Jump to content

Fantastic Relics: 509th PIB "Gingerbread" Helmets


gingerbread
 Share

Recommended Posts

:)

 

My job obligations led me to live in Toulon (Southern France) for five years (2001 to 2005), it is thus quite naturally that I began to study and to discover the underestimated and unknown US paratroopers epic in Southern France for the Dragoon operation (08/15/1944).

My method was the same as in Normandy (my parents live in Normandy, I have for 20 years a beautiful collection of 82nd and 101st Airborne stuff), field searches and meetings with the farmers who were present on the battle zones in 1944.

I was first of all interested in the drop zone around Le Muy before focusing on the 509th PIB paratroopers missdroped on St Tropez.

 

I began at first by researching on St Tropez before getting in touch with the associations of the city and more particularly with the association of the tropézien patrimony, who works with the city hall.

In 2002, the perspective of the 60th anniversary of the landing in Provence motivated me in my research and allowed me to obtain a support from the association of the Tropézien Patrimony for the writing of a 40-page book on the history of the liberation of the city by men from the famous 509th PIB “Gingerbread” and from the 463rd PFAB dropped by mistake in the sector.

My researches were official and recognized by the city of St Tropez. It was the first time that a such precise work on the history of the paratroopers in Saint Tropez was made.

 

This book was published in 2004 as a fascicule for an exhibition in Saint Tropez.

For this book, i managed to collect a lot of information on 509 PIB and on the 463 PFAB.

 

For the exhibition, I was lucky to collect military stuffs on the St Tropez missdroped DZ (helmets, harness, equipment, parachutes). Most of the objects were presented during the exhibition, as well as photographs, testimonies and documents.

 

It is during these researches that I was lucky to find these three 509th PIB helmets (november 2003).

There are two M1 helmets and one fantastic M2.

Now you can see the following pictures (few of them are on the famous site M1-helmet).

 

caisse1po6.jpg

the helmets box!!!!

 

dscf024lw.jpg

The three helmets, on the left an M1 and on the right an M1 and an M2!!!

 

dscf00037hy.jpg

Two 509th PIB helmets from the B company!!!!

 

Regards

Ben

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:)

Pictures from the first M1 with a good camouflage!!!!

 

dscf00049pm.jpg

 

dscf00061we.jpg

 

dscf00052zm.jpg

 

dscf00072da.jpg

 

dscf00081wv.jpg

 

 

Regards

Ben

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They cleaned up SO AMAZINGLY NICE!!! Seems youve had to let go a few bits of medical tape on the back isnt it? PS: Can we see the liner also after cleanup?

 

PLEASE show us more of your finds thumbsup.gif

 

Sebas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stunning finds!

It's funny that there are 2 standard fixed bales with standard chinstraps and only one M2 D-bail with para chinstraps. One infantry liner and one jump liner. I thought the 509th PIB was a Parachute infantry battalion :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ben! still great to see your amazing helmets. it was one of your luckiest day if I Remember when you called me when you just found them in the old box...

 

Please Ben, tell us a little more about your M-2!! Just for the Great story...

 

Yannick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ben

 

I have seen them before and really enjoy seeing them again.

 

Ben you find some fantastic things. Thank you for taking me around last year. How is fatherhood?????

 

I should have moved to Normandy in the next few weeks.

 

Drop me a line, but mark the email Normandy, so I will pick it up.

 

Cheers

 

Allan

 

 

allan@bryson152.fsnet.co.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An unbelievable story- shows that researching and doing your homework really pays off. Any clues as to how you did such a great job of cleaning the helmets without damaging the finish or breaking the delicate leather parts?

 

Thanks,

Ryan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...