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WTK T-7 Parachute, WWII operationally used?


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#1 Quest Master

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:22 AM

I've seen some brief indicators, but was the T-7 parachute operationally used during WWII? I've read that it was during "Operation Varsity", but is that correct? Anyone have a picture of it being worn during WWII? Thanks and fire away!

#2 Prof

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:49 PM

I've seen some brief indicators, but was the T-7 parachute operationally used during WWII? I've read that it was during "Operation Varsity", but is that correct? Anyone have a picture of it being worn during WWII? Thanks and fire away!


Hi,

I can't answer the question directly, but a few years ago I picked up a near mint T7 without pull out panel that had supposedly been recovered from "Varsity". It does, however have the red strips ewn to the webbing to indicate the correct type of reserve to use with it. I have been told these are late/post war mods.

The canopy is 42G2019-2, manufactured by Simmons Co., Sept 1944.

The container is 41K9208-1, manufactured by Simmons Co., Aug 22nd 1944. This could also be used for T5's, but is marked T7.

The harness is 44J9635, manufactured by Simmons Co., July 23rd 1944.

The serial numbers on the container and canopy match. Sadly, it doesn't have the log book with it. :crying:

So they were certainly available by Varsity, but I don't know if used.

Best Regards,

Prof

#3 517th

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:25 PM

I've seen some brief indicators, but was the T-7 parachute operationally used during WWII? I've read that it was during "Operation Varsity", but is that correct? Anyone have a picture of it being worn during WWII? Thanks and fire away!



I have seen a picture somewhere in my library of the T7 apparently being used on Market garden, will have a look and will post later.........517th

#4 Gregory

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 03:54 PM

I've seen some brief indicators, but was the T-7 parachute operationally used during WWII? I've read that it was during "Operation Varsity", but is that correct?

So they were certainly available by Varsity, but I don't know if used.

Used.

Kirk B. Ross
"The Sky Men. F Company of The 513th PIR, 17th U.S. Airborne Division in WWII"
Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen 2000
ISBN 0-7643-1172-7

Page 318

#5 Plankowner

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 07:17 PM

Here are three pictures that I found, and the one of Gen. Taylor was taken before the jump in Holland. Gen. Miley before the jump across the Rhine. The third is of a trooper named Conboy. These pictures can be Googled to find them.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/oldnavy60/TaylorHolland.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/oldnavy60/mg_miley_pre_op_varsity.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/oldnavy60/RHINE20120CONBOY.jpg

#6 Johan Willaert

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:25 AM

What makes you so sure they are T7 and not just modified T5?

#7 Plankowner

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:18 AM

I think you are correct. The harness does appear to be a T-5 with the quick release added by a rigger. In real terms, it is not an issue T-7 but a modified one. Thanks for the wake up call! :thumbsup:

#8 Gregory

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 10:29 AM

:)

Let's try to be precise as aviation is when we are in the world of aviation with those parachutes.

The P-51D fighter modified with the Aeroproducts propeller was not called "modified P-51D" but P-51K. Why T-5 modified with the Irving-type quick release cannot be called T-7? Where are so fundamental differences between T-5 and T-7 that T-5 representing T-7 standard must be called "modified T-5" instead of T-7?

In parachuting fundamental differences between given models of the parachutes are:
- harness design
- canopy diameter
- material applied for harness
- material applied for canopy

Was T-7 entirely different than T-5 when it comes to dimensions, materials, general design?

The quotation from the US Army document by the Test and Experimentation Command Historical Office -- the document "The Airborne and Special Operations Test Board 1940-1990":

"Work on personnel parachutes therefore continued, eventually resulting in the T-7. This parachute was designed specifically for static line jumps, but retained many other features of the T-4. Among these was the three point harness, which generally was a good piece of equipment, but still was very hard to get out of. A dazed trooper often could not remove the assembly because of the cumbersome release mechanism. Later in the war the T-7 was equipped with a single point Irving quick release box, based on a German development of an American design."

