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Troop parachutes


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Hello

 

I would like to ask for your consultation at the pic I posted below. The Theater seems to be MTO but who can be seen? Are they Africa-based Lt. Col. Edson D. Raff's men of the Paratroop Task Force/509th PIB or is it 82nd Abn preparing for Sicily operations?

 

Thank you very much in advance for possible expertise.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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I don't know if this will help but the use of red bordered USAAF insignia began on June 28, 1943 and was replaced by the all blue insignia in Sept. of 1943. I have seen pictures where the old red-bordered was used for several months after the official date of change. Mark.

"The Dude Abides"

 

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Friends, thank you very much, thanks to you no doubts what is this and when.

 

Warm regards :)

 

Greg

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One more time thank you very much for your expertises but I will add one more sentence to this thread, maybe interesting for the others as well. Also this time I count on your consultation.

 

The paras I posted are equipped with typical Sycily era T-4 parachutes with reserve chutes in horizontal configuration. I have just found Lt. Gen. William P. Yarborough's memoir that the Paratroop Task Force/509th PIB in its North African campaign used T-3 sets. Are there any good photographs of the PTF's paras with these chutes? Do you know what was reserve T-3 position - vertical (as in Parachute Test Platoon) or horizontal?

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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craig_pickrall

Gregory, I have looked through several books but have not found a pic of a T3 in use for sicily. The T3 is an aircrew parachute rather than a normal paratrooper chute. The T4 was approved before the Test Platoon was formed. I will keep looking.

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craig_pickrall

Gregory I think this will answer most of your questions. I'll do a recap with photos and text to follow.

 

The chute with the vertical reserve is a T3 or T4. The difference is the T3 is ripcord and the T4 is static line. The vertical reserve is permanently attached to the harness. The PTP used the T4.

 

The T5 was in use by the MTO era. If the 509th used ripcords (T3) it must have been because of a need to control their opening or maybe that was what was available for use.

 

If you have an interest in military parachutes this book is a must have.

 

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Craig

 

Thank you very much for two things: For your replies and excellent small "parachute encyclopedia" you did as well as for reorganizing my original topic to do more reference content. Very good idea. I count on one more thing. If I am not mistaken the USA is world pioneer of free-fall parachute towers and the US Army in its embryonic parachute period used both types of the towers, i.e. cable and free-fall ones. I hope that we will discuss also about this very interesting aspect of the US Airborne history.

 

For a long time I have on CD very interesting but not described picture of a place in the USA where mixed group of civilians and soldiers can be seen. I would love to know where it is and what tower type cable parachute is at this picture. The period seems to be mid- to late 1930s and area seems to be civilian though maybe I am wrong? May it be, for example, one of Stanley Switlik's initiatives and civilian tower used also for the first military jumps?

 

Warm regards

 

Greg

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craig_pickrall

I'm not sure where the pic was taken.

 

I am on a tight schedule this week and don't know how much time I will have to research the parachute towers. This is from memory and I hope it is correct. The parachute towers were first used at the 1933 World Fair in New York. When the US military took an interest in parachute troops they acquired the towers and erected them at Ft Benning, Georgia which was and still is the Infantry School.

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  • 2 years later...

The above tower photos is of the PTP training on the 125' towers at Highstown, NJ. The towers built at Fort Benning were not the worlds fair towers but were built specifically for the Army. I am now there keeper as the Chief Instructor at Tower Branch, The Airborne School. The Photo of Troopers is of the 504th going into Italy. There was a shortage of reserves and some AAF ones were used. There was also a shortage of main parachutes as the storage facilities and shipping procedures were not quite "right" yet.

 

Great Reference book I will have to find that

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  • 6 months later...
The above tower photos is of the PTP training on the 125' towers at Highstown, NJ. The towers built at Fort Benning were not the worlds fair towers but were built specifically for the Army. I am now there keeper as the Chief Instructor at Tower Branch, The Airborne School. The Photo of Troopers is of the 504th going into Italy. There was a shortage of reserves and some AAF ones were used. There was also a shortage of main parachutes as the storage facilities and shipping procedures were not quite "right" yet.

 

Great Reference book I will have to find that

 

 

Gentlemen, I haven't thought about much of this since I sold my collection back in the late '80's when I was getting divorced, but my initial reaction before I read all the replies was someone needs to find a copy of the Parachute Manual. My recollection of the original photo that started this whole thing was that it was part of a series taken in North Africa prior to Sicily - unusual because so many of the photos were in color. My photo collection went to my older son, but much of it has been used in various books by other authors. I also believe the chutes in question were T-5's - its certainly reasonble to assume so. In any event, I throughly enjoyed wading through the replies, etc. Best regards, Bob Thomas

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