Home»»World War I»Patches
Scarce WWI "Self Inflicted Wound" Armband
click for an even bigger image



A rare World War I U.S. Army punishment 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 buckle fasteners are gone, and there is some surface soiling from use, but the armband is overall in very good used condition.