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B-8 Complete Parachute and B-4 Bag


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Just picked up this B-8 parachute which I believe has been stored in this B-4 bag possibly since the war. Both are ID stenciled to a Lt. Max L. Lyon. Unfortunately I have no other information on this veteran, and have not attempted to research yet. In the past couple years I have acquired 2 QAC harnesses and now this B-8, and ALL have still had their first aid kit still attached and unopened. The only repack information I could find was a portion of the record card in the pouch with the date Jan 12,44, and there is also a "R 1/1/44" stenciled on the pack. Any comments appreciated.

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After a little searching, I found that 2nd Lt. Max L. Lyon served as a bombardier in the 334th BS, 95th BG. I am currently searching through crew photos in hopes of finding him. Any help/guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks

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I do have a question regarding these and all WWII chutes/harnesses. Since this chute has this veterans name stenciled, am I right in assuming these were issued to air crew members and then each individual was responsible to port their chute around with them and on all their missions just as a helmet or firearm would have been, in general? I know chutes and harness show up here in the US though most I have seen are stenciled with an air base name and probably never left the US. Then again, if they flew back to the US, I'm sure they would have had their chute with them then. Any insight?

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First off, very nice find! The B-8 was one of the most popular chutes during the war and was very well liked. As pararaftanr2 stated, that style of pack opening elastic was developed by pioneer. Most other manufacturers of the B-8 used the standard bungee material.

The "R 1/1/44" Indicates that the pack tray was replaced in January 1944. The canvas packs wore out fairly quickly and it is very common to see surviving chutes with this stenciling.

 

I do have a question regarding these and all WWII chutes/harnesses. Since this chute has this veterans name stenciled, am I right in assuming these were issued to air crew members and then each individual was responsible to port their chute around with them and on all their missions just as a helmet or firearm would have been, in general? I know chutes and harness show up here in the US though most I have seen are stenciled with an air base name and probably never left the US. Then again, if they flew back to the US, I'm sure they would have had their chute with them then. Any insight?

 

Regarding your question, yes, in general, parachutes were issued to the individual much like other gear. At the time of issuing, a parachute rigger would assist in properly adjusting the harness, and then tack the parachute to the exact size of that user. That would then be his designated parachute. Depending on the theater of operations, ever 30-60 days the parachute would be repacked by the riggers and undergo a thorough examination.

www.theriggerdepot.com - Replica WWII Parachute Gear

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Hey Josh. Any idea when the OD straps wer introduced on B-8s? Mine doesn't have the usual white. It's dated 45

The B-8 assemblies with OD webbing were introduced in late 1944. In looking through my archived examples, the earliest date I found was October 1944, all the rest were early-mid 1945.

 

One can also observer that 95% of OD harnesses will have the bayonet hardware connections. Harnesses with bayonet hardware are not merely another style of B-8 - it actually has its own unique late war 44G drawing number. By the time OD harnesses were in production, a large portion of contracts were running this 44G drawing, which is why OD harnesses are so commonly found with bayonet fittings. American Lady Corset is believed to be the primary manufacturer of the late war OD B-8 harnesses.

www.theriggerdepot.com - Replica WWII Parachute Gear

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The B-8 assemblies with OD webbing were introduced in late 1944. In looking through my archived examples, the earliest date I found was October 1944, all the rest were early-mid 1945.

 

One can also observer that 95% of OD harnesses will have the bayonet hardware connections. Harnesses with bayonet hardware are not merely another style of B-8 - it actually has its own unique late war 44G drawing number. By the time OD harnesses were in production, a large portion of contracts were running this 44G drawing, which is why OD harnesses are so commonly found with bayonet fittings. American Lady Corset is believed to be the primary manufacturer of the late war OD B-8 harnesses.

I bow to the master :)

 

Eagle Parachute Company, November 44 stenciled on the harness. Bayonet fittings.

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