Also, the issue of .45's to airborne, is seen most clearly in pictures stateside. Seems once training started in England, individual SOP's started to be developed, thus you will see SMG's in Paratrooper Rifle Squads where they shouldn't be.
Really? Which units? I would LOVE to see those.
Mostly the early units. I'll try to dig them up and scan them (again when I can get access to a scanner, UGH). You will also see quite a bit of .45 M1911's in the hands of the 509th in N. Africa, the 82nd in N. Africa and Sicily, and the 503rd in the Pacific. Most of these units organized and trained under the T/O 7-37 (Feb. 17th 1942 I think), which provided a M1911 to each man (505 total in an Parachute Infantry Battalion). The T/O adopted in Feb. 1944 did away with general issue of the M1911A1 (don't have the number for that one handy). After looking over the few sources I have here, I too note VERY few in the 101st, even in 1943. SO I have to wonder if the Feb. 1944 T/O was not just reaffirming the most current practice.
There is a great picture on page 7 of "US Special Forces of World War Two" by Leroy Thompson showing men of the 501st all wearing M1918 Cavalry belts and retrieving their M-1 from the weapons bundle (like the Germans).
The other book I WISH I had for you I am not even sure of the name. It was the official 82nd Airborne pictorial history from WW2, my local library had a copy I would spend hours looking over it when I was growing up. Sadly I have not seen that book in 20 years and live 300 miles away from there if it was even still on the shelf...but you see alot of the M1918 Cavalry belts and .45 pouches worn in N. Africa and Sicily (but they seem to dwindle in Italy and Normandy).
Edited by FTrooper, 20 September 2009 - 07:14 PM.