I found this cool photo a while back and thought I would do a little analysis on why I find it so interesting. I assume it is a member of the 187th Parachute Infantry Regiment as they were the only part of the 11th Airborne Division to be sent to Korea.
1) Using what I assume is silk from a parachute for a helmet cover. A practice not seen very often. It also looks to be a different sized pattern than usual.
2) Looks like he has a 1946 pattern wool service shirt. They look very similar to the WWII era M1937s but have epaulets on the shoulders.
3) He is armed with a sidearm as well as the M2 Carbine. Interesting considering he’s a corporal. I assume it’s an M2 Carbine and not an M1 based on the 30 round Carbine pouch on his belt. Typically an M1 would be issued with 15 round magazines and the M2 with 30s.
4) An unusual pair of pants that I haven’t identified yet. They have regular pockets like M43s or later fatigues like OG-107s but then have thigh pockets like the WWII era HBTs. Most of the photos I’ve seen before were either the rigger modified M43 pants (same as seen in WWII) or HBTs. Could just be some HBT pockets that were sewn on a pair of M43s or similar. Either way, interesting.
5) An M4 bayonet mounted. You can clearly make out the ridges of the leather grip. Later ones were black plastic/bakelite
6) The divisional insignia doesn’t turn up much in photos in the field so it’s interesting to see it here. Also a very good example of the Korean War era rank patches. I was surprised to see them as early as 1950, I had previously thought they only turned up later in the war.