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Airborne: One Yellow Grenade in Combat Equipment Layout


Persian Gulf Command

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Persian Gulf Command

I have seen several period photos of Airborne Combat Equipment Layouts showing one yellow grenade in each.  Any explanations why this appears to be a practice?

 

Here is an example photo of this: 

Airborne Gear.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

1942 - 1943 HE (High Explosive) grenades were painted yellow.   Then they realized they were to visible in combat.   They then started putting that yellow strip at the top of the gernade to note HE. 

 

Most likely this is a HE round and the picture was taken in that 42/43 time frame....This picture is usually assoicated with the 503rd.

 

I love the trench knife with brass nuckles.   They were not government issue at the time, 503rd men purchased these privately. 

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Persian Gulf Command

one50,

  Thanks for your comments that I am in full agreement with.  The thing I'm trying understand is if the practice of one yellow grenade issued to each trooper was intentional and for what purpose.

 

Here are two more photos:

 

 

PC290253.JPG

PC290255.JPG

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The HE is a concussion type and the other gernades are fragment type.   They kill in 2 different ways and would be used in different scenarios based on the task at hand.    My guess is they simply were given one as an option vs the "standard" fragmentation kind. 

 

Why not?  They were airborne...they were elite.

 

 

 

 

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The picture in post 1 and 3, those are the same grenades in both pics. Looks at the other common items. The plastic medical bottles are laying in the exact same position in both pics. 

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Persian Gulf Command

The yellow grenades in the photos are also Standard Frag MKII's.  They're just the earlier yellow painted examples.

 

Here is one from my collection:

 

 

P9070190.JPG

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Persian Gulf Command
3 minutes ago, robinb said:

The picture in post 1 and 3, those are the same grenades in both pics. Looks at the other common items. The plastic medical bottles are laying in the exact same position in both pics. 

Robin, great observation.  I did not notice that the equipment was all the same except for the top row.

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Dirt Detective

Great yellow frag..notice how the early bazooka round has the rivets. And the ground signal's  to the left of first photo.

zuk2.JPG

zuk1.JPG

M174.JPG

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13 hours ago, one50 said:

1942 - 1943 HE (High Explosive) grenades were painted yellow.   Then they realized they were to visible in combat.   They then started putting that yellow strip at the top of the gernade to note HE. 

 

Most likely this is a HE round and the picture was taken in that 42/43 time frame....This picture is usually assoicated with the 503rd.

 

I love the trench knife with brass nuckles.   They were not government issue at the time, 503rd men purchased these privately. 

Just a quick comment- the M1918 knuckle knives were indeed issued to members of the 501st through 503rd Parachute Battalions. To my knowledge, they were never ordered to be turned back in as the battalions were spun into full regiments. I have acquired a few of these over the years from WWII para vets who have said that it was an issue item. Early press release photos show these knives with great frequency.

 

Allan

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Allan, thanks for sharing that...I concure.  But...I too have talked with 503rd vets and none of them had the knife issued to them (early 503rds vets too)  I did have a couple vets tell me they purchased them.  Im finding the more I study these guys the more questions I have.  At least with the 503rd they used what they got, I don't believe they were always given the "correct stuff".    If they were, never enough to go around.

 

One of my local 503rd vets was a BAR gunner, he was issued regular infantry boots and as they wore out he used gum bands (rubber bands) to hold them together....I love that, they just did thier job.  

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  • 1 month later...

I knew a 507th vet who had two of them. He sent them both home as well as two M3 knives and two switchblades. He sent thengs home in pairs as he planned on having two sons after the war..and he did. Most of his group got split and scattered many years ago.

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