#9 Johan Willaert

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 01:58 AM

That may all be very true but for many a T-5 which has had the QR buckle attached is not a T-7 and in fact much rarer and more valuable than a factory made T-7.
How many real T-7 with proven WW2 use have you seen? I have been looking for many years to see proof of WW2 use of the real T-7 and still haven't seen any... Or even a T-7 marked set with a manufacture date prior to September 1944.

So if you have, please post it!

Edited by Johan Willaert, 31 July 2011 - 01:59 AM.


#10 Prof

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 02:11 AM

:)

Let's try to be precise as aviation is when we are in the world of aviation with those parachutes.

The P-51D fighter modified with the Aeroproducts propeller was not called "modified P-51D" but P-51K. Why T-5 modified with the Irving-type quick release cannot be called T-7? Where are so fundamental differences between T-5 and T-7 that T-5 representing T-7 standard must be called "modified T-5" instead of T-7?

In parachuting fundamental differences between given models of the parachutes are:
- harness design
- canopy diameter
- material applied for harness
- material applied for canopy

Was T-7 entirely different than T-5 when it comes to dimensions, materials, general design?

The quotation from the US Army document by the Test and Experimentation Command Historical Office -- the document "The Airborne and Special Operations Test Board 1940-1990":

"Work on personnel parachutes therefore continued, eventually resulting in the T-7. This parachute was designed specifically for static line jumps, but retained many other features of the T-4. Among these was the three point harness, which generally was a good piece of equipment, but still was very hard to get out of. A dazed trooper often could not remove the assembly because of the cumbersome release mechanism. Later in the war the T-7 was equipped with a single point Irving quick release box, based on a German development of an American design."


Hi Gregory.

With respect, it's not that simple. :blink:

To use your aviation metaphore, did they rename the CG4A when they started fitting Ludington-Griswold noses, or Cory skids? As far as I'm aware, (you may know different, I only know a little on the subject :crying: ) they did not redesignate these gliders CG4B, but I presume that the individual aircraft paperwork recorded the modification, and possibly the gliders were listed as modified on squadron records.

For T5 and T7 parachutes you are correct, that for:

- canopy diameter
- material applied for harness
- material applied for canopy

Was T-7 entirely different than T-5 when it comes to dimensions, materials, general design?


other than colour, there is no significant difference between T5, "T5 modified" and T7. However, for:

- harness design

the "T5 modified" is a T5 that has been cut and sewn so that a quick release box could be used instead of clips. The T7 uses a quick release box, but also has a new design which is a distinctly different layout to either a T5 or "T5 modified", and so they could not be considered to be a T7.

Best Regards,

Prof

#11 Prof

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 02:29 AM

I have been looking for many years to see proof of WW2 use of the real T-7 and still haven't seen any... Or even a T-7 marked set with a manufacture date prior to September 1944.

So if you have, please post it!


Hi Johan,

I detailed the dates on mine above in post 2, all prior to the end of Sept 44, but not early enough for use in Market Garden. :thumbdown:

I will try photographing the details this afternoon, but it is all black ink on dark green webbing or canvas, so not easy to see even in good conditions. :crying:

What always surprised me was the early July date for the harness. I was always under the impression that these were developed as a result of the failings with the release clips on D-Day. It seems remarkable that they could develop, proove and start production of an alternative in six weeks, which makes me think that the T7 was already under development by D-Day, and the timing co-incidental.

I guess too that following D-Day there would have been new large orders for replacement parachutes for those lost in Normandy, and it would make sense to produce the new type of harness for them.

What is the latest dated T5 harness you've seen?

Best Regards,

Prof

#12 Johan Willaert

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:04 AM

I detailed the dates on mine above in post 2, all prior to the end of Sept 44, but not early enough for use in Market Garden. :thumbdown:

I will try photographing the details this afternoon, but it is all black ink on dark green webbing or canvas, so not easy to see even in good conditions. :crying:

What is the latest dated T5 harness you've seen?


