Unofficial Insignia – Liberty Cuffs and Diesel Boats Forever
World War II sailors sewed hidden patches under the sleeve cuffs of their dress blue jumpers. Once on leave, they unbuttoned their “liberty cuffs” and turned them over to display colorful dragons, mermaids, dolphins (for submariners), and birds (for the “airedales” who worked on Navy aircraft). The practice of liberty cuffs continued into the early 1980s, except for a short period in the early 1970s, when the Navy attempted to do away with the blue and white jumpers and replace them with jackets similar to those worn by officers. – Carol Burke, in Camp all-American, Hanoi Jane, and the High-and-Tight
Dragons are very common and easy to find, along with mermaids. My favorite design that I’ve spotted so far were these Hawaii themed patches (I lost that ebay auction).