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The 187th RCT Uniform Topic


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Here is some of my 187th collection. There are some items that belonged to me when I was with the RAKKASANS in 1984-86. I have more, but it is not located with my collection here in Texas. It is in storage with my collection (my fathers collection in New Hampshire). Enjoy the pics and comments are welcomed and appreciated. I have about 65 pictures so I will be uploading in increments over the next several days or possibly weeks.

 

What we have in the first picture is a close up of the 187th Infantry Collar Brass, and Air Assault Wings and Oval for the 3rd Bn 187th Inf. For those who are not aware, the three red hash marks on either side of the oval depict 3rd Bn. The Air Assuault Wings are the wings I was pinned with when I graduated from Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in February 1985. The 187th Infantry Brass was issued upon assignment to Company C, 3rd Bn 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in November 1984.

 

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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This is the 3rd Bn Beret Flash with Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) that was worn in the 70's on the Blue Beret for a short period of time. The other Bn's flash was similiar except for the white hash marks. The 3 tick marks symbolize 3rd Bn. The colors of the crest are as follows: The red handed sword, red for courage on a white background (in this case silver). The sword is an ancient weapon, symbolic of the aggressive character of an airborne combat group. The partition betwenn the blue and white (again in this case silver) represents clouds depicting the sky from which the airborne/airmobile attack comes. The white field (silver) represnts valor and the unblemished record of the 187th Infantry in three wars. (WW2, Korea, and Vietnam) This can be updated now to The Persion Gulf, and the Global War on Terror, and the Campaigns in Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Blue field represnts the Infantry.

 

The Motto: Ne Desit Virtus means LET VALOR NOT FAIL

 

 

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Another Close up of the enlisted collar brass for the 187th Infantry with Infantry Blue disks behind the brass for wear on the dress green or dress blue uniforms.

 

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Front and back of the color Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the 187th Infantry Regiment. Although this patch was not authorized for wear after Korea, it was still available in Clothing and Sales Stores and off post tailor shops. There are also subdued, desert and ACU versions of this Shoulder Sleeve Insignia circulating today in the collecting field.

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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To make it easier I will describe each patch listed starting from the upper left hand corner. This is known as variation number 1, and there is a larger picture of it below. The parachute, wings, and flames are slightly different from the original, which in this picture is in the bottom right. The top right is also variation 1 but this one is using lighter blue thread and its shape is longer.

 

On the bottom left is variation 2 which shows the unit number of 187 superimposed on the wings. This was worn from the period of late 1952 until an unknown time.

 

The bottom right is the approved SSI. It was approved by General Matthew B. Ridgeway.

 

 

 

This is a representation of the single piece AIRBORNE Tab attached shoulder sleeve insignia of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. The patch in the lower right corner with the dark blue is the more commonly seen patch on uniforms, however the other versions have been known to appear on Korean Era and Post Korean Era Ikes and Greens. The patch in the lower right was worn during the periodfrom 19 March 1952 to September 1956. The lower right patch also belonged to Chaplain Holland O Hope, while he was a memeber of the 187th. There is another lengthy forum about his uniforms and insignia.

 

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The second picture is a close up of variation 1 of the 187th patch. Variation 1 was worn from Early 1952 to October 1956.

 

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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A close up of the back of variation 1

 

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A close up of the insignia known as variation 2

 

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back of variation 2

 

All insignia that once belonged to Chaplain Colonel Holland O Hope, 187th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment)

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Back side of variation number 2 again. Notice the thread residue: this being removed from a uniform..

 

 

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Another close up of the different type of variation 1 using the lighter blue thread and notice that this patch is longer and narrower than the others

 

 

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Back side of the above pictured patch

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Back side of variation number 2 again. Notice the thread residue: this being removed from a uniform..

 

 

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Another close up of the different type of variation 1 using the lighter blue thread and notice that this patch is longer and narrower than the others

 

 

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Back side of the above pictured patch

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Thats all for tonite. I will try to post some more later. Merry Christmas every one. I still have over 50 picturs to post so this will take some time. I even have a picture of "your's truly" fresh out of basic in my Class A's standing in front of our 187th RAKKASANS Banner. But you'll have to wiat for that one...

 

 

Leigh....

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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I have two K.W. 187th jackets, both are unidentified and I added all the pin on insignia except for the bottom row of ribbons on the ww2 vets jacket, the ribbons were matched up to the pin holes and both jackets are tagged as to what I added, I realy like the ww2/korea one but it has a large burned area above the ribbons,

post-195-1261889616.jpg both came off ebay a few years ago.

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This evening I have a little bit of time, so I wanted to continue adding my collection of 187th Infantry related items. As I mentioned before I have over 65 pictures, so this will take some time. But now we will continue where I left off...

 

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Challenge coin front side. This was awarded to me by my Battalion Commander LTC James D. Hallums for representing the Battalion at the Kentucky State Fair after a rappelling demonstration during the opening of the Fair ceremonies.

 

Officers Branch of Service Insignia on cloth, late 1950's early 1960's era.

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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The backside of the challenge coin from the previous post. I got the pictures out of sequence.

 

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Private Leigh E Smith Jr, Company C, 1st Platoon, Weapons Squad, 3rd Bn 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, (Air Assault) Fort Campbell, Kentucky. November 1984.

 

My awards at the time: Army Service Ribbon, Expert Bayonet Qualification, Marksman Qualification with M16A1 Rifle and Hand Grenade. (The only time in my 21 years service I did not qualify expert with the rifle was in basic training).

