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What are the theories on this one, 101st in Normandy after July 1st,?

Started by 90thDivHistory , Jul 29 2013 02:43 PM

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#1 90thDivHistory

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:43 PM

Hello All,

I have had this footage for years and have looked at it hundreds of times, it is of a soldier, assumed to be a medic, giving aid to a wounded 90th Div. soldier. I have ID'd the 90th

soldier as T.Sgt. Russell Steed of Co. F, 359th Inf. Reg.. This film was taken on July 5th, 1944, the day he was wounded, and the Morning Reports support this date. My question to you all is what are your theories on why a soldier who seems to apparently be with a 101st Airborne unit is giving aid to a 90th Division soldier during the Battle for Hill 122, or Foret du Mont Castre. The entire 101st should be in England on this date, and if they were still in France wouldn't they be up in Cherbourg already. I think that is is possibly a trooper that had hid out waiting for the Americans to liberate his area. He appears by the four photos that are posted below that he is with either the 327th GIR, 506th PIR, or 501st PIR based on the shape of the helmet markings.

 

So If any of you would like to take a shot at proposing some theories i'd like to hear them. I thought you helmet guys would enjoy the photos.

(these images come from the Combat Reels 90th Division / Invasion of Normandy DVD)

 

Respectfully,

Tyler Alberts

90-01.jpg


Edited by 90thDivHistory, 29 July 2013 - 02:53 PM.


#2 90thDivHistory

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:44 PM

90-02.5.jpg



#3 90thDivHistory

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:45 PM

 90-02.jpg



#4 90thDivHistory

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:46 PM

90-04.jpg



#5 GITom1944

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:31 PM

It may not be a 101st medic at all. One thing that stands out is the helmet net. While it was not an absolute and therefore not definitive, 101st nets tended to be of the larger hole style. Both helmets in the pic appear to be of a similar smaller hole style. Perhaps the light colored shape is something other than a 101st marking. If it is a 101st marking, it could be a helmet that was found on the battlefield. I've also seen a photo of some 101st guys who hid out for an extended time and they looked pretty ragged. Maybe there was a medical battalion with some sort of painted insignia?



#6 38Driver

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:15 PM

Note the helmet lying on the ground. Same set up, same mesh. I bet you've found another one of those mystery 90th helmets like the one you have with the red square. I'm wondering if the 90th medics had a similar symbol. Seems like photos of medics from Normandy or just after don't always have high visibility medic crosses on them.

I think the general consensus on the 101st is they didn't use small mesh nets in Normandy. The 82nd did and you will see photos of 101st troopers with small mesh nets having picked them up from lost 82nd troopers. So they wouldnt have 101st markings. It doesn't appear the medic is in an M42 either. The Glider infantry guys had regular infantry stuff in Normandy but the 501 or 506 would have had the M42s.

I hope you solve the mystery. I love those detective projects :)

#7 Ronnie

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 06:47 PM

Could be he lost his helmet and found this one....
Ronnie

#8 90thDivHistory

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:12 PM

The theory about the 315th medics is interesting but I am still trying to figure out exactly what it designates. I will have to say though, the 315th Med is also another unit that photos are quite scarce and most that I have are from training. So I will not rule it out, but surely someone would have found an example. I guess we will just keep researching.

 

As for it not being a 101st related helmet, I think that it is very possible that this soldier if not a medic at all and has picked up a helmet from either a fallen 327th Gliderman or perhaps it was another regiment. The 90th used those types of nets a lot and so he could have easily added it becuase they were around. The other thing is that this company if part of the 2nd Bn 359th which was on the Susan B Anthony when it sunk, it is a common fact that many men came ashore without weapons and even missing helmets, so that would account for the need to grab one from wherever you could get one.

 

I like what you both say and I hope others join in. I feel that it is a 90th guy wearing a 101st related helmet, what do you all say????

Respectfully,

Tyler Alberts



#9 38Driver

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:40 PM

I don't think it's 101st.  Maybe the Airborne helmet guys will spot something on the helmet, but I'm still betting it's something else.  I can't imagine a guy picking up a helmet during that time and taking the time to switch helmet nets. It looks too much the same as the one on the ground in front of him.    I messed with a couple of the photos just to try and get the shape to stand out.  Looks like a straight edge on the backside and possibly the other edges as well.  Fun to try and figure it out though :)

 

Medic1_zpscef5a90d.jpg

 

Medic2_zpsfc59675e.jpg



#10 38Driver

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:50 PM

Interesting comments on a site dedicated to WW2 medics.  It talks about how the medics didn't have painted helmets initially at Normandy.

