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Operation Varsity Questions....


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Winterdan

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:18 am    Post subject: Operation Varsity Questions.... Download Post Reply with quote

I seem to remember either hearing or reading that reserve chute's were not used by U.S 17th Airborne troops during Op Varsity March 1945...i'm not so sure this is correct...the other query i have is about the scarfe's worn by the 17th Airborne during this Op, i read that bright yellow British silk signal panels were torn up and used as scarfe's ...a bright yellow?...certainly no good for camo purposes!, if anyone can shed any light on either of these questions it would be greatly appreciated.
Winterdan

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kirk1168

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:33 am    Post subject:  Download Post Reply with quote

I couldn't find any concrete answers in any of my reference books. They jumped from only 600 ft., so there is a good chance that reserve chutes weren't worn (if your main chute doesn't deploy from that altitude, a reserve is kinda pointless Rolling Eyes ).
As far as the yellow scarves: none of the photos that I have of the 17th show anything that could be construed as a yellow scarf (of course, all the photos are B & W). It's possible that they wore scarves, as unit recognition was far more important than camo in the early stages of an airborne drop, but that practice seems to be more post-WWII, and more associated with the British (think Malaya) and French (African bush wars). The wearing of scarves (or ascots) became popular at the end of the war, mostly for parade and walking-out dress, and continued up to at least the beginning of the Viet Nam era. However, yellow is the color of the Cavalry. I would think that Airborne would go with Infantry light blue. But yellow is the dominant color of the 17th's division patch.
Okay, I'm just rambling now, so I'll go...

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Kev Longino

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:20 am    Post subject:  Download Post Reply with quote

I have seen several pics that indicate that the 17th did use reserve chutes, this is one I found just now on the net at work and I have others on my HD at home by Robert Capa who jumped with them , which also show reserves.
http://www.ww2-airborne.us/pictures/17_pictures.html

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Winterdan

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject:  Download Post Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies chaps...i was reading the Osprey Warrior title American Paratrooper and one of the plates feature's 17th Airborne troops firing a bazooka one of which has a yellow scarfe...i also checked the book "The World War 2 GI,U.S Army Uniforms 1941-45 In Color Photographs" in the Airborne section they feature a couple of shot's of 17th Airborne troop's (re-enacted) portrayed wearing the scarfe's....i imagine that there must be some basis for these referances appearing in two book's..no smoke without fire so they say but i would rather hear/see it coming from a source that carries more weight.
I thought the same thing regarding the reserve chute, the height they were jumping from really negates the need for a reserve chute but the photo's never lie...i wonder if they may have removed them in the plane before jumping ?
Winterdan.

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JOSH51st

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject:  Download Post Reply with quote

The scarves were commonly used for Op. Varsity. They can be seen in numerous photos. Here's a link to a reproduction version. Just scroll down the page a little.

-JOSH

http://www.wwiisupply.com/us.html
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kirk1168

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject:  Download Post Reply with quote

Winterdan wrote (View Post):
Thanks for the replies chaps...i was reading the Osprey Warrior title American Paratrooper and one of the plates feature's 17th Airborne troops firing a bazooka one of which has a yellow scarfe...


Gaaaaa.... Embarassed

That's one of the "reference books" that I was referring to in my first reply. I never noticed the yellow scarf on the bazooka man until now.
I'm an idiot. I'll just shut up now. Laughing

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