 

 

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The RAKKASAN association had given cards to those members who joined their club. I joined in 1986.

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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This was my copy of the Battalion Policy Book that outlines the Regiment's History and certain policies that we as members of the RAKKASANS needed to uphold. This was issued when we received our unit crests and Presidential Unit Citations and other awards that we were authorized to wear. In my Photo you can just make out the awards on the right side of my uniform, under my blue Infantry Cord. (There will be some close ups, later...

 

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This was an older copy of the same book that was in my room that I was assigned to when I arrived at Fort Campbell. The book was dated 1983, a year before I arrived.

 

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This is an actual postcard that was for sale at Fort Benning and some of the other installations in the 1980's. The individual in the picture is a SSG Volkman, who was an instructor at the Ranger School at Fort Benning. A lot of people said he looked alot like Dolf Lundgren (sp???) (The movie actor in Rocky, who portrayed the Russian Boxer) Well anyway, SSG Volkman was accepted into Officer's Candidate School, and upon graduating OCS was assigned to B Company 3rd Bn 187th Infantry (RAKKASANS) in 1985.

 

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This is the backside of the postcard that 2nd Lt Volkman signed for me just prior to my PCS to the Berlin Brigade in November 1986. If I remember correctly Lt Volkmans first name was Kenneth.

 

Some of you may notice that I put at the top of the Postcard 1Lt Volkman, and he signed it 2Lt, Infantry. Lt Volkman had just been promoted to 1st Lt earlier that morning and he was still used to signing his name 2nd Lt....

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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3rd Brigade at Fort Campbell in the 1980's was comprised of 3 battalions of the 187th, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Bn's. The US had not turned over control of the Panama Canal so our presence in Panama was still large at the time. Our 2nd Bn 187th was AIRBORNE qualified and on jump status in the Canal Zone. This is a wood plate that came from Panama.

 

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The signature on the back is unreadable, but it clearly shows the 1987 date.

 

Picked up this plate at Fort Bliss, Texas in the early 1990's at an ASMIC show.

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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One of the Books written about the RAKKASAN history by Lt General Flanagan

 

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The Steel Berets is another excellent book with several bios about some of the RAKKASANS. This is the book where I obtained the information I was seeking about Chaplain Colonel Holland O Hope.

 

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This is the program that was given out at the 4th annual Rakkasan Reunion. The 3rd Bn was at West Point during the summer and we were bussed to Hartford to participate in the Reunion. At the reunion I was able to Meet General William Westmoreland (who was a past commander of the 187th) and I met Medal of Honor recipient Rudolfo "Rudy" P. Hernandez. Rudys signature is under the large RAKKASANS emblem in the middle of the program. In the upper right corner of the program is the signatures of my Battalion Commander, LTC James D Hallums and the top signature is that of the 9th Infantry Division Command Sergeant Major, from Fort Lewis, but I do not recall his name.

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Close up of the signatures. Rudy Hernandez, C. M. H. Congressional Medal of Honor

 

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LTC James D Hallums Cdr 3rd Bn 187th Inf.. His nickname in the Bn was "Hang em High" Hallums. He was a very strict and disciplined Leader and firmly believed in UCMJ. Prior to his assignment with the 187th. He was the Ranger School Commander at Fort Benning.

 

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This is General Westmorelands signature that was in the cover of our Bn Unit History book that was kept at Battalion Headquarters. I was able to get some pictures of the book while my Platoon Leader was the Battalion Staff Duty Officer.

 

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This is a program for the dedication ceremony of the 187th Airborne Statue outside the Donald F. Pratt museum at Fort Campbell, Ky. The ceremony was held on February 25, 1985..

 

Colonel William Weber, the 187th Association President was the guset of honor at the ceremony. Colonel Weber was a Company Commander in the 3rd Bn during the Korean War and was wounded on February 14, 1951 and again on February 25, 1951. The Commander of Troops was the 3rd Brigade Commander, Colonel David Bramlett, who later went on to be the FORSCOM Commander in the mid 1990s.

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Well thats all I have time for tonite, but I will be back again soon. I hope you all enjoy the pictures and please post your comments, questions, etc..

 

Take care everyone and have a great night..

 

Leigh.....

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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  • 1 month later...

I thought that I would add more 187th items to this forum. I haven't posted any of my collection for over a month, so I had some time this evening to post a few more pictures.

 

The first picture is the raffle ticket from the Rakkasan Reunion in Hartford, CT in 1985. It would have been nice to win the Thompson Sub Machine Gun....

 

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Various bumper stickers from the Rakkasan Chapters across the US, and the middle sticker was placed on OPFOR" vehicles that were "destroyed" during training. The guys would paste them all over the tanks and jeeps (no hummers then) from the other units.

 

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The last 2 pics are the stationary from my Company Commander CPT Fix. Charlie Co. Commander. If I remember correctly, CPT Fix's wife was also in the military and was a JAG lawyer at Fort Campbell at the time I was stationed there...

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"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Some of the various Rakkasan books that have been printed over the years.

 

The blue covered book is the 5th Anniversary edition fromn Aug 54 to Aug 55 in Japan, and the last picture is the inside cover artwork..

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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More copies of the RAKKASAN unit Histories. The Green Covered book is from the late 1950's when the 187th arrived at Fort Campbell. This book has the names of alot of Rakkasans that were with the unit at Fort Campbell. This book also has large unit pictures at the back of the book..

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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These are pictures of the various crests and insignia worn by members of the 187th. This is also inside the cover of the green unit history..

"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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