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OD7 Web Gear In Normandy-Discussion


Bill in VA
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IIRC, OD7 was introduced by 1942...it was certainly in use by 1943. Moreover, many of the vets I know who remember seeing/getting OD#7 web gear have told me they thought it was "high speed" and did their best to acquire it. Careful examination of photographic evidence also shows a mixture of OD#3 and OD#7 in many of the Normandy-era photos.

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WOW ! Bill can you elaborate on that statement please....

 

That is very interesting

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

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WOW ! Bill can you elaborate on that statement please....

 

That is very interesting

 

Regards

 

Lloyd

 

Lloyd,

Bill in VA knows of which he speaks. OD#7 was indeed available as early as 1942 and was being issued in Italy in 1943.

As for Jan's assertion that OD#7 wasn't worn with the M1942 (a PURELY collector ID for the jumpsuit) uniform is not based on any type of fact at all. As has been stated, the darker shade equipment was indeed considered my desireable. In fact, Col. Millett, the Commander of the 507th PIR prior to Normandy insisted that his troopers have the newest and most up-to-date equipment for the Normandy jump. Many of the Normandy era photos of the 507th show this decidely darker field gear.

 

As for thee photos of Colasse's uniforms and gear, we can see that he is yet another Easy 506th disciple but I couldn't quite understand the reason for the M1910/ 28 field pack or the British Enfield rifle. Perhaps he can elaborate on how it is all drawn together?

Lastly, where did Colasse EARN a CIB?

Allan

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Hi Allan i was basing my comment on the desireability of OD 7 field gear up to now i had always thought it was issued as and when the QM supply and stock caught up with the demand.

 

Yes we get the "all tan" demand...but yes also agreed that in pictures of Pre Jump Normandy Paratroops we see OD7 M43 shovel covers,wirecutter pouches,M209 Decoder bags and other such web gear items so it was there....and issued

 

much to the disgust of some re enactors....

 

but then the pathfinders sprayed all theirs so there is that angle to it also.

 

The CIB debate.......well that could be a little tricky and i can see both sides of the "fence" with this one

 

regards

 

Lloyd

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Sheikh Al Stranghi

Wow, learn something new every day.

How about the 3rd ID in Italy, we know they were issued M43's , but how about OD7 gear ?? (except for gas mask bags, which were quite common in OD7)

 

 

Colasse, like the detailed paperwork!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(P.S. Lloyd, M44 goggles spotted!)

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The problem is with OD7, that if you have re-searched then you have a good idea of which bits came in when and in what sort of numbers etc. Its all very well saying they had OD7. But lots of folks will then use this as an excuse to wear whatever they happen to have, with the blanket defence that "they had OD7 in 1942" which is clearly wrong.

Its better for newbies to wear everything in OD3 which was the norm, cos if you give them an inch, theyll wear any old rubbish!

 

Just like all these folks who are desperate to find one picture of a carbine bayonet fitting.

 

Or I saw a picture of a 101 guy with a flag in Normandy, therefore i'm going to wear the one that came ready stitched to my farb suit.

 

Medals

= On class As in 43-44 = next to nothing

= on class As in May 45 = all the standard awards

= on combat gear (well they very rarely did) so dont.

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Hi everyone,

 

I can confirm what Bill is saying re the OD7 gear being the "in-thing" when it arrived as part of re-supply for the guys who wanted to be the best looking of their unit - keeping up with the latest gee-gaws! Most weren't bothered at all - some veterans will mention the "ooo let's get the new gear" attitude, whereas most will remember it as "I couldn't give a s**t what colour it was - it was issued to me, I used it".

 

To use the rule of thumb that we go with here - it appears by careful study of photos that most items took around 6 months from date of production to get to the front line. Rush items (such as Assault Gasmasks prior to Normandy) took around 3 months from date of production to reach the front line. It is therefore very reasonable to assume that equipment items in OD7 dated 1943 could have been issued prior to the Normandy invasion.

 

On the CIB's thing - to expand on what Lloyd mentioned above, we allow CIB's to be worn by unit members who have attended a certain number of events - this means that some will have them ("the old guys") and some won't ("the replacements"). This keeps the ratio correct if we're wearing our Class A's as a unit, and ensures that we can look as correct as possible.

 

Obviously we would never use Bronze or Silver Stars or other gallantry awards, and we often take off any CIB's for certain events (such as providing an honour guard at the opening of Dead Man's Corner Museum) where the actual Veterans were the only ones there who should have been showing such an award.

