Since Sep. 2003


EQUIPMENT

The equipment below is the main equipment used by the American army during WWII and what you will eventually need. I stress the word eventually as we know you won't be able to get all the kit straight away. We use M41s/wools for public events and M43s for private battles. This gives us an impression of both types of kit, and the M43s suit our needs for the battles better than the M41/wool clothing does.

We get a discount at a few suppliers we use regularly, and have searched for the best reproduction clothing (when reproductions are needed). We have a kit list in a word document for potential new members which is more extensive than this.

Insignia

29th Infantry Division patch (raw-edge)
I've put the 29th ID patch here as it's an important part of identifying who we are. It must be raw edge, as the modern ones have a thick black edge that stands out a mile off! You need a patch on each one of your jackets and your wool shirt, 1 inch from the top of the sleeve on the left arm.

116th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Insignia
This was worn on the Class A jacket (on the lapels) and the overseas cap. In total you will need 3 of these. How to use them is explained further down.

 

All Events

These are items that you should really buy first, as you will use them in all types of events. This is the basic kit without clothing.

M1 Helmet (front seamed, fixed or swivel bail with net)
The M1 helmet was front seamed with fixed bails until the end of 1943. After this the seam (or the rim of the helmet) was joined at the back and the bails were changed to the swivel type. Make sure yours in front seamed, as rear seamed helmets with swivel bails were produced way up to the 1980's! The one pictured is an original front seamed, fixed bail helmet that could do with a repaint!

Garand Ammo Belt or pistol belt, depending on weapon (tan)
The garand ammo belt for the M1 garand rifle and a pistol belt for an M1 carbine, Thompson M1A1 or other weapons. It has to be in the correct khaki shade, not green.

First aid pouch (tan) and carlisle tin
Again worn at all events, it was probably (apart from the canteen) the most common item seen on a belt. The pouch needs to be tan, and the tin can be any variation.

Canteen, cup and cover (tan)
The canteen, cup and mug combination hooks onto your belt via the wire prongs on the back. We use these in all our events and store it with water, it keeps the energy levels up on the hot days and during the battles!

Other Pouches/Bags
Depending on your weapon you'll want some pouches or a Thompson magazine bag/General purpose ammunition bag. See the photo attached for what each pouch/bag is for. We go into battles with just weapons and ammo, so we don't need haversacks.

 

Private Battles

M1943 Field Jacket
Issued largely in the ETO from late 1944 we use M43's for private battles as they are more durable than your wool clothing. It gives us an impression of both types of kit too. We can get these from our own supplier at a very good price. A 29th patch is sewn onto it.

M1943 Trousers
The trousers to match the jacket. Again we can get these from our own supplier for a very good price. We wear the variation without the side pockets.

Green T-Shirt
An army green T-shirt to be worn underneath your field jacket. The colour has to be similar to the one pictured but not neccessarily marked in the same way.

Boots (Buckle boots)
As buckle boots were mainly issued with the M43 clothing we wear them at private battles instead of the roughout boot that were worn with gaitors.

 

Public Shows

M41 Field Jacket
The famous M41 field jacket. A nice tan shade (with a greenish tinge) and 29th patch sewn onto the left arm one inch down.

M1937 Wool Trousers
The wool 'mustard' trousers. Not alot to say about them really, apart from the fact unless you can find originals in your size go with the reproductions from Motion Picture Props - they are the closest to originals I have seen.

Wool Enlisted Mans Shirt
Wool shirts again are best from Motion Picture Props unless you can find an original. Originals are actually quite easy to come by at good prices, but if you're over a size 40 chest you may have problems.

Belt (Enlisted mans, tan)
The enlisted mans belt is in a tan shade and has a blackened buckle. The officers type has a gold buckle with a sliding bar on it, so be sure to get the enlisted man variation.

Gaiters (Leggins, tan)
The gaiters were worn with the roughout boots and go around the trouser as shown. Remember with these the buckle goes on the outside (left foot, buckle to the left, right foot buckle to the right) and the loops towards the back. See the photo for an example!

M1928 Haversack with meatcan pouch
The haversack is clipped to your webbing belt and worn as a backpack. If you're new to all this don't be put off by all the straps and it's odd looking design, once you know how it works you'll be putting it together in seconds! We train new members on how to use it.

