfare Group, 1942-1943: Raised in 1942 to undertake long-range patrolling and surveillance tasks in the north-west of Western Australia. Reorganized as the nucleus of 43rd Aust. Water Transport Operating Company (Landing Craft) RAE in November 1943. Former members contacted by the writer have advised that no colour patch was allotted to this unit.

Garrison Battalion, Prisoner-of-War and Internment Camp Units

The initial garrison battalions were raised on full time duty in October 1939 for the defence of fixed defences installations and vulnerable points. Their personnel were drawn from the Class 'B' of the Australian Army Reserve, that is personnel between the ages of 48 and 55 who had seen war service prior to 1st September 1939. Cadres for reserve garrison battalions which were to be raised on mobilization were created in 1940, and Commands where two or more full time duty battalions were raised were directed to form an administrative brigade headquarters with an establishment of, in 1940, two officers and two other ranks. Units were also raised on special establishments to staff prisoner-of-war and internment camps established throughout Australia, the restrictions to prior war service being waived, and some internment camp units included females on their establishment.

  • 1062. Garrison Battalions, 1939-1942: Auth. AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 31881, 3.10.1939. This colour patch was approved for and worn by all types of garrison units, including close protection, beach defence, prisoner-of-war and internment camp, and internal security. In September 1940 the 17th Garrison Battalion sought permission to place the numerals '17' in the centre of their patch. The Adjutant-General was personally in favour of this method of distinguishing between the various units then in existence, however no official action was taken in this direction. Although units in Western Command adopted lettered insets on their patches soon afterwards, other requests were unsuccessful, for instance an application by X Garrison Company in February 1942 to wear their patch as a diamond, and a number of applications made by units in NSW in both 1941 and 1942. As a result of these however, LHQ advised on 20.7.1942 that the question of distinctive markings for the various battalions was then under consideration. Ref. LHQ(MGO) Memo No. 79328, 20.7.1942, AA(NSW): SP 1008/1, item 415/1/831, AA(Tas.): CRS P618, item 415/1, and AA(Vic.): MP 508/1, item 36/756/63.

  • Note: The four colour patches following were supplied by the Commonwealth Clothing Factory as a result of a requisition placed with AHQ by HQ Western Command on 2.12.1940. Central lettering is of white braid. No distinctive colour patch was sought for 'M' Garrison Company which was also in existence in Western Command at this stage. Ref. AA(Vic): CRS B1540, item 36/702.
    • 1063. 5th Garrison Battalion, 1941-1942: Depicted on battalion Christmas cards produced for Christmas 1941.
    • 1064. 10th Garrison Battalion, 1941-1942:
    • 1065. 19th Garrison Battalion, 1941-1942: This patch is known to have been in use post
      June 1942.136
    • 1066. 'Y' Garrison Company, 1941-1942:

The following garrison units were disbanded or reorganized prior to the issue of individual unit colour patches in late 1942 and therefore only wore No. 1062 during their existence;

  • HQ 4th Garrison Brigade: Located in South Australia, 1941-1942. 
  • 3rd Garrison Battalion (C.D.): Raised in Southern Command (3 MD), 1940-1942.
  • 8th Garrison Battalion (C.D.): Raised in Eastern Command 1940, served with 32nd Aust. Infantry Brigade during 1942.
  • 18th Garrison Battalion (C.D.): Raised in 4th MD, 1941-1942.
  • 24th Garrison Battalion (P.W. Camp): Disbanded and reorganized as the 50th and 51st Garrison Companies in November/December 1942.
  • "M" Garrison Company (I.C.): Located at No. 11 Internment Camp, Harvey, WA, 1940-1943.
  • 'X' Garrison Company (I.S.): Located 6th MD, 1940-1942, reorganized as 30th Garrison Battalion in September 1942.
  • 'Y' Garrison Company: See No. 1066. Disbanded in March 1942.
  • 'Z' Garrison Company: Appears in both Routine Orders Part Il and the C of A Gazette, but not on the Order of Battle. Located Darwin, circa May-July 1940.

Note: Approval for the following colour patches, No's 1068 to 1101 inclusive, was GRO 663/1942, 11.12.1942, unless otherwise stated.

