[REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

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[REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:59 pm

Hi all,

This is the first of a series of posts I shall be making detailing the 505th PIR, 82d Airborne Division during the Operation Neptune campaign. Some of this information is based on my personal research, contemporaneous information and photographs, as well as official documents and orders. Please feel free to comment, correct or amend any of the data as necessary!

General Information:

The Build Up:

The 505th PIR was assigned to Force "A", commanded by Brigadier General James M. Gavin, assistant Division Commander, and was to be committed by parachute before dawn of D-Day. It was distributed in a total of 117 C-47 Troop Carriers, comitting a total of 2,095 troops for the first wave of drops. The following details information originally contained in the "Air Movement Table - Parachute", for the Division:

1st Bn, 505th PIR - 315th Troop Carrier Group - 36 Planes - RAF Spanhoe
2d Bn, 505th PIR - 316th Troop Carrier Group - 36 Planes - RAF Cottesmore - DZ Time: 0151
3d Bn, 505th PIR - 316th Troop Carrier Group - 36 Planes - RAF Cottesmore - DZ Time: 0157

The first planes of Force "A" departed from their respective airfields at 2315 5th June, 1944.

The Jump:

The first element, the 2d Battalion, dropped at 0151 hours and the entire regiment landed by 0202 hours. Most of the troops landed on or near the drop zone, but a few were widely dispersed over the countryside. Assembly was rapid, and the Battalion moved off toward its objective.

Division casualties resulting from parachute:
Known drowned as a result of drop: 36
Paratroopers abandoned to the enemy as a result of jump injuries: 63
Injured in jumping and evacuated by friendly forces: 173

[-ed One complete stick of 507th was never located]

D-Day and D+1:
The 3d Battalion entered Sainte Mere Eglise at 0400 hours, and the town was securely held and out posted within an hour. The American Flag was raised over S-M-E, the first French town to be liberated by the Allies [-ed a much disputed fact amongst the landing troops, some say it was Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, while the British Airborne claim it was Ranville). After assembling, the 2d Battalion started to move out to take Neuville au Plain, but orders were received from the Regiment to stand by. At 0600 hours, the 2d Battalion moved into position north of S-M-E and assisted the 3d Battalion in holding the town. The 1st Battalion moved toward its objective, the bridge over the Merderet River (314956 map ref.) at La Fiere at 0630 hours and by 0830 held the eastern end of this bridge against heavy enemy fire from the western approaches.

The 2d and 3d Battalions continued to hold S-M-E against severe attacks from the north and south. The 2d Battalion patrols contacted elements of the 8th Infantry Regiment (4th Inf. Div.) at Sainte Martine (328973 map ref.) at 1000 hours and attacked north to clear the outskirts of S-N-E. The 1st Battalion withstood several counterattacks and pushed the enemy back to the eastern bank of the Merderet River in the vicinity of the La Fiere Bridge. They were supported late in the day by one platoon of tanks from C Company, 746th Tank Battalion. At the close of D+1, the 2d and 3d Battalions prepared to attack north toward Neuville au Plain in conjunction with the 4th Infantry Division's drive on the right. The 2d Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment was attached at 2100 to assist in this attack.

This concludes my post covering the basic background for the Regiment. I will now post information on equipment and other miscellanea.

Thanks,
Ben.


Last edited by BenM on Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:53 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:33 pm

Purported equipment list of Sgt John Urbank (3d platoon G Company, 501 PIR, 101st A/B) with which he jumped into Normandy. Although this equipment list, taken from Mark Bando's website (http://www.101airborneww2.com/), pertains to a trooper from the 101st Airborne Division, it differs very little from the equipment jumped by members of the 505th PIR. Wherever this is not the case, I have indicated such as an editorial note. Wherever included, official nomenclatures and model numbers have been added by me:

Clothing & Personal Equipment:
Undershirt, Wool
Socks, 1, Wool
Jump Jacket, impregnated (w/ insignia)
Jump Trousers
Helmet, Complete
Trousers, O.D.
Boots, Dubbing
Pant Suspenders
Belt, Web, Waist
Handkerchiefs (2 off)
Identification Tags [-ed original document had "Dogtags"]
Heat Units (2 off)
Trench Knife [-ed not standard, replace with M3 ideallyl]
Personal Weapon (and Bayonet where applicable)

