Uniforms and Insignia

The most distinct piece of uniform of the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) were their Ike jackets issued to the Battalion very late May 1945, just prior to leaving for Norway.  These Ike jackets have the Battalion patch on the right sleeve and the 474th Regiment patch on the left sleeve.  Although the Battalion patch was approved earlier during the war, it was never worn on the uniforms until August 1945.  Between May and August 1945 a small US flag was worn in it’s place.


These jackets are often seen on period photographs from Norway and will usually have the OD bordered Battalion patch, although some known exceptions to this exists.

Text Box: On right and below, the 1945 dress uniform of Pfc. Richard Wesserling (Company “A”). Wesserling, was a replacement that joined the 99th Infantry Battalion after it was deployed to the Continent and stayed until it was disbanded.
Text Box: A good photo showing the 99th Ike jacket in wear.  The OD bordered Battalion patch is clearly visible on Sgt Hadley Jensons sleeve (on left), while  Sgt Lindholm’s jacket clearly shows the Regiment patch.  Photo is taken at the Vigeland Park in Oslo. (Photo courtesy: Hadley Jenson)
Text Box: On right the uniform shirt of Pfc Jarvis Taylor (Company “D”).  Taylor was a radio operator on the M8 armored vehicle and was issued a 1911 Colt pistol which was worn in a shoulder holster.  The throat microphone on the photo  was removed from a disabled German tank in Markt Bibart, Germany on the 28th April 1945.  Pfc Taylor re-wired this microphone to be compatible with his M8 and used it for the remainder of his service.  It was common for GI’s to use confiscated gear and equipment.  In addition to the throat mic, Taylor also wore a Luftwaffe flight helmet and a set of German dust goggles made by Auer.  The uniform on the right has then otherwise been made to resemble the way Pfc Taylor looked when he operated the M8.  On left a photo of  Pfc Taylor wearing this same gear in Germany April /May 1945.
Text Box: On the field uniforms the soldiers were only allowed to display the 1st Army patch on their left sleeve, which is seen here on the  left photo.  The one most commonly used is the OD “subdued” version as seen on right.
Text Box: A good studio photo of Walther Pire (Company “D”)  showing the  OD bordered Battalion Patch worn as per regulation on the upper right sleeve of the Ike jacket.  Photo courtesy: Gary Pire
Text Box: The dog tags of  Bjarne Kvingedal (HQ Comp).  The one on the top is the early type with information on next-of-kin. The one in the back is the dog tag issued before D-Day omitting much of the personal information
Text Box: While at Camp Hale, the officers of the 99th Infantry Battalion were authorized to wear Collar Branch Insignia specially made for the unit.    These are not commonly encountered, and photos of them in wear are hard to find.  It is therefore believed that these may only have been available to purchase by the individual officers and not issued.  On left is the insignia worn by Capt. Adler Haaland.  Period photo above shows Lt. Lium, and 2nd Lt. Undlin on right wearing same insignia. (Photo courtesy: Donald Curtis)
Text Box: Hadley Jenson’s uniform, which is the same he is wearing on photo on left.
Text Box: Photo of Pfc Wesserling taken in 1944 before he was deployed to Europe.
Text Box: Hadley Jenson and Robert Snodgrass at the National World War 2 Memorial on Memorial Day 2011.  Jenson is wearing the same Ike Jacket as in the above photos
Text Box: This rare 474th Regiment patch  is made in Europe (Italy) during the war and is often found on original 99th Infantry Battalion uniforms.  This particular patch is from Pfc Taylor’s shirt shown below. 
Text Box: The white bordered Battalion patch is very common to find today, but rarely  encountered on a uniform.  It was never officially issued to the Battalion, but the patch appears to have been available at the depot in Norway when the Battalion was stationed there.   Several versions of these exists.  Above are three variations including the very rare “blue mast” version.
On left, Master Sgt Melvin Hammerstrom some time around 1950 with Major General Thomas Handy.  This photo is taken when Hammerstom was in the 5th Army after he reenlisted and shows him wearing the white bordered 99th patch.
On right another 99er in a studio photo taken in Oslo, wearing the white bordered patch on his uniform shirt.
Text Box: The small woven US flags were  issued to the soldiers of the 99th Infantry Battalion together with their Ike Jackets in France May 1945 prior to leaving for Norway. They were only worn for a short period during June and July 1945.  Soldiers of the 99th were explained that these flags were needed on their uniforms to identify them as Americans and avoid possible confusion with the German occupational force.  The flags were replaced by the 99th Infantry Battalion patch in August 1945.  These flags are printed on woven material and appears to have been made in  France.  They are today extremely rare.  Above specimen comes from the uniform of Jarvis Taylor (D).