Wartime Wednesday: The Ruptured Duck
A cloth patch or “lozenge” was sewn onto the right breast of the dress uniform worn when the individual was being discharged. Except for times of metal shortages, the button was made of gilt brass and was to be worn on the left lapel of civilian clothing, indicating the individual was an honorably discharged veteran returning from service. This also allowed them to continue to wear their uniform for up to thirty days after discharge, indicating they were in transit and not AWOL, a help considering the clothing shortage at the time. Railroad, bus, and other transportation companies offered free or subsidized transportation to return veterans, so the patch/button acted as an identifier.
The original design from 1919 bore the flat image of the eagle as seen on the Presidential Seal, then
Not one really knows how the Ruptured Duck received its name, but there are two commonly heard renditions:
The unknown wife of an unknown Army Air Corps airman mockingly told her husband that the spread-eagled figure looked more like a "ruptured duck" than an eagle taking flight or fanning its wings.
Whatever the truth, it’s been lost in the shadows of history.
World War II is finally over, and America is extra grateful as the country approaches this year’s Thanksgiving. But for Francine life hasn’t changed. Despite working at Fort Meade processing the paperwork for the thousands of men who have returned home, she’s still lonely and very single. Is she destined for spinsterhood?
Grateful that his parents anglicized the family surname after emigrating to the United States after the Great War, first-generation German-American Ray Fisher has done all he can to hide his heritage. He managed to make it through this second “war to end all wars,” but what American woman would want to marry into a German family. Must he leave the country to find wedded bliss?
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