The Patch


404th Patch Scan: Courtesy of
Jeff Marksbury

 

The "Real" Story on how the unit ended up with the "Pink Elephant" as the Squadron Emblem


From the Official History of the 11th Air Force...

    On July 8th (1942) the 404th Bombardment Squadron arrived in the Alaskan theater with B-24 aircraft originally destined for the North African theater.  The Liberators, brand new, were painted with a brilliant pink camouflage, satisfactory for desert warfare and admirably unsuited for Alaska use.  The squadron appropriately was nick-named "The Pink Elephants" and the unit insignia, a flying pink elephant with  fifty-caliber machine guns for tusks and carrying in his raised trunk a bomb, rampant upon a blue background, became one of the most familiar in the Alaskan Theater.
    Sgt J. B. Nunn, one of the outstanding cartoonists was responsible for this nightmare which was approved as the squadron's official insignia.



The book "Combat Squadrons of the Air Force - World War II published by the Department of the Air Force describes the emblem of the 404th BS as follows:

Over and through a light green disc, bordure black, piped white, a caricatured white elephant running, wearing aviators goggles with gold rim trimmed black, black belt about the the waist, holding two machine guns pointing to rear, grasping a large yellow aerial bomb upraised in trunk, having two black machine guns for tusks and ears in shape of wings, soles of hind feet brown. (Approved 21 Nov 1942)

Note:  The comments in the official history report the elephant to be Pink, while the approved patch has a White elephant and the official history report says the background of the patch is Blue while the approved patch has a Green background.
 
 



For more information on the 404th Bomb Squadron please check out a great site dedicated to the wartime service of Dr. William R. Eubank who served as a Flight Surgeon with the 404th BS.
Enter: The Eubank Site


Photographs of the 404th Bomb Squadron



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11th Air Force
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Always looking for Material and Scans of the 11th Air Force and Associated Units to add to this site.



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