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1st Brazilian Infantry Division (World War II)

1a Divisão de Infantaria

Last modified: 2012-01-13 by ian macdonald
Keywords: army | lozenge | military | expeditionary force | division | major general | southern cross | cruzeiro | brigadier general | chaplain |
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About the 1st Infantry Division

The 1st Brazilian Infantry Division, which was the core of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force that fought alongside US and other allied troops in northern Italy during World War II, used command flags that differed from the other divisions of the Brazilian Army, in that the stars of the Southern Cross (Cruzeiro do Sul) were added to the division number and branch symbols in the hoist. Those who know U.S. military heraldry may recognize a distinct similarity between the divisional emblem, the numeral "1" surrounded by the stars of the Southern Cross, and the remarkably similar emblem adopted at about the same time by the U.S. First Marine Division. I have no reason to suppose this is anything but a coincidence, since the Marine Division fought in the South Pacific, not in Europe.
Source: Print entitled Exército Expedicionário--Insígnias de Comando, published by the Brazilian Ministry of War Photo-Cartographic Office, in the files of the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry.
Joseph McMillan, 6 May 2001

Major General Commanding

General de Divisão Comandante

Commander, 1st Infantry Division (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

Brigadier General Commanding Infantry

General de Brigada comandante da Infantaria

Infantry Brigade Commander, 
1st Inf Div (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

Brigade commanders had a device representing the type of brigade (crossed rifles and hand grenade for infantry, crossed lances and pennons for cavalry, flaming bomb for artillery) above the number of the division to which the brigade belonged, in Arabic numerals. Above the branch device is the cruzeiro of the 1st Infantry Division.
Joseph McMillan, 6 May 2001

Military Chaplains

In the same envelope with the prints of Army command flags that I've been forwarding is a color print entitled "Capelães Militares--Insígnias de Comando," dated 1944 and also published by the Gabinete Fotocartográfico do Ministério de Guerra." Both flags (actually pennants) are blue with a yellow Latin cross bottony fimbriated red on a white oval. A red stripe in the hoist bears the white stars of the Cruzeiro do Sul (Southern Cross).
Joseph McMillan, 7 May 2001

Chief Chaplain (Capelão-chefe)

Chief Chaplain, Brazilian Expeditionary Force image by Joseph McMillan

Chaplain (Capelão)

Chaplain, Brazilian Expeditionary Force image by Joseph McMillan