Medical Equipment:
Sulfanilamide Packet [-ed contained in Carlisle Packet]
Carlisle Dressings (2 off) [-ed original document referred to "shell dressings"]
Insecticide
Friction Tape (1 roll)
Prophylactic Kit
Sulfadiazine Tablets [-ed carried in First-Aid Pouch]
Parachute First-Aid Packet
Halazone Tablets
Prophylactics (3 off)
Cupric Sulphate Sponge [-ed this was an addition of the 326th Airborne Medical Company, and therefore an idiosyncratic item to the 101st]

Individual Equipment:
M1936 Field Pack
M1936 Suspenders
First-Aid Pouch (any model)
Mess Equipment (KFS, Meatcan, Canteen + Cup)
Canteen Cover (any model)
M1923 Cartridge Belt (or Pistol Belt where applicable)
Carlisle Dressing

Carried in M1936 Field Pack:
Raincoat
Toilet Articles [-ed Wash Roll]
Socks, Light Wool (3 off)
Bore Cleaner (1 can and patches)
Bath Towel
Handkerchiefs (2 off)
Gun Oil (1 can)
Toilet Paper (50 sheets) [-ed in addition to those contained in rations]

Chemical Warfare Equipment:
M5 Gas Mask + M7 Gas Mask Bag
2 Eyeshields
Gas Detector Brassards [-ed not to be worn on the sleeve of 82d Airborne troops]
Gas Cover
Protective Ointment
Reference Card
Eye Ointment
Shoe Impregnate

The following articles are not listed on the original sheet, but have been included here for purposes of completeness:
- K Rations (1 x Breakfast, 1 x Dinner, 1 x Supper)
- D Rations (3 off)
- B4 "Mae West" Life Preserver
- T5 Reserve & Main Parachute Pack
- Ammunition (including Grenades, often stowed in pockets)
- Cigarettes and other personal items

Please also see the list that Sam posted, from the 82d Airborne Division museum:
http://a-i-m.forumotion.co.uk/airborne-f4/and-another-kit-list-t81.htm

Thanks,
Ben.


Last edited by BenM on Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:52 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:54 pm

Having covered the equipment list and background information, I will now begin a series of photograph reference posts, looking at pre- and post-jump photographs, specifically showing troops of the 505th PIR.

The following photograph shows Lt. Stanley Weinberg, a Platoon Leader in B Company, 505th PIR. The photograph was taken June 4th, just before the final preparations for the take-off were made.



Points to note here:

- Parachute First-Aid Packet attached to left ankle, outside of boot.
- Thin Suspender padding, taking from lining of Type II A5 Delivery Container Roll felt.
- GP Ammunition Bag attached directly to top eyelets of Pistol Belt, and secured with Trouser leg ties through D-loop.
- Unreinforced Jump Jacket.
- 1/4" British Helmet Net, as was common to the 505th during Neptune / Overlord.
- Three rigger-made ammunition pouches attached to belt (with Suspension line ties).
- Jump Jacket belt intact (oft removed by troops)
- Appears to be wearing "Summer Issue" chino shirt.

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:50 pm

This picture shows an inspection of equipment bundles at RAF Spanhoe on May 30, 1944. B Company, 505th PIR officers Lt./ Harold Carroll and Lt. Stanley Weinberg check the equipment to be dropped.



Points to note here:

- Sunglasses being worn by Carroll.
- M3 Fighting Knife with M8 Scabbard worn by Weinberg (moves to right boot in later photographs).
- Both Officers' Jump Jackets appear to be unreinforced.
- White tape (perhaps Medical "ZO" tape) attaching Carroll's padding to his Suspenders.
- Interesting assortment of items in Aerial Delivery Containers.

