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M43 Jacket ?


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I wanted to open up discussion on this picture.

 

2nd Infantry Division coming ashore on D+1 on Omaha Beach. Do you think it's possible that some of these troops are wearing M43 Jackets. Notice the difference in the shades of colour of the jacket's. I don't think these are HBT's.

 

I don't have them to hand at present but i have some colour shots from Normandy showing the 2nd Division being ferried to the beach and alot of the guys do seem to be wearing M43's.

 

What's the general opinion.

 

Rich

 

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Thought I would open this up again. I just came across some footage of Patton giving a speech to a US unit in England before D-Day when he was head of the fictitious Army. All the troops are wearing M43 jackets.

 

The general consensus seems to be that they didn't reach the ETO until after D-Day but I would challenge this assumption.

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Reversed M41s...common practice.

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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No. I'll try and put the picture up. I'm on my phone at the moment. The shot in question clearly shows they are M43 jackets and all are wearing leggings.

 

I had some Color photos of the 2nd Division coming ashore and again they are very clearly M43 jackets and are NOT M41's turned inside out. I don't believe the guys in the famous Omaha picture above are wearing M41's inside out. I think these are M43 jackets.

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Whatever they are, you can see the Indian on light ones and dark ones! Very interesting question. I have a painted front seam swivel loop helmet that I am pretty sure went ashore in Normandy in July with a local guy, so you never know. D+1 is pretty danged early, too!

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WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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Can anyone post blown up images here ? of ones that may be wearing the M43, the real proof in if these are M43s will be to see the cuffs, the cuff on the M43 as we know are buttoned , while the M41's are straight.

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The general consensus seems to be that they didn't reach the ETO until after D-Day but I would challenge this assumption.

 

 

The M43's were already in the ETO by D-day but were just not issued in any real quantity has been my understanding. Mark Bando has a pic on his website under the equipment page showing a M43 in the spring of 1944.

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I wanted to open up discussion on this picture.

 

2nd Infantry Division coming ashore on D+1 on Omaha Beach. Do you think it's possible that some of these troops are wearing M43 Jackets. Notice the difference in the shades of colour of the jacket's. I don't think these are HBT's.

 

I don't have them to hand at present but i have some colour shots from Normandy showing the 2nd Division being ferried to the beach and alot of the guys do seem to be wearing M43's.

 

What's the general opinion.

 

Rich

 

post-1878-1339071806.jpg

 

 

On another unrelated note regarding this picture.

 

Notice how many of the men are looking at the cameraman? That's due to the fact that there was a Signal Corps officer who was standing at the top of the hill emploring the men to put on a good show etc, for the camera. I was told that to the men the guy was obviously Queer as a three dollar bill. He was acting like an over the top queen in throwing his sholders around like he was directing a Hollywood musical. Many of the men were mumbling and telling him out loud to F*** OFF YOU QUEER etc.

 

Also on the back side of this bunker one can see numerous bullet impacts around the entrance. I always wondered why these are there on the backside when this bunker was attacked from the front and left side. You can tell by how they look that it was fired o from right about where the camera man is standing. Maybe it was just some bored guy later on who fired on it with his .50cal? It was also taken out by a Half track that was further down the beach, right around the location of Spauldings Draw. They fired the artillery gun that was mounted and it went through the front guard of the German gun inside, taking out the crew.

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A military historian friend of mine has researched this famous picture and traced the second GI from the left. He published this info in a e-magazine he produces and circulates to selected people:

 

 

SERGEANT HENRY DOAR

I COMPANY, THIRD BATTALION, NINTH INFANTRY

REGIMENT, SECOND INFANTRY DIVISION

 

The Ninth Infantry Regiment of the Second US Infantry Division was encamped around

Barry, south Wales, from c. May 16th – June 3rd 1944. One of these “Indianheads” was

Sergeant Henry F. Doar from Georgia, USA. In the famous photograph (below) please

note the second soldier from the left with the towel draped over his rifle. This was Henry

Doar, Omaha Beach, June 7th. He actually landed on the beach on June 6th. The next

day he was cleaning his rifle when he saw a column of Indianheads heading off the

beach. He joined then. Near the top of the climb he looked at the cameraman and this

was taken.

Later on Henry was Wounded in Action at St Lo and then again in the Heurtgen Forest..

