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The 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion (reenacted)
Gear And Uniform REQUIRMENTS

What you need to know and have! For the Front!

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Because the 551st was quickly put together and never reached regimental strength, it never got the resources that most other airborne units received, nor did the 1st AB TF for that matter, due to priority going to units taking part in D-Day.  Because the battalion trained to be a quick reaction force and because of the transition time between Panama and deployment to Southern France, the unit pioneered many new things including creating parachute equipment, jump testing, and the use of camoflage.  There was also a change in what the uniform the unit wore due to wear and tear, replacement, and weather.  We therefore, will wear the uniform that closely ties with the timeframe of the scenario.  If no particular date is set then we will default to the Operation Dragoon uniform. 





- M1C Helmet, camoflage painted, palm tree stenciled on both sides, 2in camo netting or camo parachute cover.

- 1942 pattern Jump Suit, spray painted black and green in a horizontal pattern.

- Double Buckle Boots or Cocorran Jump Boots.  The first is the preferred.

- Wool shirt

- Wool pants

-        Green or brown athletic shirt or white T-shirt

-        Headgear (Overseas cap, black French beret with or without camoflage cover; these were acquired by the soldiers; many photos of this. (1st ABTF, Michel De Trez)



Equipment  (All this was spray painted black and green before Operation Dragoon)

Personal gear can be set up to the wishes of the owner depending on weapon system being carried but will include:

-        Musette Bag

-        Combat Suspenders

-        Pistol Belt

-        10 Pocket Belt

-        Canteen, cup and cover (at least one set)

-        T-handle cut down E-tool or Folding E-tool cut down

-        First Aid Pouch


Unique and Optional Equipment (rigger made equipment refers to what the 551st specifically made and is made from OD green canvas and chrome lift the dot closures; also painted black and green)

-        Rigger made Thompson pouches

-        Rigger made 3 pocket Garand pouches

-        Rigger made 3 magazine Carbine pouches

-        Rigger made 1911 Pistol pouches

-        Thompson 50 rd drum pouches

-        Compass pouch or wrist compass

-        Machete

-        GP Ammo Bag

-        Wire cutters

-        Griswold Bag

-        Italian Gas Mask Bag





-        1942 Jumpsuit (tops predominately)

-        1943 Combat Uniform (Jacket worn or just the 5 Button Sweater)

-        5 button brown sweater

-        Unit was issued ski parkas for patrolling in ALPs

-        Tanker Suits

Mixing of these  uniforms was quite common.  The 1943 uniform pieces were not spray painted black and green.

-        Headgear: Overseas cap, black beret, or jeep cap.




Same as listed for Operation Dragoon




-        Class A 4 button tunic and trousers (Enlisted had either no unit patch or wore the Airborne Command patch; Officers and senior NCOs had theatre made 551 patchs)

-        Overseas Cap (Officers work rank and early Airborne Oval; Enlisted wore early Airborne Oval and U.S Disk opposite oval.  Some enlisted took the parachutes from the airborne wings and silver soldered them over the rifle disks)

-        Ike Jacket and trousers

-        Jacket Choice (A2, B10 Officers Only) (Tanker, Parsons, Mackinaw) & Jump Pants

-        One piece camoflage coveralls & jungle boots (this is to honor the training the unit did in Panama; limited to event Fridays)





The following weapon systems can be used. 

-        M1 Garand

-        M1A1 Carbine

-        Thompson SMG

-        M3 Grease Gun

-        03A4 Springfield Sniper Rifle

-        1911 .45 Automatic

-        German sidearms (Luger, Walther, or P38)  This has been verified by several written sources as well as by the veterans themselves.

-        Browning Automatic Rifle

-        .30 1919 Browning Machine Gun (A shortened version of this is also allowed.  The 551st actually got permission from the Ordnance Dept to cut 6 inches off the barrel to make it easier to jump with.)

-        Grenades (American to include rifle grenades for both the Garand and Carbine.  German grenades were used quite frequently as well)

-        M1A1 Bazooka

-        Knives (M3 fighting knife, WWI trench knife, and V-42s)






-        American or British Jeep Variants

-        German Kubelwagen or Schwimwagen (These were used in Southern France on a regular basis only)


Gear and Uniform

A basic list of gear.


Goya means

"Get Off Your Ass"

examples of Use

"Alright men lets Goya!"

"Send in the Goyas!"

"The Goyas fought hard and long."