T-Handle Shovel with cover
The T-handle shovel attaches to your haversack. These were issued early on in the war before the folding shovel came into use sometime in 1944. However we use the T-handle shovel as it was used for D-day and thereafter, so it gives a more accurate impression.

Mess Tin (Including knife, fork and spoon)
The mess tin and KFS (knife, fork, spoon) can have any date as they were still the same pattern up until the 1980's (I think it was the 80's!) It's best to buy one at a show so you can make sure it's not rusted or damaged in any way. It goes into your meatcan pouch on the haversack.

Boots (Roughout boots)
Gaitors are worn over the top of these as shown. Finding an original pair in your size will be very very hard, some may say impossible! So a reproduction pair is the way forward (Again from Motion Picture Props)

 

D-Day Kit

We occasionally put on a d-day display at our public events and also go to Normandy every year, so we have the extra kit issued for d-day. These are not compulsory right away but you will need them eventually for the d-day impression, apart from the assault vests which were very rare (only around 7000-8000 issued) so we only have a few in the unit.

M7 Assault Gas Mask Bag
This is a black rubberised assault gas mask bag, worn around the chest over your webbing. The straps can be khaki or green, it doesn't matter with this item. It has 4 button snaps (not 3 lift the dot ones, they are post war) and needs the markings on the front of it.

Life Preserver Belt
This life belt was issued in large numbers to the invasion troops and went around the waist over the webbing. It was discarded quickly after the invasion and could be inflated by the mouth or two CO2 cylinders inside the belt.

Gas Brassard
This was worn on the left or right shoulder and was tied at the top to the epaulettes on your M41 jacket. It detected chemical agent in the air, and if it came into contact with the brassard it changed to a different colour.

Assault Vest
Issued in both khaki and green, the assault vest was given to members of the 1st, 4th and 29th Infantry along with the 2nd Rangers. Having 1 in the group is fine as they were very rare. Everyone having one would certainly NOT be the case so you don't have to get one.

 

Evening Dress

The wool shirt and wool trousers are the same as those used in the public displays which is why it would be a good idea to have two pairs. Again this isn't essential kit but does take your impression to the next level.

Class-A 4 Pocket Enlisted Mans Jacket
This jacket has 4 front pockets and was issued to the enlisted man throughout the war. We do not use the 'Ike' jacket! Originals can be found in good sizes. A 29th patch is sewn onto the left arm again and you'll see here where the insignia go.

Wool Shirt and Wool Trousers
The shirt and trousers are the same as those described in the Public Events section. Please see them for what you need and where to buy.

Tie, khaki, cotton
The cotton tie worn with the shirt is a khaki shade and made of cotton.

Service Shoes
A russet-leather shoe, somewhat like the roughout boot. I don't have too much information on this item at the moment but when I know more and where to get them from I will post it here.

Overseas Cap (with blue piping)
If you get any of the items above first, it would be wise to get this cap as you can wear it at public events with your M41 clothing too. It has the 116th Infantry Regiment DI on it too. The blue piping signifies Infantry.

 

Other

Although not essential immediately, the following items are needed as they form part of your impression. Like I said we know you won't be able to get all of this kit right away, that would be impossible.

Wool Jeep Cap
This is especially useful in cold weather to wear underneath the helmet. It's a wool cap with side flaps that fold down to cover the ears if needed.

Colt 1911 Pistol Holster
You will need one if you carry a Carbine, but they're optional if you carry a garand/thompson.

Greatcoat
This is another winter item that is again very useful as it keeps you warm through the cold events. The buttons must be the gold US eagle marked type.

Clown Face
The clown face, issued sometime after 1942 by the Army Circus Corps, is modelled here by Cpl. Galbraith in Normandy 2004.

 

Weapons

M1 Garand
The standard US army rifle that saw action in every theatre of operation in large amounts. It used an 8 round clip (en-bloc) that ejected when the last round was fired.

M1A1 Thompson
The Thompson submachine gun took 30 or 20 round magazines, although 20 round were far more common in the ETO. The calibre was .45 ACP.

M1 Carbine
The carbine was lighter than the Thompson and Garand and used 15 or 30 round magazines, with the 15 round being more common. It was mainly issued to tank crews and those on crew-served weapons (machine guns, mortars etc)

Colt 1911 Pistol