I can't really remenber but would have been around summer of 44...

Thanks for posting pictures...

#13 Plankowner

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:23 AM

Though this is only the pack tray it is still a T-7 manufactured. I had to go through my old stuff to find it and only wish I had the harness to it. I will post some pictures for anyone than may want to look. It is a late date manfacturer. It is in rough shape but its paid for. :rolleyes:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/oldnavy60/IMG_1624.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/oldnavy60/IMG_1625.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v280/oldnavy60/IMG_1626.jpg

#14 Gregory

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:56 AM

Hello Gents,

Oh my God! :) What a discussion. This simple situation does not deserve it.

The question is very simple but as I can see we do have a little longer discussion. OK, let's be highly professional and treat both things and ourselves seriously and professionally according to aeronautics science and aviation law.

At first general remark for the moderators: The parachute (also US WWII era one) has never been an element of the "Field & Personal Gear" as the name of this subforum is. According to both old and current aviation law (also WWII era US aviation law) the parachute is an aerial craft the same as an aircraft, glider, balloon or airship. Move please this thread to proper subforum "Military Aircraft and Aviation" where all aspects of aeronautics are discussed. Then we may use all the rules of aeronautics as it is required for the aerial craft which parachute in fact is.

At the beginning let's look what Kirk B. Ross wrote in his book mentioned above:

"Several explanations were offered for the high casualty rates among the airborne men. Officers of the 513th concluded that mechanical problems with the T-7 parachute were partially to blame, and believed, also, that their men had needed more training with the quick-release system prior to the operation. After removing their shoulder straps upon landing, many men found it impossible to unfasten their leg straps and had to instead cut their way loose."

And Mr Ross is right -- during Varsity T-7s were used whatever color, shade, webbing, threads, stamping, date of manufacturing or serial number they had. The military operations and military equipment are not for militaria collectors with their mentality to check under magnification glass buttons, threads, shades, stampings etc. Military operations and military equipment are for the armed forces only. In the aeronautics history such a thing as so-called Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) package is not known from today but at least since WWII, although during WWII it was not called MLU of course. But it operated as effectively as in the case of modern aerial crafts. Its own "MLU package" had also T-5 parachute and according to technical rules of aviation it changed its name into T-7 when it absorbed all main improvements scheduled for T-7. And ex-T-5 was standardized as T-7, and no wonder. From operational, functional, ergonomic and technical points of view such a newly upgraded parachute was, in fact, the T-7. That was typical rule of aviation and its technical aspects the same as, for instance, during WW1 slightly modified Bristol F.2A became F.2B. Nothing new in the aeronautics history.

No such rule as "Let the people (militaria collectors) decide how military item is to be called". The armed forces decide about it only and independently. That is why Kirk B. Ross is right -- the T-7s were used during WWII although we do not know today how many of them were MLU'd and how many were factory made brand-new T-7s (if only). Is it of any importance? No. The paratroopers' lives and jump safety standards were important although, as can be seen, early T-7s were not free of imperfections.

That may all be very true but for many a T-5 which has had the QR buckle attached is not a T-7 and in fact much rarer and more valuable than a factory made T-7.
How many real T-7 with proven WW2 use have you seen? I have been looking for many years to see proof of WW2 use of the real T-7 and still haven't seen any... Or even a T-7 marked set with a manufacture date prior to September 1944.

So if you have, please post it!

Hi Johan,

We do have here a situation where, to some extent, everybody is right. It depends on how we look at war, history, technology, armed forces and general military rules including aviation ones. I do not want to polemize because it is clear and simple situation that is not worth bigger discussion. Equally well a fanatic may tell today that current Belgian F-16A-15OCUs cannot be called F-16A-15OCUs because they have their serial numbers typical for the earliest F-16As and nothing more. Such a person would be a kind of maniac and fanatic unable to understand that your F-16s were MLU'd and according to this operation they changed their names as newly standardized aircraft. No discussion with such a kind of persons. The same relations are between T-5 and T-7 parachutes. Never-ending discussion about it is a direction nowhere.