 

http://www.mtaofnj.o...nd Markings.htm

 

 

 

"Normandy - June 1944 fighting

Random enemy artillery and mortar fire accounted for most Medical troops casualties, as well as for frequent damage to Medical Service vehicles and installations . However, killing and wounding of Aidmen, Litter Bearers, and Aid Station personnel by aimed rifle fire, usually from enemy snipers, raised the question whether the enemy general’s policy was to respect the Geneva Convention’s rights of unarmed Red Cross-marked Medical personnel . After 2 months of combat and careful analysis of many such incidents, most Corps, Division, and lower-echelon Surgeons and Medical unit commanders concluded that, except for isolated cases, the Germans followed the rules ! The CO of the 4th Medical Battalion (part of the 4th Inf Div), which had had  men killed and wounded and ambulances damaged by artillery and machinegun fire, stated in his ‘Report of Operations, dated June 6-30, 1944’ that the prevailing opinion was … that little of this damage was deliberate and that for the most part the enemy respected the Rules of Land Warfare …

According to German  prisoners, sniper incidents often resulted from difficulty in seeing and identifying Geneva Convention brassards on men moving along hedgerows; American Medics in some Divisions noted that a high proportion of their small-arms casualties were often shot from the unbrassarded right side ! So Aidmen and Litter Bearers accordingly began wearing brassards on both arms, and also started painting (non-regulation) Red Crosses on their steel helmets . The XIX Corps Surgeon late in July 1944 officially authorized these and other measures to make Geneva Convention markings on men and vehicles more conspicuous"

 

Also it mentions that prior to that the brassard was worn on the left arm by medics.  Assuming this guy is a medic, and based on the date, the red cross is on the other arm.



#11 38Driver

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:49 PM

Found the clip on your Combat Reels site.

 

Watched it and saw an angle that gave me another thought.  It looks like whatever it is under the net has depth to it, like he has something tucked under the netting.

 

I took some screenshots.  Maybe I'm hallucinating but see what you think.

 

Medic3_zps4b7c06ab.jpg

 

I inverted colors.  Can you see the way the netting seems to wrap over whatever it is?

Medic33_zps4d30d8dc.jpg

 

Again, maybe I'm seeing things but it sure looks like it's got an edge to it under the net.

Medic3333_zps14c6a6a3.jpg



#12 American Graffiti

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:16 AM

Interesting, the sleeve of his field jacket appears to be an M-41 though, indicating army not airborne.

Just a thought,

AG



#13 Jeeper704

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:20 AM

Glidertroops wore the M41 too.

 

Erwin



#14 38Driver

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:23 AM

Slept on it and came back to look. I'm now almost certain that its a 90th medic with the red cross band still only on his left arm as was the practice early in Normandy. He has something tucked under the helmet net as it seems clear there is depth shown in the photos where the net conforms to the shape. It's actually larger then it first appears as it goes down to the rim of the helmet and is more of a rectangle.

#15 fireguyfire

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:53 PM

For my 2 cents, I'm leaning towards something tucked under the net also. Great idea to invert the colors; shows the shadow and depth of the object more clearly.

#16 TheGrayGhost

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:00 AM

I don't think there is anything under the net, I think it is just a roll in the netting.  If you look at the back of the helmet the netting is parallel with the rim, on the front it is at a 45 degree angle.  The place where it changes is exactly where there is a bulge.  I think it is just bunched up there.



#17 38Driver

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:28 AM

I don't think there is anything under the net, I think it is just a roll in the netting.  If you look at the back of the helmet the netting is parallel with the rim, on the front it is at a 45 degree angle.  The place where it changes is exactly where there is a bulge.  I think it is just bunched up there.

That was my first thought too with the front edge, but it appears there is an edge on the back of whatever it is under the net.



#18 38Driver

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 07:46 PM

Hope it's ok to bump this one.  I was killing some time watching Ken Burn's  "The War' the other night and was reminded of this thread by some film clips in the episode on D-Day "Pride of our Nation"

 

Remembering that 90th helmet with the red square made me wonder if these guys might be 90th as well.  The helmet nets are the small mesh and both appear to have a white square on the helmet.

 

Snap2_zps52cab230.jpg

 

The other thing I noticed was the one guy appears to have a medic armband.

Snap3_zpsf8c0620a.jpg

 

Finally, a clip showed soldiers moving through the hedgerows and I recalled seeing it on the Combat Reels site in the clip that included the medic in the first posts in this thread.  Note the white on the helmet of the soldier on the right.  We know that's 90th soldiers.  So I thought I'd throw this out there and back up.

 

Snap4_zps5a22c69c.jpg



#19 GITom1944

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:40 PM

wonder if these guys might be 90th as well. 

 

38driver - The first two pics are 3rd Infantry Division troops landing during Operation Dragoon. Check out  at about the 49 sec mark.



#20 38Driver

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:47 PM

That explains the first two pics :)

Ahh well. There is still the third one that is connected to the 90th


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