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.

WWII 501st PIR 101st Airborne Division Paratrooper Reinforced Jump Jacket

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.