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:07 pm

Photograph showing Lt. Col. Edward Krause (CO, 3d Battalion, 505th PIR). This photograph was taken about 1 hour prior to enplaning:



Points to note here:

- He is armed with a Thompson SMG stowed in the Parachutist's SMG Holster Assembly.
- M1936 Field Pack is seemingly positioned the wrong way around under his Reserve Pack.
- Raincoat appears to be stowed under the flap of his Musette Pack.
- Dispatch Case carried on right side under SMG Holster Assembly.

Another tidbit of information about Krause is the fact that about three hours before take-off from England, he assembled his Battalion and addressed it as follows:

"We have here the flag that you raised over the city of Naples. I want it to be the first flag to fly over a liberated town in France. The mission s that we will put it up in Ste-Mere-Eglise before dawn. You have only one order, to come and fight with me wherever you land. When you get to Ste-Mere-Eglise, I will be there."

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:17 pm

The above photograph concludes the pictures of pre-jump shots, and I will now post a couple showing troops after landing.

This photograph shows Maj. William J. Hagan, 3d Battalion XO (acting Bn. CO) talks to Regimental Dentist, Peter Suer, near to the Regimental CP between S-M-E and La Fiere. Hagan assumed command of the 3d Battalion on June 6 and 7 while Krause was at Sainte Mere Eglise Aid Station No. 2:



Points to note here:

- M3 Knife with M8 Scabbard mounted on Pistol Belt.
- Parachute First-Aid Packet attached to M1936 Suspnders.
- M1A1 Carbine with high woodwork.
- Another view of the 505th-specific Rigger Pouches, used this time with a Carbine.
- Chin cup and A-Frames still hanging from helmet liner.

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:25 pm

Last photograph for this thread, I think.

This photograph is a very exceptional one. It shows Pvt Rocco Micciola, of 3d Battalion, 505th PIR.



Points to note here:

- He's wearing an infantry Assault Vest!

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Gina_Costina on Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:04 am

Outstanding!!!
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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:10 pm

Thanks, Paul! Smile

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  murph on Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:20 pm

Yes mate excellent resource, good ideas for the Kirkby event and what look to achieve!

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:44 pm

Yes, it certainly is a fantastic look, isn't it!

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  samharris45 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:58 pm

BenM wrote:Purported equipment list of Sgt John Urbank (3d platoon G Company, 501 PIR, 101st A/B) with which he jumped into Normandy. Although this equipment list, taken from Mark Bando's website (http://www.101airborneww2.com/), pertains to a trooper from the 101st Airborne Division, it differs very little from the equipment jumped by members of the 505th PIR. Wherever this is not the case, I have indicated such as an editorial note. Wherever included, official nomenclatures and model numbers have been added by me:

Clothing & Personal Equipment:
Undershirt, Wool
Socks, 1, Wool
Jump Jacket, impregnated (w/ insignia)
Jump Trousers
Helmet, Complete
Trousers, O.D.
Boots, Dubbing
Pant Suspenders
Belt, Web, Waist
Handkerchiefs (2 off)
Identification Tags [-ed original document had "Dogtags"]
Heat Units (2 off)
Trench Knife [-ed not standard, replace with M3 ideallyl]
Personal Weapon (and Bayonet where applicable)

Medical Equipment:
Sulfanilamide Packet [-ed contained in Carlisle Packet]
Carlisle Dressings (2 off) [-ed original document referred to "shell dressings"]
Insecticide
Friction Tape (1 roll)
Prophylactic Kit
Sulfadiazine Tablets [-ed carried in First-Aid Pouch]
Parachute First-Aid Packet
Halazone Tablets
Prophylactics (3 off)
Cupric Sulphate Sponge [-ed this was an addition of the 326th Airborne Medical Company, and therefore an idiosyncratic item to the 101st]

Individual Equipment:
M1936 Field Pack
M1936 Suspenders
First-Aid Pouch (any model)
Mess Equipment (KFS, Meatcan, Canteen + Cup)
Canteen Cover (any model)
M1923 Cartridge Belt (or Pistol Belt where applicable)
Carlisle Dressing

Carried in M1936 Field Pack:
Raincoat
Toilet Articles [-ed Wash Roll]
Socks, Light Wool (3 off)
Bore Cleaner (1 can and patches)
Bath Towel
Handkerchiefs (2 off)
Gun Oil (1 can)
Toilet Paper (50 sheets) [-ed in addition to those contained in rations]

