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What personal items did paratroopers carry in their pockets on DDay?


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#1 silasgore1

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:14 PM

I am setting up a display on D-Day, and one of the displays is personal items a Paratrooper would have carried in their pockets or pack on "The Day of Days".

Can you help me by listing some items that you KNOW were carried? 

 

Military Bible

Rosary beads

smokes

crackle lighter

 

and what else? 

 

 



#2 huntssurplus

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:21 PM

Probably invasion money issued by the US government, a booklet of french terms, a cricket, extra rations, and that's what I can think of a the moment.

 

Hunt



#3 Garandomatic

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:35 PM

Very interesting topic for sure. Maybe a map?

#4 tdogchristy90

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 06:41 PM

Not a paratrooper but it's a start. He had a good list of basic items carried....

http://www.usmilitar...4/#entry2447789

Hope this helps.

#5 JasonT

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:19 AM

I am currently in the process of reading Stephen Ambrose's The Victors and he explained that each paratrooper carried 3 days worth of field rations and 2-3 cartons of cigarettes. This was in addition to weapons and 160 rounds of ammo for a rifleman. Most paratroopers also carried a pistol even if they weren't officers for fear of being shot out of the sky or right when they landed before they could get their rifles ready. 

 

Most probably also had some stationary and a pen/pencil, along with a wallet or money belt.



#6 BILL THE PATCH

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:35 AM

Don't forget protection, for the rifle Barrell and you know what. You know in case they made it to paris fast

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#7 63 RECON

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 04:47 AM

I think youll find between the 2 main airborne units they had SOPs on what items were carried and where I.e dems in musette bag, cricket in top left pocket etc etc

Heres a link to the trigger time website with a list of items carried by a guy on DDAY about half way down the page.

https://www.101airbo.../equipment.html

Youll also find lots of gear layouts in paratrooper books which may help you. From memory there is also a hand written list in a DDAY book, possibly one of the De Trez ones.

#8 skautdog

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:43 AM

Great topic!!!

 

I suspect, in addition to the items listed above, many troopers carried one or more possibly "prohibited" items (American GIs are American GIs), such as: memento from home, wife/girlfriend's picture; and/or "good luck charm."

 

Ken



#9 63 RECON

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 02:52 PM

 



#10 silasgore1

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:39 PM

good ideas guys!

I have a silk invasion map, a evasion compass, and I'm going to pick up a regular compass. Were they issued to paratroopers? 



#11 silasgore1

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 03:40 PM

good ideas guys!

I have a silk invasion map, a evasion compass, and I'm going to pick up a regular compass. Were they issued to paratroopers? 



#12 Rakkasan187

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 04:14 PM

The following is quoted from the book CURRAHEE by Donald R. Burgett, a trooper with the 506th, 101st Airborne Division. 

 

page 68   ..." On June 3rd, they issued each of us an escape kit, consisting of a small compass, an unmarked map and seven dollars in French money. We were also issued a metal cricket apiece,...." 

 

On page 74, Burgett explains in detail his equipment.    "My persoanl equipment consisted of: one suit of O.D.'s worn under my jump suit-this was an order for everyone-helmet, boots, gloves, main chute, reserve suit, Mae West, rifle, ,454 automatic pistol, trench knife, jump knife, hunting knife, machete, one cartridge belt, two bandoliers, two cans of machine gun ammo totaling 676 rounds of .30 ammo, 66 rounds of .45 ammo, one hawkins mine"...."four blocks of TNT, one entrenching tool with two blasting caps taped to the outside of the steel part, three first aid kits, two morphine needles, one gas mask, a canteen of water, three days supply of K rations, two days supply of D rations (hard tropical chocolate bars), six fragmentation grenades, one gammon grenade, one orange smoke and one red smoke grenade, one orange panel, one blanket, one raincoat, one change of socks, and underwear, two catons of cigarettes and a few other odds and ends." 

 

So you can see that there is a multitude of items that were stuffed in every pocket and pouch possibly carried by these troopers..

 

Leigh 



#13 63 RECON

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 04:42 PM

good ideas guys!

I have a silk invasion map, a evasion compass, and I'm going to pick up a regular compass. Were they issued to paratroopers? 

 

 

Whilst the issue prismatic compass was carried by paratroopers, mainly officers. A wrist compass would work also.



#14 manayunkman

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 04:45 PM

In 1994 I met an 82nd vet in the Netherlands and he told me that he had filled his pockets with Clark bars.

 

You see they were in an orange wrapper which is the Royal color of Holland.



#15 63 RECON

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 05:34 PM

more info

Attached Images

  • Pack-List.jpg


#16 silasgore1

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Posted 15 April 2019 - 07:14 PM

more info

 

More great info, thanks everyone!




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