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WWII T-5 Parachute With T-7 Harness And Camouflage Chute


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Hello All!

I don't get on here as much as I would like to anymore, but here is one of my recent acquisitions from a friend clearning out his barn of long time antique purchases (which lucky for me sometimes includes military items). The rig is in great shape for its age, the lines are uncut, the parachute is in decent shape with a few freys and fist size hole in there that I saw (tough to open up fully in a D.C. apartment). What can you tell me about this parachute? What do the red markings and sewn patches indicate? Was this airborne? I understand that I'm missing the pull out panel and the static line. How hard is it to find original pull out panels and static lines? Finally, I'm still on the fence whether I'd like to keep this for my collection or if I'd like to let it go considering I've been thinning out the collection in preparation to have to fit it in a smaller place in D.C. Should I decide to sell it, what is a fair asking price for something like this? Thank you all for your help.

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I have a feeling this parachute could have been used in the combat drops in Korea by the 187th....i have seen photos with these types of markings for them.....mike

Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



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This is a T-5 Modified Parachute, meaning it has been fitted with the quick release box a la Market Garden. As for the red panels, which is usually AAF, is to insure that the parachute harness is married up with the correct reserve chute, which is also thus marked. The scheme is red to red or yellow to yellow. Great find. I can't help you with the static line, etc. I'm sure others here on the Forum can. Jack Angolia

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Great find, I would venture to say this is a T-5 pack tray retrofitted on a T-7 harness. The reason for my conclusion is that a modified T-5 would have another color webbing ( white, tea colored webbing) on the OD webbing.Any modifications or repairs to a harness during WWII were done in a contrasting color to show the repair, or mod. You see that extensively in the modified T-5s the 101st used in Market Garden. The T-5 data plate, and pack tray were most likely left over stock, from that run of chutes when the newer version T-7 came into production. A great piece of airborne history, and great piece for sure! Paul

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

 

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What you have is an original T-7 troop type assembly. As baker502 alluded to, this is not the Market Garden or Varsity T-5 modified rig, but a factory made T-7 harness.
I think sgtdorango is correct - most likely, the rig was assembled into its current state and used either by the 11th ABN in Japan late 1940's or by the 187th in Korea, 1950's. Their records indicate that most of their chutes were manufactured in 1944/1945, which meant they were at the end of their (then) 7 year lifespan.
Most likely, the rig started as a complete T-7 assembly, and when the pack tray wore out, was replaced by a surplus T-5 pack. Pack trays took a tremendous beating, and usually only lasted about 20 jumps before being replaced. Even through Korea, small lots of T-5's existed which were cannibalized for parts. The style of rigger tacking would lead me to believe it was replaced circa 1949-1952. If you check the back of the log record, it should list the date and modification.
The harness is a classic mid 45' with the early red markings, D-rings with drilled holes, first pattern QRB leather pad, and unmodified quick release box. The unmodified QRB (absence of the "M" marking) would also suggest it served outside the US. The harness may match the Pioneer stamp of the canopy, but the stitching characteristics would point to the harness being a June 1945 Switlik. Usually that is faintly stamped on the cloth part of the saddle area.

 

Original pullout panels are virtually impossible to find and demand high prices. Still, it is a nice post-WWII rig that is nearly complete and in good condition.

www.theriggerdepot.com - Replica WWII Parachute Gear

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Here is a very rare color photo from one of the 187ths combat jumps in Korea that i have, very similar red markings on straps like yours too which led me to think 187th or 11AB....mike

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Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2017.gif

 

 

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Thank you for all the great information! WWII parachutist, I just found the harnass marking you were talking about on the seat. Its Pioneer Parachute Co. May 1945, so it does match the parachute. A closer investigation of the log book reveals logs from 1948-1949 and a modification listed as replacement of the tray. This jives with assessment delivered in previous posts. Thank you all for the great information! What would you recommend I do about the pull out panel? As this is now somewhat out of my realm of collecting interest, what do you think is a fair asking price?

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Here is a very rare color photo from one of the 187ths combat jumps in Korea that i have, very similar red markings on straps like yours too which led me to think 187th or 11AB....mike

attachicon.gif187th yellow tac marks1-2.jpg

 

Awesome shot, I love those rare color photos!

The red harness markings themselves don't signify the 187th as these were factory-sewn on chutes through most of 1945. Harnesses with these markings were also used by the 82nd AB in late 1944. I think they are predominant with the 187th simply because they were jumping an aging fleet of chutes, most of them being WWII surplus.

www.theriggerdepot.com - Replica WWII Parachute Gear

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Thank you for all the great information! WWII parachutist, I just found the harnass marking you were talking about on the seat. Its Pioneer Parachute Co. May 1945, so it does match the parachute. A closer investigation of the log book reveals logs from 1948-1949 and a modification listed as replacement of the tray. This jives with assessment delivered in previous posts. Thank you all for the great information! What would you recommend I do about the pull out panel? As this is now somewhat out of my realm of collecting interest, what do you think is a fair asking price?

 

I wouldn't count on finding an original pullout panel any time soon, so reproduction is the only real option other than leaving it as is.

Fair price could be all over the place, as it is a hybrid of T-5/7 parts and that fact that it was used postwar greatly deflates its value.

www.theriggerdepot.com - Replica WWII Parachute Gear

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