and Accoutrements of D-Day
The 101st Airborne Reinforced Uniform
POP QUIZ: What are these artifacts worth?
You may have treasure in the attic.....
|Personal equipment (left) includes a rifle, Ammunition belt, combat suspenders, a canteen, T-handle shovel, and US pineapple grenade.|
|A close up photo of the reinforced jump
jacket. The elbow pockets are typically double or triple stitched with light weight, but
durable cotton thread. The uniform has the rare white tongued Screaming Eagle patch and
stenciled corporal stripes.
QUIZ: How much do you think an orginal reinforced - has green patches on pockets and elbows (beware: this not the run of the mill jump jacket) is worth? (answer below)
|The 101st Airborne uniform worn by Warren Shaffer of the 377 Parachute Field Artillery Battalion. Shaffer was tragically KIA at Normandy. The uniform was probably accidentally given to another man prior to D-Day when the uniform was being laundered.|
|The 82nd Airborne Reinforced Uniform|
|QUIZ: How much do you think an orginal Airborne Helmet is worth (beware: this not the just a regular steel pot)? (answer below)|
|Officer in the 505 PIR whose unit captured Ste. Mére-Eglise. His reinforced jump jacket includes a small gauze American Flag (flags were worn almost exclusively by members of the 82nd). He is armed with a M1A1 folding stock carbine.|
|Personal equipment includes a pistol belt, rigger-made extra capacity ammunition pouches, canteen, folding stock carbine scabbard, T-handle shovel, compass and M-3 trench knife. A first aid kit is also tied to his suspenders.|
|Luminous Disk (left) that glows in the dark. The disk actually includes a low level radioactive material. This small device was used to mark equipment bundles or sometimes worn on the clothing to help identify friendly forces.|
|Toy Crickets: The most famous device used by paratroopers on D-Day. The cricket allowed troopers scattered at night in enemy territory to identify friendly forces. When squeezed, it emits a 'click'. The cricket was purchased from local toy retailers in Britain. Crickets were distributed primarily to the members of the 101st Airborne although some members of the 82nd were also issued crickets. QUIZ: How much do you think an orginal is worth?|
|The backdrop of this exhibit includes a silk escape map that was issued to many paratroopers on D-Day. Also shown is the M-2 switchblade which was perfect for cutting a parachute if the trooper was unfortunate enough to get stuck in a tree during the jump. The knife is held in a special zippered pocket near the collar of the M-42 jump suit. The American Flag is made of oilcloth and worn as an arm band in place of the the flag that was sewn on the jump suit. The remaining items are leather jump gloves, wrist compass and luminous disk.||Close up of the Airborne First Aid kit. First aid kits included a bandage, tourniquet, and a morphine serette. (The morphine is no longer contained in this example.) How much do you think this is worth?|
|Answers to the POP Quiz:
The answer regarding the value of this material for the most part is: it depends.
Reinforced Uniforms run anywhere between $2,500 - $4,000
Helmets run anywhere between $350-$3,500 (yes that's $3,500)
The first aid kits are rare and run $250-500