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WWII Airborne Rigger Pouches


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CONCLUSIONS: Obviously the 509th used Rigger pouches. I go as far to say that the 509th pioneered the rigger pouch. They were the First active airborne unit, and they had them way before Africa. What necessitated their conception? It seems that most airborne troops would begin to revert back to standard issue equipment During Market Garden and after...

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Those are some AMAZING pictures. lots of very early and rare items can be seen in them clearly.

 

-Dave

 

I agree. It was the Mrs. Roosevelts personal photography team, so no doubt they were some of the best cameras and best photographers around. The photos were then preserved and digitally archived by LIFE. The perfect storm for seeing the earliest US paras.

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Two more photos of original thompson rigger pouches in Sicily. Not what looks like a cord tie on the second photo

 

That's an open pouch and you can see the Lift-The-Dot stud if you look closely.

 

The few Rigger-made Thompson pouches used by the 505th in Normandy are L-T-D flapped as well, not tie-down, unlike the Rifle/Grenade pouches.

 

The Riggers copied existing USAAF designs for the pouches, and there's a good chance that the 509th Rifle ammo pouches are actually USAAF pouches, not rigger-made.

 

Cheers,

Glen.

 

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Hi

 

I have to admit in the last picture the pouches look like USAAF rigger pouches.

This is the one in my collection.

 

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Regards

 

Tom

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What info do we have on USAAF pouches? were they produced all the way through the war? I doubt they were widely issued and I would go as far to say they were almost uniquely used by the Airborne.

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Nice pouch! Thanks for posting it Tom.

 

I can imagine these are not easy to authenticate? Originals must bring a fair price?

 

I have always wanted some of these pouches, but the opportunity just simply hasn't ever come up.

 

Great thread so far, thanks to all who contributed with photos/info!

 

Cheers,

-Steve

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Here's mine and I know it's real because I got it directly from the vet in the early 90's, seems these were sewn in different styles and sizes - this one is a little more complicated as it doesn't have the side seams. Canvas is actually hard or stiff from the hard life it once had - now it rests comfortably !

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I've seen the picture of the troopers marching before but never noticed the rifle grenades in the pouch. Thanks for posting.

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I can add a little information on these pouches in regards to the USAAF. When referring to the USAAF model using the term "rigger" would not be appropriate as these would have surely been contracted items. The AAF Class 13 supply catalog has two sizes listed Holder-Rifle Clip (short) Part No. 42B15006, Stock No. 8300-442575 and Holder- Sub-Machine Gun Clip Part No. 42B15007 stock no. 8300-442590. As of Sept. 1943 they are listed as Limited Standard meaning they are on their way out and issue till exhausted essentially. They are omitted completely in the April 1944 revision. It would be my opinion that the pouches we see in the 509th pictures are of the USAAF stock pouches. With this item being limited standard it would also have been cancelled for procurement purposes almost a year prior to D-day so it might be safe to assume that the bulk of pouches seen D-Day+ are "rigger" made copies with some contracted AAF pouches in the mix. The pouch Bob posted might be an AAF example, the nickel lift-a-dot is a signature often seen on AAF parachute equipment....Bob, can your pouch fit a 20rd. Thompson clip?

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After reviewing the thread again it seems there are a fair amount of pictures for Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. One thing to consider before labeling "Rigger" with the pouches seen in these photographs is that the AAF drawing number is fiscal year 1942 meaning these were accepted prior to July 1942, basically a year prior the Husky operation. In all likely hood these are the true AAF models.

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Dustin, the only way I'd get a 20 round Thompson mag in there is if I cut it in half ! I think this one was made for ammo on stripper clips.

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My rigger pouch... I was quite fortunate to get it. Looks a bit like yours, Bob, but with a black lift the dot. It's one of the very few if not the only one know in the collector's community with a black lift the dot and brass stud.

 

This particular example came from a collection in Normandy. When I got it it still had a piece of French news paper in it. I'm quite sure it saw action before Normandy by 82nd personnel as well.

 

It could very well be the rarest piece of equipment in my collection.

 

98dl5z.jpg

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THANK YOU guys for posting your pouches and info.

 

Bob, your pouch looks to be a Rigger made example. ken88, your pouch looks like it is a USAAF production example. Is that a maker's mark on the back?

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Oldschool Cool, HQ company 505th.

 

Notice the two pouches are slightly different. I think the one on the right side is a USAAF pouch, and the other is a "Rigger" made variation.

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Ronny,

 

It's definitely a rigger pouch, not USAAF. Note the sloppy construction... The print on the back is the manufacturer's company marking, which was marked on the fabric riggers used to make the pouches.

 

Cheers

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