  • 1067. Unidentified: Possibly only a variation of No. 1072.
  • 1068. 1st Aust. Garrison Brigade Administrative Headquarters, 1942-1944:
  • 1069. 2nd Aust. Garrison Brigade Administrative Headquarters, 1942-1944:
  • 1070. 3rd Aust. Garrison Brigade Administrative Headquarters, 1942-1943:
  • 1071. 5th Aust. Garrison Brigade Administrative Headquarters, 1942-1944:
  • 1072. 1st Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1947:
  • 1073. 2nd Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1945:
  • 1074. 2nd Aust. Garrison Battalion: NSW manufacture, possibly in error.
  • 1075. 4th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp and Internal Security), 1942-1945:
  • 1076. 5th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1944:
  • 1077. 6th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1944; 
    • 6th/30th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1944-1945; 
    • 6th/30th Aust. Garrison Company (I.S.), 1945-1946; 
    • 6th Military District Defence and Employment Platoon, 1946-1947:
  • 1078. 7th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1943: Two companies from
    this battalion also operated in a coast defence role.
  • 1079. 9th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1943; 
    • 9th Aust. Garrison Company (C.D.), 1943-1944:
  • 1080. 10th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1946:
  • 1081. 11th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1944:
  • 1082. 12th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1944; 
    • 12th Aust. Garrison Company (I.S.), 1944-1947:
  • 1083. 13th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1943:
  • 1084. 14th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942; 
    • 62nd Aust. Infantry Battalion, 1942-1943: Redesignated on 29.12.1942. This patch was superseded by No. 898 in September 1943.
  • 1085. 15th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1944:
  • 1086. 16th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp), 1942-1945; 
    • Hay Prisoner-of-War Group, 1945-1946: Staffed No's 6, 7, and 8 Camps, Hay, NSW.
  • 1087. 16th Aust. Garrison Battalion: NSW manufacture, possibly a manufacturer's error.
  • 1088. 17th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp), 1942-1944; 
    • Tatura Internment Group, 1944-1947: No's 1, 2, 3 and 4 Camps, Tatura, Victoria.
  • 1089. 19th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1944:
  • 1090. 20th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Coast Defence), 1942-1943:
  • 1091. 21st Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp), 1942-1943; 
    • 21st Aust. Garrison Company (I.C.), 1943-1945; 
    • Liverpool P.W. and Internment Camp, 1945-1947:
  • 1092. 22nd Aust. Garrison Battalion (Prisoner-of-War Camp), 1942-1945; 
    • Cowra Prisoner-of-War Group, 1945-1947: 
    • No. 12 PW Camp, Cowra, NSW.
  • 1093. 23rd Aust. Garrison Battalion (Prisoner-of-War Camp), 1942-1944; 
    • Murchison Prisoner-of-War Group, 1944-1947: 
    • No. 13 PW Group, Murchison, Victoria.
  • 1094. 25th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp), 1942-1943; 
    • 25th/33rd Aust. Garrison Battalion (I.C.), 1943-1944; 
    • Loveday Internment Group, 1944-1947: No's 9, 10, and 14 Camps. Authority for the 25th/33rd Garrison Battalion to wear this patch was LHQ Memo No. 191827, 3.11.1943.
  • 1095. 29th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp), 1942-1944; 
    • 29th Aust. Garrison Company (I.C.), 1944:
  • 1096. 30th Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1944; 
    • 30th Aust. Garrison Company (I.S.), 1944: Raised in September 1942 by expansion of 'X' Garrison Company and linked with the 6th Aust. Garrison Battalion in June 1944.
  • 1097. 31st Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1946:
  • 1098. 32nd Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internal Security), 1942-1943:
  • 1099. 33rd Aust. Garrison Battalion (Internment Camp), 1943:  Linked with the 25th Garrison Battalion on 16.9.1943, note that this is the day prior to the promulgation of an authority for this colour patch. Auth. GRO 672/1943,17.9.1943.
  • 1100. 50th Aust. Garrison Company (P.W. Officers Camp), 1942-1945: Raised on 12.12.1942 at Dhurringile, Victoria, from personnel of the 24th Garrison Battalion. Absorbed by Tatura Internment Group, which became Rushworth Prisoner-of-War & Internment Camp in February 1947.
  • 1101. 51st Aust. Garrison Company (P.W. Officers Camp), 1942-1945; 
    • Myrtleford Prisoner-of-War (Officers) Camp, 1945-1947: Located at No. 5 P.W. (Officers) Camp, Myrtleford, Victoria, and was raised from personnel of the 24th Garrison Battalion on 20.11.1942. Part of the unit formed Murchison POW Camp in June 1945.
  • 1102. Unidentified: CCF manufacture.
  • - Lae Prisoner-of-War Camp, 1945-1946: Raised as Lae PW Garrison Company in February 1945 from personnel of the 22nd Aust. Garrison Battalion and is believed to have retained No. 1092 until disbandment in April 1946.

