Saber Article Index
MEDEVAC History Patch collection
Note: The following insignia history is gleaned from the book United
Army Air Ambulance by Mark M. Hough.
1...The patch was hand-made in Vietnam
and worn from early 1966 through mid-to-late 1967. It features the motto,
“ANGELS OF MERCY,” in yellow in an attached top tab. This example is three-
and one-half inches high and three and one-quarter inches wide and is
embroidered on light blue cotton cloth with a medium blue border. The
shield-shaped section of the patch is a yellow winged caduceus topped with a
brown and yellow halo. On a white scroll, bordered in black across the
middle of the caduceus, “MED-E-VAC,” is embroidered in red. The “MED-E-VAC”
is a reference to the fact that the Air Ambulance Platoon was the only air
ambulance unit in Vietnam that used
MEDEVAC as a call sign instead of
DUSTOFF. Individual pilots used the call sign, “MERCY, also a reference to
the motto on this patch.”
2...This patch was worn over the left pocket of flight suit shirts and
jungle jackets. CWO Larry Hatch and a physician in the 15th Medical
Battalion Headquarters Company designed this patch in late 1967. The
original insignia did not have the wording around the bottom of the patch.
The wording was added after mid-1968. At least during the latter stages of
the war, the custom was to wear the patch over the right pocket if the
wearer’s helicopter had been shot down. This insignia was made in Vietnam.
It is approximately five inches high and four inches wide and
embroidered on yellow twill with a gray border. An applique red cross with
white Army Aviator’s wings embroidered on it is superimposed on a 1st
Cavalry Division shoulder patch, the familiar yellow shield with a black
band and horse’s head. The motto, “SO THAT OTHERS MAY
embroidered around the bottom of the patch and the owner’s call sign, in
this case, “MEDEVAC 10.” appears at the top.
3...This patch is the same design as “2,” but the distinctive features of
red cross and wording have been added in Vietnam to a regular U.S.-made
shoulder patch with a non-embroidered edge. This example has the call sign,
“MEDEVAC 18,” at the top. It is five inches high and three and a half inches
4...A patch made similar to “2” but bearing the words, “MEDEVAC CREW
CHIEF,” at the top. It features Army Air Crew wings in the red cross. It was
also modified in Vietnam.
5...This patch is similar to “3,” but a modified U.S.-made sewn border
patch with the words, “MEDEVAC MEDIC” at the top.
6...A patch made similar to “4” but with, “MEDEVAC CO,” at the top on a
hot-cut edge U.S.-made shoulder sleeve insignia. This example was meant for
crew members and was presented to COL Samuel J. Griffith, Flight Surgeon, in
Always remembering our 1st Cav Troops on duty around the world; over and
FIRST TEAM! Garryowen
Mike Bodnar 2\7 '69
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE