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Scarce WWI Army "Self Inflicted Wound" Armband
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DESCRIPTION

A World War I U.S. Army armband, constructed of yellow wool (the color of cowardice) with the separately sewn letters "SIW" for "Self Inflicted Wound".

The armband is actually mentioned in the 1920 memoirs of Edward James Tippett, Jr., who served with the 112th Military Police in the 37th Division. Tippet relates an account of a soldier who inflicted a wound upon himself. When another doughboy asked Tippet what punishment that soldier might receive, Tippett wrote:
"I answered that he would probably be awarded the S.I.W. (Self Inflicted Wound) brassard, the badge of cowardice, and placed at disagreeable work at some dangerous point." ("Who Won The War? Letters and Notes of an M.P. in Dixie, England, France and Flanders", Copyright 1920, page 93.)

The original fasteners (probably hook and eye) are gone, and there is one small spot (about 3/4 of an inch long) where the yellow wool has a rectangular separation, but the armband is overall in very good used condition.