Note: I have not yet been able to ascertain which colour patches were worn by PW Labour Detachments, PW Guard Companies, PW Control Centres, PW Hostels, and PW Voyage Guards, nor the staffs of Gaythorne, Sandy Creek, Marrinup, and Brighton Prisoner of War Camps, however it seems likely that personnel of these units wore either the patch of their HQ L of C Area, that of the garrison unit from which their new unit had been raised, or in a number of cases the colour patch of their former unit.

Volunteer Defence Corps

The Volunteer Defence Corps was formed in July 1940, sponsored by the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia, and became a component of the Australian Military Forces in May 1941. Originally it was assigned the role of static defence of vital installations, coast watching, and other activities in close proximity to the home and work areas of its members. In 1943, due to the acute manpower shortage facing the three Services and the munitions industry, the primary role of the Corps was changed to provide for the manning, on a part-time basis, of coast and anti-aircraft installations of the fixed defences to release fit members of the AMF for service in operational areas. 

Some idea of the contribution of the Corps might be gauged by the fact that by late 1943 almost the whole of the manning of the fixed coast and anti-aircraft defences in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania was undertaken by personnel of the VDC, while no less than eleven AA searchlight batteries of the RAA were formed entirely from VDC members.

Initially the means of identification of members of the Corps was a khaki armband worn on the right arm, bearing the initials R.S.L. in red, above an intertwined VDC monogram, also in red. A miniature colour patch of the wearer's original AIF unit was to be inserted in the space between the two sets of lettering. Prior to the granting of rank to members of the Corps in February 1942, the individual's appointment, i.e.. Section Leader, Battalion Commander, etc, was shown by a 3/4 inch wide strip of colour, varying according to the appointment, sewn around the top of the armband.

The colour patch subsequently approved for the VDC was selected at a Corps Commanders conference in May 1942. In mid September 1942, both J and J Cash Australian Weaving Company Ltd, and Braeside Pty Ltd, were awarded large contracts through the Department of Supply and Shipping for the supply of the badges, and the first issues to ordnance depots commenced in late September.

Instructions relating to issue were promulgated by LHQ (AG) Memo No. 116356, 3.10.1942, and the initial issues to units commenced from 12.10.1942. By the end of 1942 some 284,000 colour patches had been supplied, sufficient for the issue of three per man. Early in the new year, LHQ began expressing concern as to the reasons why so few members of the VDC were wearing colour patches, reminding formation headquarters that failure to wear an authorised item of dress was to be dealt with by disciplinary action where necessary.

The truth of the matter was that the colour patch was almost universally despised by the members of the Corps. A number of reasons were given, foremost amongst these being that the issue of the patch coincided with a media campaign on the incidence of venereal disease amongst members of the Forces, leading to unkind comparisons with the Corps' initials by members of the public. Other reasons included the reluctance of full time duty members of the Corps to be identified with what was in effect a part-time voluntary organization, while it was felt by all personnel that the patch failed, in the eyes of the public, to indicate the important role of the Corps, particularly that of manning the fixed defences. 

Numerous proposals were submitted for either a redesign of the patch, its total abolition, or the addition of miniature colour patches to the design to at least indicate personnel allotted to the War Establishment of coast and anti-aircraft units of the RAA. The C-in-C was adamant however that no change to the existing design would be considered, his only concession being to direct in February 1944 that AIF personnel posted to full time duty with the VDC would retain their AIF status, and were to wear a grey background to the VDC colour patch. (LHQ(CGS) Memo No. 46940,5.4.1944. AA(Vic): MP 742/1, item 36/2/70.)

