The 517th PRCT

In the vein of lesser know airborne here are some 517th PRCT photos. The 517th PIR was detached from the 17th Airborne Division and paired up with the 460th artillery and 596th engineers to form the independent 517th PRCT. They first saw action on Italy in 1944 then took part on Operation Dragoon. The southern France Campaign and then the Battle of the Bulge before finally being attached to the 13th Airborne Division. A very interesting unit worthy of research. They had unique helmet suspension set ups and would often sew the pockets of the jump trousers on to regular wool trousers. Other interesting things is the photos are the pistol grip Thompson, the regular stocked carbine, the camouflaged Garands and a trooper sporting that 3 knives. In pictures of the troopers loading up for dragoon you’ll see a lot of them wearing P38 holsters. Apparently they captured a supply of them so helped themselves to some extra sidearms. It’s a pretty deep rabbit hole of personal photos at the website so make sure you check them out. And the M1 Pencil blog does some outstandingly well researched posts so make sure to dig around in there too. I think there are a total of 3 posts on the 517th gear alone.

pistol grip hand guard Thompson
Maybe a riggers pouch just in front of the canteen?
Hamming it up with a grease gun
Full stocked M1 Carbine
A lot of different weapons in one photo
Good shot of the camo done for Operation Dragoon
Knife on his belt, knife on his canteen and one on his boot.
Gear lay out
M3, 1911, Knife, And some kind of buddle of maybe rifle grenades, and looks like a rifle grenade in his musette straps
Camouflage and P38 holsters
M1942 Jump pant pockets cut off and sewn onto M1937 wool trousers.
Pistol grip handguard and tapped mag M1928 in the center
Even has the specific helmet straps that the 517th used.

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