 

He wrote me some time ago:

 

“I was wounded July 7th and was flown back to England. September, I asked to be sent

back to my outfit, even though I had a wound on my leg that wouldn’t heal. I suggested

to be sent to the 2nd Division Quartermaster unit until it healed. The doctor said he

would. I was sent to a replacement camp (“Repple Depple”) that was terrible. Many

there refused to go back in combat and were treated terrible. I later heard that the

Colonel was sent to jail for running such a camp. I ended back on the Normandy beach

replacement camp. Three days later they called me up to go back. I said some of the

soldiers had been there a month or more. The major said former combat soldiers (had

to) go back first. I went back and went into Belgium, Northern France and Germany – I

suffered concussion in (the Heurtgen) and back to England I went. I was sent home and

discharged August 15th, 1945.”

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Some troops coming ashore after the initial assault wore HBT's. I think this is the case here. I have seen other prints of this photo and the jackets appear in a much lighter color. A few of the men with dark "jackets" appear to have their khaki jackets secured to their packs. Look at the third man from the front and you will see the thigh pocket found on HBT trousers. It's unlikely that men just coming ashore would know about the advantage of wearing their jackets inside-out. The few photos I have seen of M-1943 in Normandy seem to be rather isolated cases usually involving an officer who has managed to acquired one.

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When do we think that hugh stock piles of the New M43 started to arrive in England ? were they already in stock at the time of Overlord ? We do know that they start to show up being worn in signifacant numbers by August-September, remember the photo of 29th Infantry Division Infantryman trudging on a road in Brittany ? many of them have the M43 jackets, depending on where you see this photo the date in the captioning is sometimes given as August sometimes September.

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IIRC per the official histories (i.e. the Green Book on QM in the ETO), though a few Division-sets (about 10,00 jackets in a set) of M43 gear had been RUSHED to the UK with the expectation that they would go to the units hitting the beaches in Normandy, their general issue was BLOCKED by Gen Littlejohn the the ETO QMG,. Why? Because he didn't LIKE it.

 

The jacket and other M43 items were first ISSUED as a TEST in the MTO, Anzio beachhead, to units of the 3rd ID (and a few non-divl units). At Anzio, the 1st SSF "acquired" them too -- off the books, not listed as one of the test recipients!

 

Every record I have seen show that the first GENERAL ISSUE in the EUROPEAN Theater was to the 82nd and 101st Abn Divs, upon their return to the UK from Normandy, as part of their reconstituting and re-equipping.

 

There was (natch) some other "seepage" out of the sequestered piles of gear in UK depots. As aleady stated, some OFFICERS managed to acquire jackets pre-D-Day.

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IIRC per the official histories (i.e. the Green Book on QM in the ETO), though a few Division-sets (about 10,00 jackets in a set) of M43 gear had been RUSHED to the UK with the expectation that they would go to the units hitting the beaches in Normandy, their general issue was BLOCKED by Gen Littlejohn the the ETO QMG,. Why? Because he didn't LIKE it.

 

The jacket and other M43 items were first ISSUED as a TEST in the MTO, Anzio beachhead, to units of the 3rd ID (and a few non-divl units). At Anzio, the 1st SSF "acquired" them too -- off the books, not listed as one of the test recipients!

 

Every record I have seen show that the first GENERAL ISSUE in the EUROPEAN Theater was to the 82nd and 101st Abn Divs, upon their return to the UK from Normandy, as part of their reconstituting and re-equipping.

 

There was (natch) some other "seepage" out of the sequestered piles of gear in UK depots. As aleady stated, some OFFICERS managed to acquire jackets pre-D-Day.

 

 

Thanks Mr Andrews, if I can recall Brad didn't like this new jacket either correct ?

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I've also heard that Bradley wasn't too keen on the jacket. I'll get the picture from the news reel up over the weekend. From my own personal experience we had experiemental combat suit's for testing purposes which later went into production i my unit had them months before they were officially issued.

 

Rich

Collector of Fixed bail M1 Helmets

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"The dreams of Empire lure the hearts of Kings - and so men die" Burma, 1944

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I don't understand the jacket inside out comment because the 2nd ID SSI is clearly visible. I highly doubt anyone would go through the bother to sew a patch on both the inside and outside of a jacket. Having served in the military for over 27 years, in my experience it is very hard for anyone to say with 100 % certainty on the wear of any uniform item once it is available somewhere in the pipeline to be issued. If useful items are available, soldiers will find a way to get their hands on them. Particularly in a war zone. Look how fast newly issued items show up on ebay these days. I think some in the photo are wearing the 43 field jacket, but I certainly can't prove it.

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BTW the cited photo (a famous one) was STAGED (FAKED?) by the photographer.

 

According to my guide on a Normandy tour (who told the tale while on the very spot), the switchback footpath going from the right to the left WENT NOWHERE

and the proper path to exit the beach is straight ahead, out the right edge of the photo.