  • 1103. Volunteer Defence Corps, 1942-1946: Woven on cloth for wear on the khaki Jacket, S.D.
  • 1104.Volunteer Defence Corps, 1942-1946: Woven on cloth or embroidered on felt for wear on the Jacket, VDC, a green version of the Jacket, SD, which was initially issued to the VDC and which was replaced by the khaki jacket as stocks of the latter became available.
  • 1105. Volunteer Defence Corps, 1942-1946: Examples have been seen with the monogram embroidered on felt, for wear on the hat band, however they were generally modified from No's 1103 and 1104.
    • Note: It is understood that other manufacturers were involved from 1943 in the production of this colour patch, including the National Clothing Company, WA, and the Melbourne Embroidery Company, Vienna Fashions, H. Schiess and Sons, Philip Joseph, and French Embroidery Pty Ltd, all of Victoria.
  • 1106-1110. Reserved.


Formed in October 1939 as a Corps of the Citizen Forces. (Amendment to Australian Military Regulations and Orders, 1927, Para 1055 (R.601), notified in AAO 299/1939, dated 31.10.1939.) No colour patch was approved for this Corps, the members of which wore the patch of the formation headquarters to which personnel or units were allotted for duty. 

  1. These units included: 
    1. Sections, Aust. Intelligence Corps; 
    2. Sections, Field Security Service (or Wing); 
    3. Field Security Sections; 
    4. Field Security Sections (Enemy Equipment); 
    5. Field Censorship Sections. 
  2. In addition the following units of the Corps wore the LHQ colour patch (No. 401): 
    1. Security Service; 
    2. GHQ Detachment 22; 
    3. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section; 
    4. Army Air Photograph Interpretation Group; 
    5. Army Air Photograph Interpretation Units; 
    6. Combined Operational Intelligence Centre (GHQ) (Aust. Component); 
    7. Central Bureau; 
    8. Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre; 
    9. 1st Aust. Field Censorship Company. 

Authorities for the above include: AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 70030, 21.10.1940 (Int. Corps units, 2nd AIF); AIF Order(ME) No. 179, 17.1.1941 (Intelligence sections and FSS sections, Aust. Base and L of C Area); LHQ(AG) Memo No. 108034, 17.9.1942 (4th and 5th Aust. Field Censorship Sections, 'L' Field Security Section, 8th Aust. Air Liaison Section); LHQ(AG) Memo No. 60104, 13.4.1943 (AnS and COIC); LHQ(MGO) Memo No. 189005, 29.10.1943 (1st Aust. Army Air Photograph Interpretation Unit).

  • Special Intelligence Personnel Sections, 1942-1946: These units were attached to Wireless Sections (Type B) of the Aust. Special Wireless Group, and wore the colour patch of that unit (No. 693 then No. 1642). They formed part of Central Bureau, and in September 1944 1st Aust. Special Intelligence Personnel Group was raised as a parent unit for these sections.
  • 1111. Allied Geographical Section (AMF Component), 1943-1946: Auth. GRO 125/1943,
    5.2.1943. Served directly under the control of GHQ SWPA, and was responsible for the preparation of maps, guide books and terrain profiles. Embroidered examples were
    initially supplied, genuine hand sewn examples also exist.
  • 1112. Air Liaison Units, 1945-1949: Auth. GRO 124/1945, 27.4.1945. The first unit of this 
    type, 2/1st Aust. Air Intelligence Liaison Section, was raised in the Middle East in April 1940 and wore No. 404. Further units were raised in Australia from December 1941, and from early 1942 were redesignated simply as Air Liaison Sections. Air Liaison officers were initially seconded to the Intelligence Corps from their own units for duty with an AL Section, and the colour patch worn by all personnel was that of the headquarters of the formation to which the unit was allotted. Between January and August 1943 a major reorganization of these units was undertaken to form HQ Air Liaison Groups, Command Air Liaison Sections, Squadron Air Liaison Sections, and Air Liaison Sections (Army Air Co-operation). In August 1943 they ceased to belong
    to the Aust. Intelligence Corps. The formation HQ colour patch continued to be worn from this point until No. 1112 was introduced.


