1903 1st Class Gunner’s Badge for Field Artillery


A scarcer badge being issued only one year to Field Artillery.

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In 1902 Rock Island Arsenal produced approximately 1700 1st Class Gunner’s Badges for issue primarily to Coast Artillerymen.  After the initial confusion as to whether field artillery gunner’s would qualify for some marksmanship badge, the Army published a Circular No. 1, Jan. 8, 1904, stating that field artillery would be using the same badge only stamped on the pin brooch, Field Artillery instead of Coast ..etc.

The Field Artillery cared little for the badge, with the floating target placed on crossed cannons, and a new badge would be created for that branch of artillery in 1904.

The brooch is marked “1 CO FIELD ART,” and “NO.46,” being the company or equipment number of the individual.  Some confusion arrises here as field artillery companies were instead designated as “batteries.”  Still more confusion comes when field artillery batteries are known by letters, not numbers.  If the “1” represents the regiment, comprised of multiple batteries, then was gunner No. 46 is in what battery in that 1st Regiment?

Only one year was this badge used by the field artillery, making it a rather scarcer example to find.

Condition is very good, with some heavier rubbing to the floating target, and some substance on the pin brooch that probably will clean.

This badge is featured in William Emerson’s book, Marksmanship In The U.S. Army,  on page 81.


Additional information

Weight .75 lbs