Pictured is an original reinforced jump jacket that belonged to a paratrooper of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during WWII. The Veteran was a member of the Headquarters Company of the 3rd Battalion of the 501st PIR. This jump jacket was purchased by a good friend, and very well respected Airborne collector, directly from the Veteran many years ago. I was lucky enough to acquire it from my friend a couple of years ago.
Riggers from the 101st Airborne Division added canvas reinforcements to the elbows, pockets, and knees of the M42 jump suits prior to the D-Day invasion. This jacket still has the canvas elbow reinforcements, but the Veteran later removed the canvas reinforcements from the lower pockets. You can still see where the reinforcements were sewn to the lower pockets.
Real reinforced M42 jump jackets and jump pants from any of the WWII units are generally rare, but only a hand full of 501st PIR reinforced items have survived to today. Another unique feature of this jacket, is that the paratrooper had camouflage parachute material sewn into the interior in order to give it a really cool appearance.