Created on 13th December 1927, (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 131/1927,15.12.1927.) however the first unit, 1st Tank Section (Medium), of the Citizen Forces, was not raised until March 1930. In November 1937 it was expanded to form the 1st Light Tank Company, the 2nd Light Tank Company being raised in Victoria in March 1.939. The Corps ceased to exist upon the formation of the Australian Armoured Corps in July 1941, the 2nd Light Tank Company having been disbanded, while the 1st was reorganized as the 3rd Armoured Regiment in March 1941. The colours adopted were those of the Royal Tank Corps, which was affiliated with the Aust. Tank Corps in 1933. See also comment regarding wearing of these colours in the note with No. 475.

  • 1113. Australian Tank Corps, 1928-1941: Auth. MBI Q.26, 18.2.1928. Did not appear in SO Dress until 1935. Permanent Forces personnel attached to the Tank Corps belonged initially to the RAA, RAE and AASC(P) until 1932, then to the Tank Cadre AASC(P)(MT). They wore No. 385 until 1934, then No. 387 thereafter.


Between 1939 and late 1945, chaplains wore the colour patch of the unit or formation headquarters to which they were attached, with the exception that chaplains attached to infantry battalions wore the colour patch of the infantry brigade headquarters to which the battalion belonged. Although unrecorded it would appear that these principles were also followed during the prewar period. Auth. AG Minute dated 24.11.1939, and Standing Orders AIF, 1940, Chapter IX, para. 209(h). Granted the title 'Royal' in 1948.

1114-1115. Reserved.


Granted the title 'Royal' on 1.1.1949. Disbanded on 1.6.1973, its personnel and units transferred to the RAAOC and the newly formed Royal Australian Corps of Transport.

Divisional Troops

From 1921 until 1928, the AASC units allotted to CMF divisions retained their war time designation as Divisional Trains, AASC, organized with four companies. From 1939 the divisional AASC was standardised as an ammunition company, petrol company and supply column. This changed amongst the AIF divisions in the Middle East in late 1941, and progressively throughout 1942 for the CMF divisions, to three Companies, AASC. Armoured or motor divisions had a divisional troops company, armoured and motor brigade companies, and support group company as appropriate. Workshop platoons or sections were an integral part of the establishment of various types of AASC units and did not become part of the RAEME until the post-war period.