Hi Gregory.

With respect, it's not that simple. :blink:

To use your aviation metaphore, did they rename the CG4A when they started fitting Ludington-Griswold noses, or Cory skids? As far as I'm aware, (you may know different, I only know a little on the subject :crying: ) they did not redesignate these gliders CG4B, but I presume that the individual aircraft paperwork recorded the modification, and possibly the gliders were listed as modified on squadron records.

For T5 and T7 parachutes you are correct, that for:

- canopy diameter
- material applied for harness
- material applied for canopy

Was T-7 entirely different than T-5 when it comes to dimensions, materials, general design?


other than colour, there is no significant difference between T5, "T5 modified" and T7. However, for:

- harness design

the "T5 modified" is a T5 that has been cut and sewn so that a quick release box could be used instead of clips. The T7 uses a quick release box, but also has a new design which is a distinctly different layout to either a T5 or "T5 modified", and so they could not be considered to be a T7.

Best Regards,

Prof

Hello Prof,

I would propose to leave the CG-4A glider alone and aside because it was futureless extremely short-term pathological project that broke four paragraphs of period US aviation law, killed many American boys without a shot of the Germans or Japanese and which ought to be cancelled, never manufactured. That was unique negative case study in the world aviation history. You indicated the worst possible example which was exception to the rule. I do not want, and no need to repeat here my other discussions about the CG-4A and the American Glider Program. When the Americans manufactured gliders in normal conditions and when glider was very good and useful for decades it was designed and re-designed as you wrote above -- look at the Laister-Kauffmann LK-10As and LK-10Bs with their military counterparts.

Nobody calls your Mirage 2000N as a "modified Mirage 2000B" although N is in fact B adapted for nuclear missions. The Mirage 2000N is the Mirage 2000N. The same goes for mutual relations between T-4/T-5 and T-7 parachutes as the US Army Test and Experimentation Command Historical Office described it.




Look Gents at the military not through the prism of microscope and what can be seen in canvas under infra-red but look at it as military does it and through the prism of soldier's practice.

Best regards :)

Gregory

Edited by Gregory, 31 July 2011 - 12:20 PM.


#15 WWII Parachutist

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 04:11 PM

Hi all,

There is a lot of confusion over the differences between the T-5 and T-7 parachute as evidenced in this discussion. There are big differences between the two. Although the pack and canopy are the same, the harness is completely different.
Many times what people call “T-7 parachute harness” is in reality a modified T-5 harness.

First used operationally in “Market Garden”, these modified T-5’s featured the quick release box. The original leg straps and chest straps where cut off and replaced by new ones with the lugs that fit into the QRB. This is not a T-7 harness at all

The T-7 harness (Drawing No. 44J9635) was standardized on March 13, 1944. However, they did not arrive in the ETO until much later, because of the time necessary to change over the production from the T-5 to the T-7.

The general design of the harness is completely different from the T-5. Because the webbing is stronger, a single layer of webbing is used on all the risers, leg straps, etc, while on the T-5 it is a double length of strapping.
On the T-7 harness, the chest straps are continuations of the back strap which is looped through the shoulder adapter. On the modified T-5, it is a separate strap tacked down to the main lift web.
The way the leg straps attach to the saddle on a T-7 harness is different than the T-5
The easy way to tell the difference is pictures is to look where the leg strap “connects” with the main lift web. On the T-7, there are loops which the leg straps pass through, while on the T-5, the leg straps are routed around the back strap and main lift web.

The T-7 harness uses type X, 5,000 lb tensile strength cotton webbing, which is .125”-.17” thick, 3.85 ounces/linear yard and has no color coded identification markings (i.e. a black dotted line)
The T-5 parachute uses type VIII 3,000 T.S. webbing, .075”-.095” thick, 3 ounces/linier yard, and an identification mark of a black dotted line down the center.

