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Para Rigger School Lakehurst NJ uniform

Started by American Heritage , Mar 05 2013 04:04 PM

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#1 American Heritage

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:04 PM

Question: Did WW2 era para rigger Marines have to make jumps with their own packed chutes or be otherwise Airborne Qualified? Did they wear navy para wings or Army jump wings, if so?

Here is the uniform of a para rigger that went through para-materiel school at Lakehurst NJ.

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  • Rigger 1.jpg
  • rigger rate.jpg


#2 Brig

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:23 PM

Navy didn't have para wings in WWII, only rigger wings. The rigger wings were converted into Master Jump wings decades later, during WWII all parachute qualified personnel of any branch wore 'Army' style

Saw that uniform on eBay. Interestingly, his striker is actually the USN version for the jumper. Technically, it should be gold on blue for the dress blues

#3 American Heritage

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:59 AM

thanks -

I was thinking that all riggers would probably wear the jump wings if they were required to pack their own chutes. Was hoping someone would know for sure.

http://www.flickr.co...57614565179194/


I thought the Marines wore not only the Army jump wings but also had the option of wearing the Navy pattern jump wings, even during ww2?

Also, thanks for noticing the navy para striker - makes sense since he was on the Lakehurst Navy base and bought the uniform in Lakehurst - naval insignia would be widely available there.

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  • wings.jpg

Edited by American Heritage, 09 March 2013 - 06:05 AM.


#4 Brig

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:16 AM

In Chris Mason's book PARAMARINE!, it discusses how the Navy wings were not authorized for jump qualified Marines, but often worn against regs...and we know that regs pertaining to insignia were loosely enforced during WWII. Just like the miniature wings were often worn on the sidecap against regs

Riggers didn't necessarily pack their own chutes, as they didn't make jumps, unless, I imagine, they were certified in both

#5 American Heritage

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:31 AM

I can see how the Marines would wear Navy wings sometimes as they were aboard Naval bases and the PX would stock Navy insignia. The Marines wanted to wear the insignia and would buy the Navy version and that would be OK. But, there is also a theory I have read about all rigger school grads gettting these gold Naval jump wings after completing the school, but no proof that I can find.

Also, I read this:

The Beginning
In October 1940, the Commandant of the Marine Corp sent a circular letter to all units and posts to solicit volunteers for the paratroopers. To qualify a volunteer had to be unmarried, an indication of the expected hazards of the duty. The letter further stated that personnel qualified as parachutists would receive an unspecified amount of extra pay. " Parachute duty promised "plenty of action" and the chance to get in on the ground floor of a revolutionary type of warfare.

Marine Captain Marion L. Dawson oversaw the new school at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Two other officers, Second Lieutenants Walter S. Osipoff and Robert C. McDonough, were slated to head the Corps' first group of parachute trainees.

On 26 October 1940, Osipoff, McDonough, and 38 enlisted men reported to Lakehurst. The initial training program included 16-week course of instruction at the Parachute Material School land that conclude on 27 February 1941. A Douglas R3D-2 transport plane arrived from Quantico on 6 December and remained there through the 21st, so the pioneer Marine paratroopers made their first jumps during this period. For the remainder of the course, they leapt from Navy blimps stationed at Lakehurst. Lieutenant Osipoff, the senior officer, had the honor of making the first jump by a Marine paratrooper. By graduation, each man had completed the requisite 10 jumps to qualify as a parachutist and parachute rigger. Not all made it through — several dropped from the program due to ineptitude or injury. The majority of these first graduates were destined to remain at Lakehurst as instructors or to serve the units in the Fleet Marine Force as riggers.

Source: http://www.ww2-airbo...1st_marine.html

#6 American Heritage

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:40 AM

and here is something off the web about this subject! Not sure the source on this info, but would like others to share what they know!