  • 1116. AASC 1st Division, 1921-1942; 
    • AASC 1st Aust. Division, 1942-1945: Auth. SO Clothing Pt 111, 1922.
  • 1117. AASC 2nd Division, 1921-1942; 
    • AASC 2nd Aust. Division, 1942-1944: Auth. SO Clothing Pt 111, 1922.
  • 1118. AASC 3rd Division, 1921-1942; 
    • AASC 3rd Aust. Division, 1942-1945: Auth. SO Clothing Pt 111, 1922.
  • 1119. (a) AASC 4th Division, 1921-1942; 
    • AASC 4th Aust. Division, 1942-1944: Auth. SO Clothing Pt 111, 1922.
    • (b) AASC 3rd Mixed Brigade, 1938-1942: This colour patch was retained by most L of C AASC units in South Australia until late 1942. (HQ SA L of C Area letter to S & T Directorate, LHQ, dated 13.8.1942. AA(Vic): MP 508, item 36/702/260.) The unit comprised a headquarters, a supply column and 'B' Section, 4th Division Ammunition Company, with the sections of AASC 1st Cavalry Division raised in 4th MD attached for peacetime training purposes. It had formerly been known as Field Troops 4th MD, Supply and Transport Company.
  • 1120. (a) HQ AASC 5th Division, and 
    • AASC 11th Mixed Brigade, 1921-1940; 
    • AASC Northern Command, 1940-1942; 
    • AASC 5th Aust. Division, 1942-1945: Note: Sub-units of AASC 1st, later 2nd, Cavalry Division, and AASC 1st Division, raised in 1st M.D., formed for training purposes part of AASC 11th Mixed Brigade.
    • (b) 13th Mixed Brigade Supply and Transport Company AASC, 1921-1930; 
      • AASC 13th Mixed Brigade, 1930-1940; 
      • AASC Western Command Field Troops, 1940-1942:
    • (c) 12th Mixed Brigade Supply and Transport Company AASC, 1925-1930; 
      • AASC 12th Mixed Brigade, 1930-1942; 
      • 31st Aust. Company AASC, 1942-1945: HQ 6th District Base was advised on 29.1.1925 that colour patches had not yet been issued to this unit. In July 1930 this unit also unsuccessfully requested permission to wear its colour patch behind the Corps badge on the slouch hat. Auth. SO Clothing Pt III, 1922.
  • 1121. AASC 6th Aust. Division, 1939-1945: Ref. MGO Branch Line Drawings, p. 16.
  • 1122. AASC 7th Aust. Division, 1940-1945: Ref. MGO Branch Line Drawings, p. 16.
  • 1123.AASC 8th Aust. Division, 1940-1945: Ref MGO Branch Line Drawings, p. 16. The majority of this unit was captured on Singapore, Ambon, New Britain and Timor between January and March 1942. Only 23rd Brigade Company AASC and a section of 8th Aust. Division Ammunition Company remained in Australia.
  • 1124. AASC 8th Aust. Division: An unofficial colour patch signifying that the wearer belonged to a unit of AASC 8th Aust. Division which had not been captured with the remainder of the division in early 1942. Only one example has been noted to date and although apparently worn, its status as to whether it is genuine or not has not yet been determined. A 1st Aust. Corps Minute G/3360/SD dated 21.5.1944 records that the 2/166th Aust. General Transport Company and the 235th and 2/240th Aust. Supply Depot Platoons were wearing the 'AASC 8th Aust. Division' colour patch (probably No. 1123) at that point as units of 1st and 2nd Aust. Beach Groups.
  • 1125. AASC 9th Aust. Division, 1940-1942: Ref. To Benghazi, Long, Appendix 4. Superseded by No. 1126 in December 1942. Formerly AASC Australforce.
  • 1126. AASC 9th Aust. Division, 1942-1945: Auth.GR0225/1943,12.3.1943.
  • AASC 10th Aust. Division, 1942: No colour patch is known to have been approved for these units, which were comprised of the 28th, 29th and 30th Companies AASC.
  • 1127. AASC 11th Aust. Division, 1943-1945: Auth. GRO 468/1943,18.6.1943.
  • - AASC 12th Aust. Division, 1943-1944: See AASC Northern Territory Force.
  • 1128. AASC 1st Cavalry Division, 1921-1942; 
    • AASC 1st Aust. Motor Division, 1942: Auth. SO Clothing Pt 111, 1922.
  • 1129. AASC 2nd Cavalry Division, 1921-1942; 
    • AASC 2nd Aust. Motor Division, 1942: Auth. SO Clothing Pt 111, 1922. Superseded by No. 1132 in August 1942.

Note: In 1938, the elements of AASC 1st Cavalry Division raised in 1st MD were redesignated 'B' and 'E' Sections, 2nd Cavalry Division Supply Column. At the same time elements of AASC 2nd Cavalry Division formed in 4th MD were reorganized as 'C' and 'F' Sections, I st Cavalry Division Supply Column. These units remained attached to AASC I I th and 3rd Mixed Brigades respectively for peacetime training and there is no evidence that they changed their colour patches to reflect the new divisional groupings.

