3d Contingent Operational Group

by Les Hughes

1993 by author


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Following the surrender of Italian forces in September 1943, Tito's Yugoslavian partisans moved to occupy the Dalmatian coast. In December German forces reoccupied the area and captured all of the Dalmatian Islands but Vis, which was defended by a mixed force of partisans, British Commandos, and a contingent of OSS OG's. From Vis this force mounted raids on the other Dalmatian Islands and against targets along the coast. Eventually, these OG's became Company C of the 2671st Special Reconnaissance Battalion.

Perhaps as a result of their British comrades having their own insignia, the OG's on Vis decided to create one for themselves. Opting to travel the easiest path possible to a design, the OG's appropriated the Combined Operations formation sign, which many of the British Commandos no doubt continued to wear, and added to it a title that read 3 Contingent OG.

Both the shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI) and the title are yellow embroidery on black cloth, and the workmanship is relatively poor. (I've had three of these SSI/tab combinations and they were nearly identical.) These SSI are quite rare. But given their crude construction, I fear they will be easily faked.

I have in my collection an example of this SSI/title combination in bullion (see image at left) which I acquired from a veteran of the unit. Although the veteran was uncertain where and when he'd acquired them, I am reasonably certain they were made in India when he was transferred to China. I surmise this to be the case because I acquired from his scrapbook two pages on which there are a Special Recon. Bn., the 3 Contingent OG, a CBI, and a Chinese Commando SSI, all in bullion and all identical in construction.