Amico, 1/20 10k G on S
Pin Back
Cliff Presley Collection
9/13/2010
This is not one of the commonly seen post-1963 USN/USMC Parachutist wing badges approved in BuPers Notice 1020 of 12 July 1963. The very special (unofficial) badge seen in these photos was actually made during World War II.

In the latter half of WWII, graduates of the USN Parachute Rigger School, Lakehurst, NJ were awarded this unofficial badge by AMICO. Also during World War II members of the USMC 1st Parachute Battalion wore the same AMICO badge in the Pacific Theater because they thought it looked more appropriate on their uniform than one of the officially approved 1 1/2-inch wide U. S. Army type Basic Parachutist badges made of silver.


SOURCE: http://www.ww2wings....parachute.shtml

Edited by American Heritage, 09 March 2013 - 06:41 AM.


#7 American Heritage

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:05 AM

Here is the label inside the uniform. Pvt. Carl Morse Nash Jr. from Syracuse NY, enlisted 7 July 1942. Para Rigger school at Lakehurst NJ in January 1943. Listed in muster rolls as "Student - para materiel school." MOS = 620 (Para Rigger). Also went to Ordnance and Gun schools in 1943 in California. Served as a parachute rigger and in "Engineering" section in the Pacific with Marine Bombing Squadron 433 (VMB-433).

http://www.vmb433.co...nel_roster3.htm

http://www.vmb433.co...gineering.htm#2

And here is a page on the tailor, Harry Russakow working in Lakehurst NJ during WW2:

http://www.findagrav...r&GRid=11884803

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#8 American Heritage

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:08 AM

from cruisebook:

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  • Nash VMB 433.jpg


#9 doyler

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 11:50 AM

Glad you posted the additional info as most all avaition units on a flying status would have to have qualified parachute maintenace personel for packing and maintaining the equipment.Not uncommon to see the blue and white striker either.Navy School so the individual probabaly bought what was avaiable.I have seen this done several times on dress blues.

Edited by doyler, 10 March 2013 - 11:50 AM.


#10 camopara

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:23 AM

Question: Did WW2 era para rigger Marines have to make jumps with their own packed chutes or be otherwise Airborne Qualified? Did they wear navy para wings or Army jump wings, if so?

Here is the uniform of a para rigger that went through para-materiel school at Lakehurst NJ.


Just ran across this topic, which is rather interesting. I believe that parachute rigger Marines, where that was their MOS and that were not headed to the parachute battalions, only had to jump one time. Having only jumped once, I believe that they were not qualified to wear jump wings, only the sleeve striker.

Technically, Paramarines, were not authorized (I think) to wear the sleeve striker, although some chose to do so. Same goes for the gold wings. It's blurry when these came into existence, but clearly, some paramarines chose to wear them.

Out of the first class of paramarines/riggers after their first jump they earned the title of 'rigger' and after their additional jumps became Marine parachute troopers. Therefore, the early guys were qualified as both. Most of this first class was used as cadre for the school, either as riggers, jumpmasters, instructors etc. Those that were not used at the school were sent to the FMF to be riggers for the airwings.

http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z213/tljacobsen/glass3_zpsdbb5bc72.jpg

#11 American Heritage

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:20 PM

thanks for the info and responding.

I received this info from NPRC.

I did not receive the whole file and no evidence in the assignment list to tell whether he had jump wings.

If anyone can tell anything from this info, please let me know.

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  • NASH.jpg


#12 American Heritage

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:21 PM

Carl Nash's awards

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#13 Brig

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:56 PM

Nice war Marine, however it looks like he was a rigger, not parachute certified

#14 American Heritage

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:22 PM

I see stud/para on his assignment list.

Is that parachute school? If it were paramaterial school wouldn't they say so? I see the para rigger designation later.

#15 USMCRECON

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 04:00 AM

Here are Korean War vintage blouse from a Marine who was a para-Marine in WW-II.  He was a pretty much by-the-book Martine officer and wore standard Army Style jump wings.

 

 

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  • Marine jump wings.JPG



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