The shoulder patch insignia of the 3rd Armored Division has
a distinct heraldic meaning and a proud history in its mixture
of form, color, and symbols. The basic pattern is that of three
interlaced torques, no one of which would be sufficient without
the other two. Combined, to form a single triangle, the device
indicates integrity and esprit de corps. That basic design,
designated in November, 1940 by the War Department, in fact became
the authorized patch for all armor units with Arabic numeral
designating the division.
The predominating colors of the armored force patch, yellow,
red and blue, are those of the basic arms: Cavalry, Field Artillery,
and Infantry - all of which are components of the present integrated
armored command and progenitors of the present armored force.
The super-imposed black symbols have a more modern meaning: The
tank track for mobility and armor protection, the cannon for
fire power, and the bolt of lightning to designate shock action.
The basic design and combination of colors are taken from
the original insignia of World War I Tank Corps, plus that of
various infantry-tank organizations; and the superimposed symbols
from that of the old 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized). Most modern
component of the 3rd Armored Division patch is the SPEARHEAD
flash. That addition was authorized in late 1944 by Major General
Maurice Rose, and later approved by the Department of the Army,
after the division had brilliantly led many of the First Army's
drives in the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.
[Sources: "Spearhead in the West"
1946, and Div. PAO files.]