Cloth patches have been used since World War I to distinguish units or divisions on the battlefield. Morale patches—often containing funny, rude, or “in your face” images and phrases—are unofficial designs that help build esprit de corps. Like other federal agencies and the military, the U.S. Customs Service Air Branches created their share of unique morale patches.
San Angelo’s patch features a pair of eyes looking out over the sun setting behind two mountain peaks, where a Cessna Citation chase plane and Black Hawk helicopter fly over a crashed and burning smuggler’s aircraft. Taking its theme from the University of Texas fight song, “The Eyes of Texas are Upon You” is joined by the phrase “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide,” and “San Angelo Air Branch” stitched into a ribbon below.
In 1990, the San Angelo Air Branch employed 24 pilots in fixed wing and rotary aircraft to patrol almost the entire Texas-Mexico border for the legacy Customs Service. In 2019, under a new National Air Security Operations Center, the San Angelo Air Unit houses manned and unmanned operations in support of the mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE, SAN ANGELO AIR BRANCH MORALE PATCH
Object ID# 2017.4.14
Approximately 11.3cm x 10cm.
Cloth patch, circular with additional curved ribbon on bottom.