 

Jump Wings are another issue altogether - if you're portraying a Paratrooper, then you should be wearing them if you're trying to do an authentic representation. If you haven't done your jumps to earn the wings, then you'll have to put up with feeling small when a Veteran asks you "how many jumps you've done" and you can only answer "none"...

 

To distinguish the guys who've actually been properly trained (or as close as is possible for civilians) and who have then done commemorative jumps we use the following rationale:

 

- Full training (military-style course with 5 jumps) - one combat star

- Commemorative jump from C-47 in Normandy - Invasion Arrowhead

- Commemorative jump from C-47 in Holland - 2nd combat star.

 

Again, we revert to plain jumpwings for events where veterans are known to be present, as they're the people who earned such things properly.

 

Keeping an accurate impression for the specific date that you're portraying (including taking into account if you're in Normandy on D+3 as opposed to being in England on D-1) is why we end up with uniform & gear regulations of 20+ pages long for each impression we do!

 

Cheers,

Glen.

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Interesting , yet i don't think OD7 webbing on a M42 jumpsuit is representative. And i think the meaning of re-enactment is showing the people how it was +62 years ago. If one GI stole a german pistol + holster from a dead German and used it doesn't mean that every re-enactor has to wear one. This will give people a wrong idea about how GI's looked like +62 years ago.

 

I could be wrong , but i never saw a paratrooper in normandy with an OD7 M1923 Cartridge belt nor a M1936 pistolbelt .. Which i do beleive is that lots of the gear had a combination of OD7 and 'khaki' , for example : the M1 Carbine mag. pouches , e-tool covers etc.

 

About pathfinders : yes we all know they sprayed/painted their webgear with OD7 but that was for camouflage reasons.

 

FYI : I'm not 'khaki'-fetish.

 

Jan,

One thing that I have learned in the 32 plus years of collecting militaria and researching the exact subject that you are portraying, is that you should never say "never" or ever say "always."

As I stated before, the 507th PIR went into Normandy virtually fully equipped with OD#7 colored equipment. many other pieces worn by virtually everybody- like the cover for the M1943 folding shovel, are almost universally made in OD#7 shade. That is fact, not a FARBish desire to wear the wrong stuff. Incidentally, I have never reenacted, although I am a qualified paratrooper and am a combat veteran with some of the decorations mentioned above.

 

After viewing original film footage of the US paratroopers in Normandy prior to the jump, there are many things that really stick out when looking at what was really done, verses the way things are portrayed by reenactors. For example, looking at certain airborne units, you will be hard-pressed to find an M3 trench knife strapped to a trooper's calf. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a reenactor that DOESN'T have one strapped to his leg.

Not all pathfinders camo'd their uniforms. In fact, the most widely camo'd uniforms came from the 377th PFA and not the pathfinders. I have interviewed a few WWII pathfinders including Gleen Braddock and Bob Sechrist (Braddock lives an hour from me) and can say that they recall blackening their faces, but not going through the paint booth prior to the jump.

Allan

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Ok , it seems i learned something today. I also interviewed a veteran of the 507th PIR , Cpt. Roy E. Creek . We never mentioned his equipment though so you're probably right. But if you post 10 random pictures of the Normandy-campain with paratroopers on it. I pretty sure that 9 paratroops on 10 used mainly 'khaki' webgear.

OD7 is probably used in Normandy but not as much as 'khaki' , that's my point.

 

PS : I admire your knowledge Allan , thanks for posting ! I think a lot of us learned something today.

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Allan H and Jan.....great posts both of you.....i think what is very evident here is the "assumption" theory of what people ASSUME Normandy paratroopers to look like...see Bastogne 2006 picture and what actually HAPPENED.

 

This is why our uniform advisor Glen "breaks our cohones" to get the representative impression for that particular day/week so CORRECT.

 

Which also seperates the FARBS from the others.

 

Great posting Allan ..thanks

 

regards

 

Lloyd

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Ok , it seems i learned something today. I also interviewed a veteran of the 507th PIR , Cpt. Roy E. Creek . We never mentioned his equipment though so you're probably right. But if you post 10 random pictures of the Normandy-campain with paratroopers on it. I pretty sure that 9 paratroops on 10 used mainly 'khaki' webgear

 

Jan,

Roy lives about a half hour from me. He is a real gentleman and a great example of why his generation is called the Greatest Generation.

 

It is from some of his photos and discussions with Roy that I have been able to make assertions like the 507th wearing OD#7 web gear in Normandy.