  • 1130. (a) AASC 1st Aust. Armoured Division, 1941-1943: Ref, AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 14520, 7.3.1941. Units were dispersed to various formations in September 1943.
    (b) 1st Aust. Armoured Brigade Company AASC, 1943-1945: Formed part of 1st Aust. Armoured Brigade Group from September 1943 and was disbanded on 5.1.1945.
    (c) 2/1st Aust. Tank Transporter Company AASC, 1943-1945: Formed part of 1st Aust. Armoured Brigade Group from September 1943 and was disbanded on 16.1.1945, personnel from the unit forming 2/2nd Aust. Workshop Platoon AASC.
  • 1131. AASC 1st Aust. Armoured Division: Of NSW manufacture, however there is no evidence that it was worn by any of the units allotted to this formation.
  • 1132. AASC 2nd Aust. Motor Division, 1942-1943: Auth. GRO 301/1942, 7.8.1942. Disbanded in April 1943.
  • 1133. AASC 3rd Aust. Armoured Division, 1943-1944: Auth. GRO 165/1943,19.2.1943.
  • 1134A. 151st Aust. General Transport Company AASC, 1943: Ref. Unit Association (Victorian Branch). There is some recollection by members that this colour patch was worn by the unit during a brief period of attachment to 3rd Aust. Armoured Division. Several examples have been sighted, supplied by at least two different manufacturers.
  • 1134B. AASC 3rd Aust. Armoured Division: Of NSW manufacture and appears in full size and miniature variations, however there is no evidence that it was worn by units of this formation.
  • 1135. AASC 3rd Aust. Army Tank Brigade, 1943-1944: Auth. GRO 375/1943, 7.5.1943. The initial order for the supply of this patch was submitted on 11.2.1943 to Braeside Pty Ltd. A CCF manufactured example also exists and a NSW manufactured variation in the J.A. Ryan Collection (AWM) measures 2 and 1/2 inches by I and 1/2 inches. Comprised of the 3rd Aust. Army Tank Brigade Company AASC and 4th Aust. Tank Transporter Company AASC.
  • 1136. AASC 3rd Aust. Army Tank Brigade: A NSW manufactured variation in compressed felt which was issued to and worn by members of this unit.
  • 1137. AASC 4th Aust. Armoured Brigade, 1943-1946: Auth. GRO 310/1943, 16.4.1943. Raised initially as 4th Aust. Armoured Brigade Company AASC in April 1943 by conversion of 2/103rd Aust. General Transport Company AASC. By March 1945 it included the 89th, 90th, 91st, and 92nd Aust. Transport Platoons, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, and 2/34th Aust. Tank Transporter Platoons, 103rd Aust. Composite Platoon, and 2/2nd Aust. Workshop Platoon.
  • 1138. AASC 4th Aust. Armoured Brigade: Ref Appendix 'B', 4th Aust. Armoured Brigade War History. (AWM 54, items 89/3/5 and 89/3/6.) This reference states that No. 1138 was being worn in lieu of No. 1137 by all AASC units of 4th Aust. Armoured Brigade except the four tank transporter platoons. Despite this reference, and the existence of NSW manufactured examples in the J.A. Ryan (AWM) and Victoria Barracks collections, there is no evidence to confirm that this colour patch was actually worn in lieu of No. 1137.
  • 1139. Unidentified: J.A. Ryan Collection, AWM. This is possibly a badly cut version of No. 1137, however see No's 784 and 1428.

Army and Corps Troops AASC

Comprised of: HQ Comd. Army Troops AASC; HQ Comd. Corps Troops AASC; HQ Comd. Corps Transport Columns; General Transport Companies; HQ General Transport Companies (Tropical Scale); Transport Platoons; Workshop Platoons; HQ Supply Depot Companies; Supply Depot Platoons; DID's; Motor Ambulance Convoys; HQ MAC; MAC Platoons; MAC Workshop Platoon; Water Carrying Companies; Corps Troops Supply Columns; Corps Troops Petrol Companies; Corps Troops Ammunition Companies; Companies AASC.

  • 1140. First Aust. Army Troops AASC, 1943-1945: Auth. GRO 165/1943,19.2.1943.
  • 1141.Second Aust. Army Troops AASC, 1943-1945: Auth. GRO 375/1943, 7.5.1943. Anticipation of approval was granted by an MGO signal to the DDOS Second Aust. Army circa 2.3.1943. The design first appeared in draft GRO's in early March 1943, but was withheld while a more complex scheme for Army Troops AASC was considered (AA(Vic): MP 742/1, item 61/13/15). The first authority was for 7th Aust. Motor Ambulance Convoy AASC vide LHQ(MGO) Memo No. 72878,6.5.1943.
  • 1142. Aust. Corps Troops AASC, 1939-1940; 
    • AASC 1st Aust. Corps Troops, 1940-1945: Auth. Colour patch chart promulgated with AHQ(DOS) Memo No. 70030, 21.10.1940. See also No's 1145 to 1155.
  • 1143. AASC 2nd Aust. Corps Troops, 1942-1945: Auth. GRO 207/1942, 17.7.1942.
  • 1144. AASC 3rd Aust. Corps Troops, 1942-1944: Auth. GRO 207/1942,17.7.1942.

