On Thursday, January 5, 2012, The Armed Forces History Museum proudly accepted a collection of over 30,000 military metal insignia that were donated to the museum by the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, FL.  Ashley Burke, Curator of Collections, Matt Woodside, Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Col. Jim Fraley, Board of Directors represented the South Florida Museum at the presentation.   The insignia collection, both shoulder and hat insignia, span a time frame beginning with World War I and continuing through the Vietnam War.   Colonel William F. Kuhn, a resident of Bradenton, FL, donated his private collection to the South Florida Museum in 1984. Recently, the South Florida Museum’s Board of Directors and Staff agreed that the collection was more reflective of the history housed here at The Armed Forces History Museum.

Insignia have been used throughout history in all five United States military branches as a means to identify various rank, division units, battalions, infantries, etc. within each of the branches.  Many of these insignias today are sought after by museums as well as private collectors.  The AFHM considers it an honor to be the recipient of this unique and magnificent collection.

The Armed Forces History Museum will be reviewing the individual pieces in this collection over the next several months in order to properly categorize them.  The plan is to display the insignia in the areas of the museum that are most reflective of the units. 

Below are some pictures from the presentation.

 

 

L to R:  Col. Jim Fraley, south Florida Museum Board of Directors, Matt Woodside, Director of Exhibitions and Collections at SFM, Ashley Burke, Curator of Collections at SFM, John Piazza, Founder and President of AFHM, Rosemary Piazza, Corporate Secretary at AFHM and Nadine Piazza, Director of Operations of AFHM.

 

 

 

Viewing a small sampling of the insignia are Matt Woodside, Col. Jim Fraley, John Piazza, Ashley Burke and Frank Correa, Historian and Sr. Docent of AFHM

 

 

 

Ashley Burke shows Bill Allen, U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War and museum volunteer, one of the insignia as Rosemary Piazza looks on.

 

 

 

Pictured here is a small selection of insignia from this extensive collection.

Pictured below are some additional displays that have already been assembled here at AFHM.  

 

 

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