Anyways, back to the question if the T-7 was actually used operational, not to my knowledge. There are pictures of the T-7 being used in practice jumps in 1945, but I have not seen a picture of one on a combat jump.

If you have Guy Richards book “WWII Troop Type parachutes, the Allies” it has lots of information and pictures on this.
I know a quite a bit about the WWII T-5 and T-7 chute, but I don’t claim to know everything
If you think you have a pic of a T-7 in combat use, please post it for us to see

Joshua

#16 Gregory

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 10:52 PM

Joshua,

Good information :thumbsup:

Is it known who delivered the T-7 quick release boxes to the ETO frontline units? Were they US- or British-made?

#17 WWII Parachutist

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:34 AM

On the modified T-5 harnesses, it appears that nearly all of the quick release hardware was supplied from British manufacturers.
Because the T-7 harnesses were made in the states, the QRB would have been made in the US.
If you look carefully at the QRB lugs on modified T-5 harnesses, a lot of them are blackened steel rather than the normal cadmium plating. You can see this in the top and bottom pictures of post #5
The type of quick release boxes used on the modified T-5 and the T-7 parachute are actually different. The modified T-5, using the Brit-made hardware, used the earlier type B-1 release assembly. This has the slot on one side for a strap to pass through to attach it to the harness, and many times a brown felt pad was tacked underneath
The T-7 used the B-2 assembly, which is identified by 3 prongs on the bottom which fit into the 44B9637 leather pad

About the operational use question, here is some additional information.
During Market garden, the 101st got the modified T-5s, while the 82nd was stuck with the standard T-5. When Operation Varsity rolled around, the 82nd was issued the new T-7s because in Holland they used the standard T-5. So while the 82nd was using the T-7 in practice jumps at the time of Varsity, the 17th had to make do with the modified T-5.
There are some pictures of the T-7 in practice jumps by the 82nd in WWII, and some WWII practice jumps by French troops.

#18 Prof

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:18 PM

I have been looking for many years to see proof of WW2 use of the real T-7 and still haven't seen any... Or even a T-7 marked set with a manufacture date prior to September 1944.

So if you have, please post it!


Hi All,

Here goes. I hope the contrast is enough for you to see.

General view of complete T7 parachute assembly.

T7_Parachute_assembly_1944___Copie.JPG

Canopy serial number 65618 Sept 1944 by Simmons Co. I photographed the stamp before packing the chute, more convenient that way :thumbsup:

T7_Canopy_65618_Simmons_stamp_Sept_1944___Copie.JPG

Manufacturer's stamp on one side of the T7 container. Simmons Co. Parachute N°. 3124, matching Canopy serial number 65618.

T7_Container_Simmons_stamp___Copie.JPG

Date stamp on other side of the T7 container. August 22 1944.

T7_Container_stamp_Aug_22_1944___Copie.JPG

I'll upload the Harness details next post.

#19 Prof

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:30 PM

Part 2...

Harness backstrap. The full manufacturer/harness type/date stamp is hidden by the attachment to the container, so I pulled it through and photographed it in two parts.

Simmons Co. manufacturer stamp and part number.

T7_Harness_Simmons_stamp___Copie.JPG

Harness date July 23 1944.

T7_Harness_stamp_Jul_23_1944___Copie.JPG

Close up of Quick Release Box.

T7_Harness_Quick_Release___Copie.jpg

I hope this was of interest.

Best Regards,

Prof.

#20 Plankowner

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:29 PM

Prof, thanks for the fine pictures. Please post more of the harness set up. These are pictures to be saved for reference. Again, thanks! :thumbsup:
Plankowner

#21 Gregory

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 11:41 AM

The Irving Air Chute Co., Inc. was proud of that QRB and in 1945 organized small PR campaign dedicated to this device. I took a photo of something from my collection -- not T-7 but it shows well an atmosphere of those days. This is an ad of the Irving Air Chute Co., Inc. published in the Aero Digest, Vol. 49 No. 4, May 15, 1945.

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