 

Allan

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Jan,

Roy lives about a half hour from me. He is a real gentleman and a great example of why his generation is called the Greatest Generation.

 

It is from some of his photos and discussions with Roy that I have been able to make assertions like the 507th wearing OD#7 web gear in Normandy.

 

Allan

 

That's great ! w00t.gif He never answerd my 2nd letter though because it probably never arrived ..(stupid belgian post office)I do believe he is indeed a great person , i saw it in the way he wrote his letter. I hope everything is good with him . I'm gonna write him again as soon if i have the chance.

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OK, well OD7 stuff in Normandy, i would say Some rigger gear, some 43 e-tools, some Lightweight gas bags, probably most compass pouches, but not a lot else.

Not the slightest bit convinced that the 507th was wholly equipped with it, or that it was common in other units. But thats an argument that could (and has before) taken all week, so on the Pathfinder cammo thing =

 

Cammo Jump suits is primarily an op dragoon thing, pathfinders in Normandy as folloes :

stick no1 502nd = odd one or two

stick no4 506th = all cammo ? (hard to tell)

Stick no5 101st = odd one or two

stick no6 502nd = maybe one

stick no10 505th = All cammo

Stick no11 505th = all cammo

stick no12 505th = all cammo

stick no13 507th = Looks like half have dyed them green ? (maybe the green shade ones ?)(thats a whole other argument)

stick no14 507th = cant see any

stick no15 507th = cant see any

stick no16 508th = some ?

stick no17 508th = some ?

stick no18 508th = all cammo ?

stick no19 502nd = maybe one or two

stick no20 377th = cant see any (hard to tell)

 

The only ones that are easy to tell is all the 505th one are cammo

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Will edit this in from Glen M which i split tthe topic

 

Thanks Glen

 

Cheers Lloyd!

 

("Painting of Pathfinder & other Airborne Jumpsuits" may be worthy of its own thread as well in Uniforms?).

 

To reiterate from the other thread the rule of thumb that we use in our group - it appears by careful study of photos that most items took around 6 months from date of production to get to the front line.

 

Rush items (such as Assault Gasmasks and Assault Vests prior to Normandy) took around 3 months from date of production to reach the front line.

 

It is therefore very reasonable to assume that equipment items in OD7 dated 1943 (or 1942 of course) could have been issued prior to the Normandy invasion.

 

Any item of standard equipment dated just "1944" could have been made anywhere between January 1944 and December 1944, and should be treated as "doubtful" if taking into account the 6 month lag from production month to issue (unless we're talking about the 1944-dated M1944 Pack System, which we believe (until proved otherwise) doesn't appear on the front lines until March 1945-ish, given the production of it only being in late 1944).

 

Cheers,

Glen.

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Glen i agree with you on painted Pathfinder M42 Jumpsuits.Should make for an interesting discussion.

 

Feel free to post under your own name Sarge

 

regards

 

Lloyd

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  • 4 weeks later...

My Grandfather was in the 308th Engineer Bn, 83rd ID and he said that they always tried to get the Darker green stuff as it was harder to see and that the 83rd was reissued with new stuff before shipping overseas

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What month was OD#7 introduced in 1943?And what items wore out the quckest?This will give you a additional info allready given here.

 

One interesing point i'd like to know is how many m43 etools and carriers are there state side compared to europe?I see loads over here :).

 

Dave.

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  • 2 months later...
But thats an argument that could (and has before) taken all week, so on the Pathfinder cammo thing =

 

Cammo Jump suits is primarily an op dragoon thing, pathfinders in Normandy as folloes :

stick no1 502nd = odd one or two

stick no4 506th = all cammo ? (hard to tell)

Stick no5 101st = odd one or two

stick no6 502nd = maybe one

stick no10 505th = All cammo

Stick no11 505th = all cammo

stick no12 505th = all cammo

stick no13 507th = Looks like half have dyed them green ? (maybe the green shade ones ?)(thats a whole other argument)

stick no14 507th = cant see any

stick no15 507th = cant see any

stick no16 508th = some ?

stick no17 508th = some ?

stick no18 508th = all cammo ?

stick no19 502nd = maybe one or two

stick no20 377th = cant see any (hard to tell)

 

The only ones that are easy to tell is all the 505th one are cammo

Hi Gliderinf

 

Writing about camo field uniforms of a.m. paras do you mean hand painted M1941 and/or M1942 jump sets or M1942 sets profesionally printed by the manufacturer the same as the HBTs? I am asking about the uniform posted below.

post-75-1176542466.jpg

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BTW --> it would not be a bad thing to separate from this topic all threads on paratroopers' camouflaged suits and to create of them new topic.

