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Red Ball Express Patch

Red Ball Express Patch

Catalog #: 1978.0429.02    Accession #: 1978.0429
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 2.25" H x 2" W

Physical Description

Embroidered patch with red ball in center.

General History

The Red Ball Express was a massive convoy effort to supply the Allied Armies moving across Europe. The supply effort was comprised predominately of African-American soldiers who were restricted from combat. Getting its name from an old railroading expression, to red ball, or ship something express, the Red Ball Express was conceived in a 36-hour brain storming session. There was an urgent need to get supplies to the rapidly advancing Allied Armies. Some tanks were literally sitting still due to lack of fuel. For three months from 25 August to 16 November 1944, The Red Ball Express delivered those supplies. Without The Red Ball Express the campaign in the European Theater might have dragged on for years with the mobility of the allied forces greatly diminished. The Red Ball Express was one of the most important factors in the rapid defeat of the German Army.


War: World War II
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