Chemical Warfare Equipment:
M5 Gas Mask + M7 Gas Mask Bag
2 Eyeshields
Gas Detector Brassards [-ed not to be worn on the sleeve of 82d Airborne troops]
Gas Cover
Protective Ointment
Reference Card
Eye Ointment
Shoe Impregnate

The following articles are not listed on the original sheet, but have been included here for purposes of completeness:
- K Rations (1 x Breakfast, 1 x Dinner, 1 x Supper)
- D Rations (3 off)
- B4 "Mae West" Life Preserver
- T5 Reserve & Main Parachute Pack
- Ammunition (including Grenades, often stowed in pockets)
- Cigarettes and other personal items

Please also see the list that Sam posted, from the 82d Airborne Division museum:
http://a-i-m.forumotion.co.uk/airborne-f4/and-another-kit-list-t81.htm

Thanks,
Ben.

Nice list Ben! Hadn't seen this one before!
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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  samharris45 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:04 pm

BenM wrote:The above photograph concludes the pictures of pre-jump shots, and I will now post a couple showing troops after landing.

This photograph shows Maj. William J. Hagan, 3d Battalion XO (acting Bn. CO) talks to Regimental Dentist, Peter Suer, near to the Regimental CP between S-M-E and La Fiere. Hagan assumed command of the 3d Battalion on June 6 and 7 while Krause was at Sainte Mere Eglise Aid Station No. 2:



Points to note here:

- M3 Knife with M8 Scabbard mounted on Pistol Belt.
- Parachute First-Aid Packet attached to M1936 Suspnders.
- M1A1 Carbine with high woodwork.
- Another view of the 505th-specific Rigger Pouches, used this time with a Carbine.
- Chin cup and A-Frames still hanging from helmet liner.

Cheers,
Ben.

I have never seen this pic! Very good mate, and nice and clear. One thing that struck me with this pic is just HOW young he looks!!!! He doesn't look like a typical comander does he?
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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:09 pm

samharris45 wrote:I have never seen this pic! Very good mate, and nice and clear. One thing that struck me with this pic is just HOW young he looks!!!! He doesn't look like a typical comander does he?

Yes Sam, we noticed that too. At the time of the photograph having been taken, I believe he was 21. Can you imagine such a responsibilty on a young man - commanding an entire Battalion during his second ever Combat Mission!

Cheers,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  samharris45 on Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:14 pm

BenM wrote:
samharris45 wrote:I have never seen this pic! Very good mate, and nice and clear. One thing that struck me with this pic is just HOW young he looks!!!! He doesn't look like a typical comander does he?

Yes Sam, we noticed that too. At the time of the photograph having been taken, I believe he was 21. Can you imagine such a responsibilty on a young man - commanding an entire Battalion during his second ever Combat Mission!

Cheers,
Ben.

I know, the responsibility on that 'boy' must be un-imaginable!!!

21 and that's his 2nd combat mission!!! Well at least he was use to combat and not having to adjust to that and commanding a unit in action. Just think if you sent 21 year old's of today and put them in his situation! The battalion would be errrrr not there!

Sam
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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:26 pm

must agree guys, when i saw the pic, the first thing that struk me was how young he looked.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Les Brock on Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:16 am

Don't it show in his eyes !
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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  samharris45 on Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:52 am

Yes it does!
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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  devin on Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:20 am

I'm looking for the original unit crest for 1 505 PIR 82nd airborne division. our battalion commander is looking for a company that can make and distribute them to be sown into the inside of our berets as a way to bring unit cohesion and all. If any one can help me find some one that can make them please let me know. I've been trying to help find a place for a good while with no luck. Thank you in advance to anyone that may be able to help.

Best regards,
PV2 Davis

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:33 am

PV2 Davis,

The 505th PIR did NOT have a Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI) during WW2. The unit's crest was not approved until 1947. Here is the post-war version:



I hope this helps,
Ben.

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Re: [REF] 82d A/B Div, 505th PIR - Operation Neptune

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