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M1A1 carbine "Holster assy, parachutist's'


El Bibliotecario
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El Bibliotecario

Recently I obtained a reproduction "Holster Assembly, Parachutists," for the M1A1 carbine. That nomenclature is copied from the Ruth book, but to clarify, I'm referring to the one with the flap top which resembles a big pistol holster. I have two questions about the practical use of this item.

 

What is the purpose of the webbing loop on the top inside rear of the holster? I'm not referring to the large loop which accomodates a belt, but the smaller loop near the butt of the pistol grip.

 

In practice, was the leg tiedown strap used? If the holster is attached to a belt, this strap fits below the knee, inhibiting mobility. I doubt if the airborne troopie wandered about the combat zone with his carbine holstered, but I'd think boarding the aircraft, sitting in the aircraft, jumping from the aircraft, landing, and disengaging one's parachute would be inhibited by having one leg 'splinted' with a holster.

 

On page 646 of Ruth's WAR BABY (vol 2) is a WW2 photo showing a SSG inspecting an airborne squad in garrison. No one appears to have the tie down strap fastened. The NCO appears to have removed the strap from the toe of his holster and strapped the holster to his thigh immediately _above_ his knee.

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Johan Willaert

You can run the right back suspender straps through the extra webbing loop for extra weight distribution.

 

If the lowere leg strap is fastened, you risk breaking your leg during a jump. That's why you never see them properly fastened, or you see them moved up and fastened around the thigh as you describe

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This scabbard was seldom worn by PARACHUTE troops, at least in combat situations. It was more commonly used by GLIDER troops. The main reason was because with combat loads typical of combat jumps, there was no room left on the belt for it. Sometimes jumpers would use the scabbard, but as if a Grioswold bag, tucked in behind their reserve chute and tied, clipped or strapped to their harness.

 

Yes, the tie-down at the muzzle end was seldom used in active operations, parachute or glider. They were sometimes cut off, but when turned back in or slavaged after a jump, the riggers (or non-airborne QM depot seamsters) would repair it and put one on. Usually the muzzel strap was just wounded around the the end and cinched down. I once owned one, spray painted with black, that had the original strap cut off and one fashioned from a GP strap added about halfway up, to tie around the thigh. It also had residue from adhesive tape, all around the flap, running across the LTD snaps.

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This scabbard was seldom worn by PARACHUTE troops, at least in combat situations. It was more commonly used by GLIDER troops. The main reason was because with combat loads typical of combat jumps, there was no room left on the belt for it. Sometimes jumpers would use the scabbard, but as if a Grioswold bag, tucked in behind their reserve chute and tied, clipped or strapped to their harness.

 

Yes, the tie-down at the muzzle end was seldom used in active operations, parachute or glider. They were sometimes cut off, but when turned back in or slavaged after a jump, the riggers (or non-airborne QM depot seamsters) would repair it and put one on. Usually the muzzel strap was just wounded around the the end and cinched down. I once owned one, spray painted with black, that had the original strap cut off and one fashioned from a GP strap added about halfway up, to tie around the thigh. It also had residue from adhesive tape, all around the flap, running across the LTD snaps.

 

Hi,

 

I would have to disagree, there are plenty of shots taken in Normandy with Airborne troops wearing the leg scabbard days after D Day, there is even a picture of 502nd troops lining up just before the D-Day drop and you can see 5-6 being worn.

 

I do not know of any pictures of glider troops wearing a leg scabbard for Normandy???

 

Regards Bruce

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I don't think the M1A1 was an item of issue for the glider troops, they used the regular M1 carbine. As far as I am aware, all their gear was standard infantry issue. I too have seen many pictures of the holster in use in combat by paratroopers.

Steve

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I don't think the M1A1 was an item of issue for the glider troops, they used the regular M1 carbine. As far as I am aware, all their gear was standard infantry issue. I too have seen many pictures of the holster in use in combat by paratroopers.

Steve

Hello,

 

Perhaps theoretically you are right but the US Army is not UK Army with its King's Regulations and all possible rigours related to them.

 

Look into Michel De Trez's albums and you will see gliderborne troops with the M1A1s. It was not only in the ETO. Look at the photographs of gliderborne troops in the USA when they trained with CG-13A glider in 1944 -- you will see gliderborne GIs with the M1A1s as well.

 

Regards

 

Greg

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  • 9 months later...

The M1A1s were issued for the gliderborne troops since the beginning of this type units. Below is the 320th GFAB training at Oujda airfield, Morocco, before Sicily invasion.

post-75-1261867895.jpg

post-75-1261867909.jpg

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