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Does anyone know the best deal on a repro M3 trench knife?
The link below shows the ones Jerry Lee sells at What Price Glory (where I got mine) for $48 (knife only or $85 with scabbard) and the repro M6 scabbard as well. Handle shows up pretty well on this. Blade is parkerized (black oxide finish) with NO serations. http://www.whatpriceglory.com/pic/M6Sheath.jpg
What is the proper length for a for a military tie?
Uniform ties in WW2 were very short by todays standards. Normally the tie tip was level with the bottom of the shirt pockets and several inches short of the man's waistline. If you look at pictures on WW2 Marines (who didn't tuck in their ties or "field scarves"), you can see what I mean. It's really hard to tell from pictures of soldiers from WW2 because they would tuck their tie inside their shirt between the second and third button when the service coat is not being worn.
If I wanted to purchase a Revolver, what kind should I get?
The US issue Smith&Wesson Victory Models had a 4 inch barrel and are chambered for .38 Special. The other Victory Models (5 inch barrel and/or chambered for .38 S&W) are Lend Lease guns made for our allies even though they are US Property marked. If you can find a 4 inch barreled .38 S&W, it will still work as a blank firing gun. The .38 S&W cartridge is shorter than the .38 Special but most blank maunfacturers carry blanks for both calibers. The .38 S&W was issued by the British Commonwealth forces and called the .38-200. The US military issued several Colt .38's of different types from the Late 1800's through to the Model of 1908. Also, .38 revolvers were issued to soldiers other than combat troops (Pilots and aircrews, MP's, CID, couriers, Marine Embassy Guards, Air Force Security Police, etc.) up until this day. The Victory Model S&W is virtually identical to the S&W Military and Police (pre-Model 10). Most were parkerized and they had a lanyard loop on the butt. The serial number starts with a "V" (for Victory). Some are marked "US PROPERTY" or "PROPERTY US NAVY". Also Smith&Wesson M1917 and Colt M-1917 .45ACP revolvers were issued in limited numbers as well. An issue M-1917 will be stamped "Model 1917 US Army" on the butt, have "United States Property" stamped under the barrel, and be chambered for .45 ACP. Paratroopers (really any WWII US soldier or Marine) tried to get thier hands on any type handgun that they could. Many carried civilian handguns obtained outside the supply system and captured enemy handguns were popular in the ETO (in the PTO, Japanese handguns were considered a liability rather than something useful).
What types of handguns would a trooper cary?
The most common issue handguns in the US military in WW2 besides the M-1911 were the S&W Victory, the M-1917s (both Colt and S&W), the Colt model 1903 .32ACP (issued to General Officers), and a few Colt .38 Detective Specials issued to cloak and dagger types. Very early in the war, many different civilian weapons were bought by Uncle Sam straight off the shelves; this included handguns. Most of these civilian weapons were declared "Limited Standard" and were used to equip guards at installations stateside (both military and civilian) and even to equip State Guard units after the National Guard was activated. There were many privately acquired handguns carried by US troops in WW2. Any pre-1941 civilian handgun could be considered as an unauthorized weapon. Also, since the 501st was stationed in England before Normandy, it is conceivable that an enterprising trooper may have traded for an Webley or Enfield revolver or maybe even a Browning Hi-Power (Inglis made). Remember that few Paratroops (except for officers and crew-served weapons men) were issued sidearms. Most were obtained by midnight requesitioning or by private purchase.
Can I wear a helmet liner with my uniform?
As for the helmet liner use with the Class A, in period photos you'll note guys in garrison dress (Class A's with cartridge belt and leggings) wear the liner of the steel pot without the pot. The opening training scene in BoB at Toccoa shows all the Easy recruits wearing OD HBT coveralls, low service boots and helmet liners!
What does the oval for 327th GIR look like?
During the war the 325th GIR (now a PIR) had a blue and white oval. I have read that the 327th had a yellow and black (which is what they currently wear) but will have to research it some more.
Where can I get a blank adapter for my M1 Garand?
Contact Tom Arter at Axis and Allies. He has the "Hollywood" blank adaters that function flawlessly. His email addy is: ww2kkrad@hotmail.com. Cheap blank adapters can be purchased from sportsmansguide.com They cost about 12-13 bucks and work just fine.
What color do I need to paint my helmet liner?
There are no set standards on helmet colors in WWII. Ask David Mann's Dad as he'll be the first to say they used whatever they could find - ie aircraft paint or vehicle paint. And depending on whether they thinned it with gasoline or turpentine or mineral spirits would determine the final color and finish. I think it's safe to say for 501st purposes of establishing a standard that the helmet liner is the same matte OD as you use on the shell.
What do I need to convert my helmet to a paratrooper helmet?
Airborne chinstrap (with extensions and snaps to attach inside the liner) Airborne chin cup (2) webbing A-frames to attach the chin cup to Liner leather strap (and some way to attach it) Helmet net 1/2 to 3/4" pattern (not the tight 1/4" infantry style OR the wider 2" style for later war)
What is a Standard ETO Class A Uniform?
Standard OD wool service uniform with either 4 Pocket or IKE style jacket PLUS wool garrison cap