 

My ROTC instructor COL had ablow-up of this photo on his office wall -- he was in it. The unit is the 38th Inf Regt. Though he told me, I do not recall nwhich companies are represented. He was a rifle platoon leader and I got a private-purchase M-41 jacket he wore in Normandy from him. It was his spare, so was rolled up in a pack that day in the picture. (No, I do not still have it.) It was set up from a button-out liner and had 2LT embroidered cloth bars sewn on the shoulder straps.

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BTW the cited photo (a famous one) was STAGED (FAKED?) by the photographer.

 

According to my guide on a Normandy tour (who told the tale while on the very spot), the switchback footpath going from the right to the left WENT NOWHERE

and the proper path to exit the beach is straight ahead, out the right edge of the photo.

 

My ROTC instructor COL had ablow-up of this photo on his office wall -- he was in it. The unit is the 38th Inf Regt. Though he told me, I do not recall nwhich companies are represented. He was a rifle platoon leader and I got a private-purchase M-41 jacket he wore in Normandy from him. It was his spare, so was rolled up in a pack that day in the picture. (No, I do not still have it.) It was set up from a button-out liner and had 2LT embroidered cloth bars sewn on the shoulder straps.

 

 

True that the main exit goes past the bunker and straight up the road. The path shown here leads to the top of one of the bluffs and is just to the right as you look at it from the beach of what is now the US Cemetery. They were probably using it as a shortcut to the top of the bluffs instead of following the dirt road up and around. Did you rguide tell you the story of the "gay" signal corps guy? It's actually pretty funny when you here it being told with all the flair and such.

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Hey it looks like some of them are wearing Buckle Tops :P

 

I feel after studying the photo is that these Jacket that might seem to be M43s are just the OD HBT M43 Fatique shirts, this is the impression I,m getting, note, during WWII, the shirt tails of this shirt were not tucked into the trousers like they were in the immidiate post war-late 40s -50s, they where in there most commonest, loose around the hips, ditto in the Pacific.

 

But CAN someone who is an interested party BLOW up this image, I would do it but I don't have the means, This would be as far as I would be concered the real way to find out if some are wearing the M43 Field Jacket or the M43 HBT shirt hopfully if it is blown up it wount be to blury.

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The tour guide (Paul Woodage BTW) did indeed explain the apparent sexual orientation of the photo-stager. He had heard the same description of events from several 2nd ID vets, including a few who were in the picture. He also knew teh names of the phot crew. IIRC the "froot loop" was a LT and "from Ike's HQ public affairs" and NOT a combat photog himself.

 

Paul was definite that the closest file of men was on a path to NOTHING and the path very soon ended, atop a bunker. He also stated that these men had been "grabbed" and diverted from the line of troops seen below. Then they were turned around and sent back down to find their squads/platoons.

 

I siad that my old Prof of Mil Sci was in the 38th, but on further reflection it may have been the 9th IR. He was definitely NOT in the 23rd however, as my elder brother was at the time serving in the 23rd (4th Bn) and this was a sticking point with the LTC. Maybe someone with a 2nd ID roster (?) can sort him out: Arnold A. ASP by name.

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BTW the cited photo (a famous one) was STAGED (FAKED?) by the photographer.

 

According to my guide on a Normandy tour (who told the tale while on the very spot), the switchback footpath going from the right to the left WENT NOWHERE

and the proper path to exit the beach is straight ahead, out the right edge of the photo.

 

My ROTC instructor COL had ablow-up of this photo on his office wall -- he was in it. The unit is the 38th Inf Regt. Though he told me, I do not recall nwhich companies are represented. He was a rifle platoon leader and I got a private-purchase M-41 jacket he wore in Normandy from him. It was his spare, so was rolled up in a pack that day in the picture. (No, I do not still have it.) It was set up from a button-out liner and had 2LT embroidered cloth bars sewn on the shoulder straps.

 

Here is another picture, taken on June 8, were you can see reinforcement taking exacty the same footpath leadind to NOWHERE or more specifically to the plateau on the Western part of the "road" leading to Vierville.

On this plateau the Airforce Engineers have builded a temporary airfield coded A21C

This Airfield was the second one contructed in France and was situated in between EXIT D3 Les Moulins and Exit E1 Le Ruquet

A field hospital was also installed on this plateau, and allowed the evacuation of wounded soldiers by plane

You can see aerial picture of this airstrip in OMAHA Beachead

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And another bunch of GI's going NOWHERE

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WOODS NOW U.S MARINE CORPS ENTIRELY, our lines include now the entire Bois de Belleau. Signed, Major Shearer "Skipper" 5Th Marines, 3rd Bat - June 25th 1918

 

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