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Old 01-10-2018, 02:22 PM
Islanderflyer Islanderflyer is offline
 
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Default Paratrooper use of M1a1

My grandfather was a paratrooper in the US army during WWII. The little I know about him was that he served in Europe. I've often wondered what kinds of rifles these guys would have carried. I know of the M1a1, but were these the only carbines that paratroopers carried? What other guns would have been a possibility?
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2018, 04:58 PM
fmfpacdoc fmfpacdoc is offline
 
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Yes, the BAR, Browning light machine gun, bazooka, mortars, etc.. They were dropped separately from bags suspended under the DC3.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:12 PM
m1ashooter m1ashooter is offline
 
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Hope this helps. I'm looking for but haven't found yet the ops order for one of the airborne divisions ammo loadout for Market Garden. It required all riflemen to carry M2 AP.

http://www.101airborneww2.com/equipment.html
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2018, 05:38 PM
GM1MAN GM1MAN is offline
 
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My understanding is that it was understood that M2 AP was found to be a better all purpose round and was issued in en blocs to the troops. As always, I am open to correction.

As far as the weapons issued, yes, BAR'S, Light Machine Guns, Thompsons, M-1 Garands, M-1 Carbines, M1A1 Carbines, Bazookas and other weapons were issued. If the books I have read were to be believed, 1911 .45 ACP's were issued as well as light Mortars.

If I am wrong about this, I am sure others will pipe up.

The Glider Troops brought in light artillery, jeeps and other equipment.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2018, 05:53 PM
Firstflabn Firstflabn is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islanderflyer View Post
My grandfather was a paratrooper in the US army during WWII. The little I know about him was that he served in Europe. I've often wondered what kinds of rifles these guys would have carried. I know of the M1a1, but were these the only carbines that paratroopers carried? What other guns would have been a possibility?
As has been recommended in these precincts before, you need to try to find his unit. Ask all your older relatives whether they have any letters, wartime newspaper mentions, maybe an obit. If you identify the unit, you can order his service record from the National Archives. Unfortunately, about 80% of army WWII service records burned up in a fire. Even easier, call the county clerk in the county he made his residence immediately after the war. GIs were encouraged to file a copy of their discharge there. If found, they can provide you a copy.

The discharge would have his unit and his Military Occupation Specialty. It will also list the weapons he qualified with. His MOS will contain further clues about what weapon he likely carried.

Good luck in your hunt and keep us informed of your progress.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2018, 07:33 PM
BQ97 BQ97 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmfpacdoc View Post
Yes, the BAR, Browning light machine gun, bazooka, mortars, etc.. They were dropped separately from bags suspended under the DC3.
They were C-47s and C-53s not DC-3s, and cargo was pushed out the cargo compartment door.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2018, 09:17 PM
jcrowl jcrowl is offline
 
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My uncle was in B Company, 506th PIR of the 101st. He told me his favorite weapon was a Thompson SMG. Used one to wipe out a German machine gun nest
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2018, 06:58 AM
fmfpacdoc fmfpacdoc is offline
 
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Check your history. The C47, was the military version of the DC3.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2018, 07:39 AM
bandofM1 bandofM1 is offline
 
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Yes C-47 ,Brits Dakota.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2018, 09:02 AM
BQ97 BQ97 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmfpacdoc View Post
Check your history. The C47, was the military version of the DC3.
A C-47 is not just a DC-3 with a military paint job. Saying DC-3s were used for air drops is incorrect.

Compared to a DC-3 a C-47 has a longer wingspan, a shorter fuselage length, reinforced floor with cargo tie down point, internal winch system, tow anchor points in the tail cone, larger fuel tanks, a cargo door, and a few other differences.

The C-53 is a specialized version of the C-47 specifically made for air drops it has the same specs as a C-47 but lacks the reinforced floor, winch system, tow points and cargo door.
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