WWII 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Ike Jacket Uniform Grouping

319th GFA Grouping

319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Uniform Grouping

This World War Two 82nd Airborne Division uniform grouping belonged to a member of the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion.  It was purchased from him in the late 1980s.  He was with the 319th GFAB through all of its campaigns during WWII.  This Veteran, and the 319th GFAB, first saw action while supporting Darby’s Rangers during the invasion of Italy in September 1943.  Darby had picked the 319th GFAB to be the artillery support for his Rangers during the invasion of Italy.  The 319th GFAB saw heavy action during this campaign.

He next saw action when the 319th GFAB was landed in Normandy via gliders on D-Day, June 6, 1944.  The 319th GFAB again saw heavy action during the Normandy campaign.  The next campaign for this Veteran was Market Garden, the invasion of Holland.  This was followed by more heavy fighting during the Battle of the Bulge.  The 319th GFAB continued to deliver artillery fire against the Germans as the 82nd Airborne Division pushed into Germany, in the closing months of the War.

This grouping consists of his Ike jacket, his wool shirt, overseas cap, and some letters and documents.  After the end of the War, he spent a brief amount of time assigned to the 17th Airborne Division before being sent home.  This is the reason his shirt and Ike jacket have the 17th Airborne Division patch on the left sleeve.  His Ike jacket has the 82nd Airborne Division patch on the right sleeve indicating combat with that former unit.

His Ike jacket has the pin back, distinctive unit insignia, of the 319th Glider Field Artillery Battalion on the collar.  The red oval behind his glider rider wings indicates airborne artillery.  His overseas cap has the red piping used by artillery units and the cap disc is the style used by both paratroopers and glider towards the end of the War.  The ribbon bar is British made and has the arrowhead indicating participation in an invasion.  The final picture is of a letter that the Veteran included when he sold the grouping.

WWII US 101st Airborne Division Patch Type 8 Sewn on a Paratrooper 506th PIR Uniform

WWII US 101st Airborne Division Patch Type 8

WWII US 101st Airborne Division Patch Type 8

This WW2 101st Airborne Division Patch is a style that is sometimes referred to as a Type 8 by collectors today.  It is one of the most desirable and hardest to find variations of the WWII 101st Airborne Division screaming eagle patch.

The first photo is this type of patch that was sewn on a uniform I own, that belonged to a paratrooper officer in C Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.  That uniform is part of a larger group that belonged to that 506th PIR veteran.  The second and third photos are of a different original Type 8 patch that is not sewn on a uniform.

WWII US Airborne Paratrooper Jump Boots Dated 1942

Classic WW2 jump boots.

These WW2 paratrooper jump boots exhibit all of the typical features that are seen in World War Two era US jump boots.  They are brown, have the slant heel, and have the reinforcements sewn into the ankle area.  They also have the leather laces that were preferred by WW2 era paratroopers.  This is an early pair, they are dated 1942 inside.

After the US Airborne forces were first formed, it was decided that paratroopers needed a special boot to help protect their feet and ankles from the shock of a parachute landing.  The standard US infantry boot of the period was a short leather boot that did not give the required support, especially to the ankle area.  Thus, jump boots were made longer and had extra support sewn into the ankle area.  Additionally, the front of the heels were slanted to help prevent the boots from getting caught in the parachute lines as the chute deployed.

Jump boots became one of the iconic symbols of the US paratroopers during World War Two.  They were worn in combat and also worn as part of the dress uniform.

WW2 Airborne M41 Jacket with 513th PIR Pocket Patch

M41 Jacket with 513th PIR Pocket Patch

Here we have a nearly mint, World War Two M41 field jacket.  These were worn by the US Army in the ETO all through the war.  This particular jacket belonged to a paratrooper of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment who had a 513th PIR pocket patch sewn on to his jacket.  The 513th was at that time part of the 13 Airborne Division. It was later transferred to the 17th Airborne Division, where it became famous for its participation in the Battle of the Bulge and also Varsity, where it made a combat jump.

This particular paratrooper was later transferred to the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the war.  This probably explains why this jacket is in such pristine condition and why it still has the 13th Airborne Division patch on it.  I suspect that after his transfer, he never wore this jacket again.

The 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment pocket patch is one of my favorite Airborne patches of WWII.  I just love the graphics on them.

Paratrooper Balloon Suit Uniform, Rare Early WW2 Airborne Jump Training Uniform

Pictured is an early US paratrooper uniform item.  It is commonly referred to as a balloon suit, balloon jump suit or balloon cloth jump suit.  This was one of the earliest uniform items specifically designed for US paratroopers.  It was designed to be worn by paratroopers as an outer garment when making their parachute jumps.   It was only experimented with for a brief time.  Most photos show it being used in training in 1941.  By 1942, it had been supplanted by other uniforms like the M42 jump suit.  Although it was only used briefly, photos taken at the time show that many of the paratroopers who would later go on to have prominent positions in the 101st Airborne Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 11th Airborne Division, 17th Airborne Division, and 13th Airborne Division during World War Two, got their jump training wearing this uniform.

Since it was only used for a short period of time, and also because during this time the size of the US Airborne forces were very small, very few have survived.   They are considered very rare and only a handful still exist in collections today.  I was very pleased to add this rare uniform to my military collection.