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Airborne and garands

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  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: St louis
Airborne and garands
Posted by Raualduke on Monday, January 26, 2015 1:14 PM
Was just wondering if 82 and 101 units in Normandy were issued garands or were limited to thompsons and folding carbines due to size
  • Member since
    February, 2013
Posted by tomwatkins45 on Monday, January 26, 2015 1:47 PM

I don't know if some of the troopers jumped with M-1's or if they reequipped with them fairly quickly, but google images has a number of photos of men from both divisions in France armed with Garands.

Hope this helps,

Tom

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, January 26, 2015 2:26 PM
If you look through the photos taken of both the 82nd and 101st on English airstrips waiting for the order to board their planes, a good number of them are equipped with the M1. In reading their accounts of the Normandy jump, don't be surprised when some of those troopers mention the bags which protected the rifles during the jump because they posed a unique set of challenges for them.
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, January 26, 2015 2:45 PM

They jumped with Garands. The standard TO&E for Parachute Infantry rifle squads had them equipped with M1 Garands. Carbines were for troopers who we not riflemen- bazookamen, drivers, assistant gunners on machine gun squads, etc. Thompson and Grease guns were usually issued at one per squad to an NCO. In Normandy the Paratroops were issued a "griswold bag" which was designed for the M1 to be carried in and attached to the chute harness. The drawback of that bag was that it required the M1 to be broken down into its' two main components, thus requiring assembly on the ground after landing, a big drawback on a combat jump. After Normandy the Griswold bags were modified  with an extension to allow the M1 to be carried assembled. After WWII, the M-1951 weapons case was developed for the same purpose, and is still in use to today when jumping with weapons (not exposed).

The Griswold bag is not to be confused with the British Leg Bag used by US paratroopers for the Overlord jump.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

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N is for NO SURVIVORS...

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  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: St louis
Posted by Raualduke on Monday, January 26, 2015 5:57 PM

Thanks for all the good info guys

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted by Drew Cook on Thursday, January 29, 2015 1:09 PM

Raualduke, stikpusher is correct.  The majority of rifle, or "line" company paratroopers in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions carried M1 Garand rifles in Normandy.  Obviously, there was also a mixture of M1A1 (folding-stock) carbines, Thompson and M3 ("Grease Gun") submachine guns among the troopers, but their main weapon was the venerable M1 rifle.

  • Member since
    July, 2011
  • From: Armpit of NY
Posted by MJames70 on Thursday, January 29, 2015 9:13 PM

I've heard some reports the M1 Carbine was less than well loved by troops issued with it, too. Although light, and with a larger magazine than the Garand, the .30 Winchester cartridge fired by the carbine was much weaker in hitting power and range compared to a .30-06 round fired by a Garand.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, January 29, 2015 9:40 PM

On this stick rigging up for the Normandy drop, you can see that they have a mixture of Thompsons and Garands. All appear to be rigging up to drop with weapons exposed.

when rigged to jump weapons exposed, the weapon is supposed to be slung over the shoulder, muzzle down, and secured to the troopers harness by the belly band of the main chute wrapped over the weapon as seen below

These troopers have their weapons in Griswold bags attached to their harness under their reserve chute.

and while this photo is probably from Market Garden (unless the ground crews have not yet finished painting on the invasion stripes) this shows a mix of Griswold Bags and weapons exposed , M1A1 carbines

the same for this photo (possible Market Garden timeframe), which shows the scabbard for jumping a M1A1 carbine attached to the harness on the trooper in the center of the photo

and here is a Griswold bag with the M1 broken down to fit inside. While it only takes a few seconds to assemble and load after landing, it is still not the best way to jump into hostile territory

I hope this info helps out...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: St louis
Posted by Raualduke on Friday, January 30, 2015 1:43 AM

Thanks stikpusher and all you guys . Great photos !

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: St louis
Posted by Raualduke on Friday, January 30, 2015 1:47 AM

That is the best photo I I have ever seen of an m1 broken down in a griswald bag. Where did you find it?

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 30, 2015 10:20 AM

I did a google image search for "Griswold bag" and it was one of the early hits.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • From: St louis
Posted by Raualduke on Friday, January 30, 2015 12:00 PM

Thanks

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 30, 2015 5:01 PM

Youre very welcome. I have a deep fascination with the history of the US Army Airborne and all things related. So much so that I had to try it myself. I may not be an expert on all things related, but I like to think that I can find most answers concerning these great heroes of mine.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted by Drew Cook on Thursday, December 14, 2017 11:56 AM

stikpusher,

The first two paratrooper photos you posted have been identified by historian/author Mark Bando, and the third by authors Terry Poyser and Bill Brown. 

#1 is the HQ/3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division stick, jumpmaster Lt. Alex Bobuck at the extreme right. They were photographed and filmed outside (and inside) 3rd Battalion CO Lt. Col. Robert Wolverton's C-47 "Stoy Hora" by a Signal Corps film crew on Sunday, June 4th, 1944. 

#2 is of Sgt. Joe Gorenc, S-2 (Intelligence) sergeant of HQ/3/506th, boarding 3rd Battalion CO Lt. Col. Robert Wolverton's C-47 "Stoy Hora" on June 5th, 1944.

#3 is of paratroopers of F ("Fox") Co., 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division boarding their C-47 on June 5th, 1944.  The trooper standing at the left front is Orel Lev, and the trooper at right front is Ken Hull.

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