Merrill’s Marauders

Continuing our theme of US military patches of units based in the CBI (China-Burma-India) theatre during WWII, today we have badges from one of the most famous special operations units of the time: the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) – otherwise known as Merrill’s Marauders.

These three US made examples all have the cut edge and flecked back. They’re nice and limp which adds to their authenticity and show no glow under UV light. It is very hard to find originals like these as the unit only existed for about a year between 1943-44. When they were reassigned into the 475th Infantry to make up the Marshall Task Force, some of them carried on wearing their old unit patches along with the new ‘MARS TASK FORCE’ ones, seen here.

These later patches were made in the Indian theatre and are very rare indeed. Alongside it is the chain stitched Ledo Road patch, worn by the unit who undertook the huge undertaking of constructing a road from Ledo in India to Burma. It was a then unparalleled feat of engineering snaking 271 miles through dense jungle.