Military badge, 1942-1945, American, cotton, donated by John S. Van Gilder, 19188.8.131.52.
This World War II badge depicts a mid-twentieth century bellows camera embroidered in gold thread. It was worn by US Army Air Force Photography Specialists of five types, including camera technicians, motion picture cameramen, and dark room technicians. This badge adorned the outside of the right sleeve of a formal coat or jacket or the left breast pocket of a fatigue uniform. Photography specialists were increasingly in demand in WWII. It is estimated that nearly 17,000 men were trained as photography specialists, consequently preserving the heart wrenching to the mundane moments of the war in still, aerial, and motion picture formats.