US WW2 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper grouping with M42 jacket, boots and M1-C helmet
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US WW2 Airborne grouping consisting of an original M42 paratrooper jump jacket, original brown leather paratrooper jump boots, and a late war M1-C paratrooper jump helmet.
These items were displayed together for many years by a collector in the United States, however the grouping is not named, and there is no provenance that these items belonged to an officer in the 82nd Airborne Division. However, based on the extensive wear and repairs to the jump jacket, and evidence that reinforced elbow pads were sewn on the elbows but later removed, I strongly believe that the jacket itself was definitely worn during the Normandy Campaign in June-July 1944. Additionally, there are two names/serial numbers visible on the collar of the jacket which also suggests this jacket was worn in combat in Normandy in 1944.
M42 Paratrooper Jump Jacket: the jacket shows extensive wear and repairs suggesting use in combat during the Normandy Campaign (June-July 1944). There is fading, and stitch marks on the elbows which suggests that reinforced elbow pads were once sewn on the elbows, but later removed for some reason. Two names are visible on the collar of the jacket, one says B-2542 and the other says Jones-31284488 (two different paratroopers). Other important jacket details: jacket size (42R) is stamped near the collar (desirable large size), jacket zipper is marked Talon, the small switchblade knife pocket zipper is marked Serval, the underarm ventilation holes are cloth (not metal grommets), the white manufacturer tag in the pocket is present but washed out and unreadable, and the black finish on the pocket and collar snaps has washed away so that the snaps mostly appear silver. There are also small stains on the right pocket flap and underneath the pocket which might be blood stains. The jacket is badged with an original 82nd Airborne Division patch (2-piece) and officer (Captain) insignia sewn on the shoulders.
Paratrooper Jump Boots: these jump boots are the correct 12-eyelet wartime boots and are not postwar boots. The soles are marked U.S. Army and Lite-Tread. The markings inside the shoe are visible: size = 8B, manufacture date = 26 July 1943, manufactured by the International Shoe Company (one of the leading manufacturers for regulation issue jump boots).
M1-C Jump Helmet: this helmet is typical of a late war (1945) paratrooper helmet. Helmet Shell is rear-seam, and the cotton webbing inside the liner is khaki. A last name (Robert) is stencilled in white letters inside the liner. The helmet shell chinstraps are also khaki. The liner leather chinstrap is present and intact. Officer rank (white Captain bars) is stencilled on the front of the helmet shell, and appears to be original wartime painted. The M1-C paratrooper helmet would probably be more appropriate for a late-war paratrooper display (for example 17th Airborne Division circa Operation Varsity in Spring 1945), however because most collectors cannot afford early original M2 paratrooper helmets it is common for Airborne collectors to display these original late-war helmets with mid-war jackets or Normandy displays, rather than displaying reproduction helmets.