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Holy doily, you guys can really get wrapped around the drive sprocket over this material color business. I may be able to provide some useful information to the great debate, but I can only address this matter by relating what occurred with canteen covers.

 

The only canteen covers that could be described as olive green were manufactured in 1942-43 and was a material lot that was apparently acquired by Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot that was intended for some specific use or was manufactured in the wrong color. JQMD and two or three contractors used this material apparently to use it up. In 1941-44 the specifications for the materials used in manufacturing canteen covers and other web equipment was olive drab.

 

The shade of materials used in the manufacture of the M-1910 canteen cover was changed to olive green in Specification JQD 1D 27May44. This specification also specified the additional web material used to reinforce the belt hook billet. The actual change of shade of the various materials was written in the specifications for the materials, which I do not have. The specifications were usually written after the change was approved by the Quartermaster Corps Technical Committee and production had started.

 

In 1944 the first of the all OG canteen covers were produced and production continued into 1946. There were also canteen covers manufactured IAW Specification JQD 1D that were assembled in 1944 and 1945 with a combination of OD and OG materials. To add some additional confusion to the story JQMD manufactured all OD canteen covers to this specification in 1945, apparently again using up materials on hand.

 

It is quite possible that the use of these materials depended on what materials were on hand with the contractor when a contract was negotiated and what materials were provided by JQMD. Presumably a contractor new to manufacturing web equipment was provided with the newer (OG) materials while contractors with materials on hand from previous contracts used those materials until exhausted and then started using the newer materials provided.

 

The Army QMC was no where near as discriminating in the shade of materials used as those of you that want some sense of precisely what the practice was in the theaters. You may recall that the Army was acquiring a great deal of web equipment from Britain on reverse lend lease in order to save space in cargo holds for other materials. It is likely that most of the newer equipment arriving in theater from CONUS was issued to soldiers prior to boarding transports at POEs.

 

In this same way virtually all new uniforms and equipment arrived in England already issued to individuals. If as has been reported here some units were able to acquire equipment items in the newer shades of materials there must have been some shipping of items in bulk to the QMC distribution depots in England. Either that or the new arrivals were being mugged for their equipment. The Army generally issued the older stock items "until exhausted" however in some cases items were relegated to CONUS primarily for use in training centers.

 

It is apparent from the items of equipment brought back into the U.S. from European warehouses in the past 20 years that the Army sorted out the older specification items, like OD M-1910 canteen covers. The Army proveded these substitute standard items to liberated allied countries to reestablish their armed forces. The Army obviously kept the newer (current standard) equipment, if for no other reason uniformity in appearance.

 

Now for those of you struggling to maintain a standard among re-enactors a set "regulations" is needed if you're going to maintain any kind of uniformity in representing the chosen unit in place and time. Having been there and done that (re-enacting long before it was called re-enacting) I have seen some mighty strange and odd equipment that was intended to represent someone's idea of how it ought to look or be. The only example I care to provide is a whole group of "re-enactors" that were trying to represent one of the American Civil War U.S. sharpshooter units in the most hideous appearing green material used for their uniforms. I vaguely recall the "uniform" material was a polyester blend material, in a shade of green that I do vividly recall.

 

A good friend of mine became interested in WWII airborne and assembled a complete uniform and equipment. For the web equipment he elected to use all "transition" items with a mix of OD and OG materials. Now I suppose some of you will howl "Oh noooo!" I have to say that the web equipment with the contrasting shades had a camouflage quality without purposefully camouflaging the equipment. In any event he went to a local club and made five parachute descents to "qualify" for jump status. As far as I'm concerned he can wear whatever shade of appropriate equipment he desires, although I don't think he ever wore the outfit.

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Dark shade canteen covers can be seen on the US paras' belts in the pre-invasion marshalling areas.

 

I separated 1944 made OD#7 cover from bigger illustration I did for press. This is manufactured by the Collette Manufacturing Company. The hardest covers to buy today are 1944 dated OD#7 ones.

post-75-1176625341.jpg

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In 1944 the first of the all OG canteen covers were produced and production continued into 1946. There were also canteen covers manufactured IAW Specification JQD 1D that were assembled in 1944 and 1945 with a combination of OD and OG materials. To add some additional confusion to the story JQMD manufactured all OD canteen covers to this specification in 1945, apparently again using up materials on hand.

JQMD 1945 cover.

post-75-1176625896.jpg

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