1st Aust. Corps Troops AASC, AIF (Middle East)

Auth. AIF Order(ME) No. 143, 20.12.1940. Approved by the GOC 2nd AIF for units in the Middle East without consultation with the Military Board. Units of 1st Aust. Corps AASC serving in Australia and Malaya retained No. 1142, including 8th Aust. Division Ammunition Sub-Park, 2/2nd and 2/3rd Aust. Reserve Motor Transport Companies, and the transport wings of the 2/2nd and 2/3rd Aust. Motor Ambulance Convoys AAMC.

  • 1145. 1st Aust. Corps Ammunition Park, 1940-1942:
  • 1146.1st Aust. Corps Troops Ammunition Company, 1940-1942: Superseded by No. 1155 in early 1942.
  • 1147. 1st Aust. Corps Troops Supply Column, 1940-1942:
  • 1148. 1st Aust. Corps Petrol Park, 1940-1942:
  • 1149.(a) AASC Personnel (attached), 1st Aust. Corps Troops, 1940-1942: Originally allotted to AASC personnel attached to the 2/13th Aust. Field Ambulance and the 2/3rd Aust. Field Hygiene Section. Its use was extended to AASC personnel attached to all units of 1st Aust. Corps Troops as Drivers, M.T., etc., vide AHQ Cipher No. 2/22 dated 28.7.1941.
    • (b) 1st Aust. Reserve Motor Transport Company AASC, 1941-1942: Auth. AHQ Cipher No. 2/22, 28.7.194 1.
  • 1150.1st Aust. Anti-Aircraft Brigade Company AASC, 1940-1942: Reorganized as the 2/142nd Aust. General Transport Company AASC upon its return to Australia in early 1942, and reverted to wearing No. 1142.
  • 1151.2/1st Aust. Motor Ambulance Convoy (Transport Wing), 1940-1943: In December 1941 a major reorganization of non-divisional AASC units in the Middle East was undertaken. As a consequence of this, No's 1145 to 1149 ceased to be used by these units and personnel, four of the designs then being allotted to the units raised under the new organization. It would appear that usage of these designs continued in some cases until at least early 1943, but all were eventually replaced by No. 1142.
  • 1152. 'A' Section, 2/4th Aust. Motor Ambulance Convoy (Transport Wing), 1942-1943: Auth. HQ AIF(ME) Memo No. 3217, 22.2.1942.
  • 1153.1st Aust. Corps Transport Column, 1942: Auth. HQ AIF(ME) Memo No. 3844, 11.3.1942. Comprised by the 2/101st, 2/102nd, 2/103rd, and 2/104th Aust. General Transport Companies.
  • 1154.1st Aust. Corps Troop Carrying Column, 1942: Auth. HQ AIF(ME) Memo No. 3844, 11.3.1942. Comprised of the 2/105th, 2/106th, and 2/107th Aust. General Transport
  • 1155.1st Aust. Corps Troops AASC, 1942-1943: Auth. HQ AIF(ME) Memo No. 3844, 11.3.1942. Comprised of 1st Aust. Corps Troops Petrol Company, Ammunition Company, and Supply Column.

Force Troops AASC

In August 1942 MGO Branch prepared a draft GRO incorporating colour patches for AASC units of New Guinea, Northern Territory and Tasmania Forces, of which only that for New Guinea Force was subsequently approved. It is believed that No's 115 8 to 1163 exist as a result of confusion between the operational and line of communication roles undertaken by the Force structure, and while genuine examples of each appear in collections, there is no evidence at this point that they were actually worn. Reproductions of No's 1158 to 1162 also exist, as do fake examples purporting to represent Motor Transport, Horse Transport and BIPODs allotted to Northern Territory Force. No adequate explanation has been found for No's 1164 and 1165 although they were probably supplied in error for Queensland L of C Area on the basis that red was the colour allotted to the former Northern Command.

  • 1156. Reserved.
    • - AASC Northern Territory Force: Units allotted to this formation, and later 12th Aust. Division, continued to wear the colour patch of the previous formation to which they belonged.

The material on this section of the site is drawn from "Distinguishing Colour Patches of the Australian Military Forces 1915-1951" by Keith Glyde. ISBN 0-6460-36640-8  


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