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 Hundreds of thousands of visits each year to 200  web pages & 3000 photos.  News & information at the bottom of this and every web page.

You can show your appreciation for those who served the Allied cause in WW2, by 'liking' the Combined Ops Facebook page.



 BADGE OFFER - 17.00

      WWII Combined Operations Badges 1942 Pre-production Designs

       In Aid of the Combined Operations Memorial Maintenance and Development Fund


We're offering a set of four colour prints of Lt DA Grant's original 1942 design of the iconic Combined Operations badge. They have been faithfully copied and reproduced, exclusively for the Memorial Maintenance and Development Fund with the knowledge and consent of the National Archive at Kew. They hold the original records and design drawings of the development of the badge.

All money, raised from this initial batch of 50, will go into the memorial fund. Terry Carney, whose initiative this was, has kindly donated the Buckram cloth, while the cost of postage and packaging will be met by the editor of this website. This is the first time these original badge designs have been seen, as they would have looked, had they been approved without amendment. In later versions, the bird is an eagle and both it and the gun, point in the same direction.


 To pay electronically,
please click on the donate button and follow the instructions. You don't need a Paypal account to use this method of payment.

To pay by cheque or postal order, please make your cheque or postal order payable to the Combined Operations Memorial Fund, add your address to the reverse and send to Geoff Slee, COMF (Badges), 35 Auchingane, Edinburgh, EH10 7HU, UK. Purchases from overseas (non-UK) using this method of payment are welcome in British pounds. Please contact your local bank, or postal services, for details.

For accounting and security reasons, please don't send cash.

Many thanks for supporting the Combined Operations Memorial Fund


On 13 Jan 42, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of the Combined Operations Command, issued a general invitation for designs to be submitted for a Combined Operations badge. On 19 Feb 42, from the many designs received, one of several by Lt D A Grant, RNVR, was approved. In addition to his designs, he provided notes relating to various images he thought suitable to represent each of the three services. Lt. Grant was, at the time, stationed at HMS Tormentor, a landing craft training base at Hamble, Southampton.

In 1992, Terry Carney of The Military Heraldry Society, undertook research into the history of the Combined Operations badge and was given access to the National Archive records. He carefully traced a photograph of the original design and from it produced an enlarged drawing, from which the above images were made. The tracing and drawings of these and other badges, together with supporting narrative, formed the basis of an article he wrote entitled 'The Combined Operations Badge, 1942-1946' which subsequently appeared in 'The Formation Sign' - the journal of the Society. This article, which includes the design and development of the badge, was later added to this website (link below).

The badges, which are printed on A4 Buckram sheets are;

  •  top left - the original design for the badge submitted by Lt. Grant. In this version, the bird had the appearance of a seagull and the Tommy Gun and bird faced in the opposite directions. In the final approved design, the bird became an eagle and the bird and gun pointed in the same direction in both right and left arm versions This badge would have been worn on the right arm, above the cuff on the dark blue uniform of naval ratings.

  •  top right the light blue on white embroidered 'tombstone' version. This badge would have been worn on the right arm, above the cuff on the white uniform of naval ratings.

  •  bottom - this uncut pair of badges, were intended for wear on both arms of the battledress blouse. In each case, it was intended that the Tommy gun should face forward.

Framed and hung, the sheets provide an attractive and unique display. In addition to providing much needed funds for the Combined Operations Memorial, the sets will serve as a tribute to the creative imagination of  Lt. Grant.

Grateful thanks are due to Terry Carney for the original idea to print these badges and for the preparation of the design of the printed sheet and liaison with the printer.

Further Reading

There are around 300 books listed on our 'Combined Operations Books' page. They, or any other books you know about, can be purchased on-line from the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). Their search banner link, on our 'Books' page, checks the shelves of thousands of book shops world-wide. Just type in, or copy and paste the title of your choice, or use the 'keyword' box for book suggestions. There's no obligation to buy, no registration and no passwords.

History of the Badge Laid out in chronological order.

Badge Specimens from the UK, USA and elsewhere.

The Badge in Use on uniforms. Christmas Cards, Ships' Funnels and even on an arm in the form of a tattoo!

News & Information

Memorial Maintenance

We have a small band of volunteers who take turns to visit the memorial each month, particularly during the growing season, to undertake routine maintenance such as weeding keeping the stones and slabs clear of bird dropping, lichen etc. and reporting on any issues. If you live near the National Memorial Arboretum and would like to find out more, please contact us.

Remember a Veteran

You can pay a personal tribute to veterans who served in, or alongside, the Combined Operations Command in WW2 by adding their details and optional photo to our Roll of Honour and They Also Served pages on this website.

Read the Combined Operations prayer.

Events and Places to Visit

To organisers: Reach the people who will be interested to know about your Combined Operations or war related event by adding it to our  webpage free of charge.

To everyone else: Visit our webpage for information on events and places to visit. If you know of an event or place of interest, that is not listed, please let us know.

To notify an event or place of interest, click here.

To visit the webpage click here.


Why not join the thousands who visit our Facebook page (click on icon above) about the Combined Operations Command in appreciation of our WW2 veterans.

See the 'slide shows' of the dedication ceremony and the construction of the memorial plus the 'On this day in 194?' feature where major Combined Ops events are highlighted on their anniversary dates with links to additional information.

You are welcome to add information, photos and comment or reply to messages posted by others.

Find Books of Interest 

Search for Books direct from our Books page. Don't have the name of a book in mind? Just type in a keyword to get a list of possibilities... and if you want to purchase you can do so on line through the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). 5% commission goes into the memorial fund.

WW2 Combined Operations Handbook

This handbook was prepared for Combined Operations in the Far East. It illustrates the depth and complexity of the planning process necessary to ensure that the 3 services worked together as a unified force.

Submit your D-Day Story

2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and, to mark the occasion, The D-Day Story is asking the British public to share their experiences from the largest invasion ever assembled. Whether its an account of the day from a veteran or a tale passed down by a relative, were keen to showcase never-before-heard stories for an exciting campaign to be launched later in the year.


The Gazelle Helicopter Squadron Display Team

The Gazelle Squadron is a unique team of ex-British Military Gazelle helicopters in their original military colours and with their original military registrations. The core team includes four Gazelles, one from each service; The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines, The Army Air Corps and The Royal Air Force. A fifth Gazelle in Royal Marines colours will provide intimate support for the team. Their crest includes the Combined Operations badge. The last, and possibly, only time the badge was seen on an aircraft was in the early mid 40s. A photo of the Hurricane concerned is included in the 516 Squadron webpage.

New to Combined Ops?

Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to the subject.


About Us?

Background to the website and memorial project, and a look to the future; plus other small print stuff and website accounts etc. Click here for information.


Legasee Film Archive

As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee has recorded interviews with veterans from any conflicts. These  films are now available on line. www.legasee.org.uk


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