517th PRCT - Op Dragoon, 1944

Like the majority of the US paratroops involved in the invasion this soldier wears a spray-painted M42 suit.

The camouflage was applied by detachments of the Corps of Engineer using spray guns or bug spray guns. The paint was standard olive and black vehicle paint.

Not only were the uniforms sprayed but the webbing equipment as well. Here the M1923 cartridge belt, M36 suspenders, M36 Musette Bag, canteen cover and e-tool carrier have all been given a spray.

The bayonet for his M1 rifle is the shorter 1942 pattern.

The camouflage was topped off with heavy applications of green and black "cam"cream.

His helmet is particular to the 517th. There was a shortage of the specific parachutists helmet (the M2) within the Mediterranean theatre, but there was a healthy supply of the standard M1.

The 517th rigger shops simply took one of these standard M1's and chopped the chinstrap and attached a buckle either side to allow a rigger made chin strap to be worn. This design was very popular and was deemed to be superior to the arrangements on the M2 helmets!

He wears the standard jump boots, with an M3 fighting knife (in a M8 scabbard) strapped to his lower right leg and the "parachute" first aid packet strapped to the lower left.