101st Airborne PIR photo - questions?

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Dixon Cannon, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. Dixon Cannon

    Dixon Cannon My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Hi mates, Here is an interesting photo of a paratrooper with a questionable caption.
    The paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" jumped between 0048 and 0140 British Double Summer Time on June 6. We know he is WW2 101st Airborne Division, 326 Engineer Battalion PIR due to the ‘E’ helmet decal. The ‘tick’ mark at the 9 O’clock position indicates ‘C Company’.
    I think this is a training jump elsewhere. First, it’s daylight not midnight. Second, my research finds no “Operation Flatbush” for Heisville, France - ‘Flatbush’ was a rendevous point for
    C-47’s approaching the Normandy coast prior to the jump. I have found photos of troopers in Heisville though, though it is my understanding that it was primarily a glider location.

    You have to hand it to the photographer though; he must have removed a window just forward of the exit door (one or two forward) and leaned into the slipstream to take this. It is well composed so it doesn't look like he just stuck the camera out the window.

    Any comments on this would be appreciated as I find it very curious.

    [​IMG]



    -dixon cannon
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  2. I'd say that this pic was taken sometime after the Normandy Campaign possibly in preparation for one of several airborne operations that were planned but were scrubbed due to the rapidity of the Allied advance.
     
  3. RHY

    RHY One of the Regulars

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  4. CinIN

    CinIN New in Town

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    I thought this photo was puzzling too. I first saw it a few days ago as I was paging through the Oct/Nov, 2013 issue of Air and Space Magazine, published by the Smithsonian. I had never heard of an Operation Flatbush either and an online search led me to this webpage.

    Yesterday I finally got around to reading the article accompanying the picture and found the explanation. The photographer was Lyle Jansma, and the picture was taken in June, 2012 during a reenactment of the Normandy invasion. It shows re-enactor Francois Kovats dressed in period uniform exiting a C-47 that had actually flown as part of the D-day invasion. To quote the article, Jansma "created his own tribute by treating the photo to make it appear as though it had been shot in 1944." Obviously he did an excellent job.

    An online search for Lyle Jansma will turn up many other excellent aviation photographs.
     
  5. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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  6. Dixon Cannon

    Dixon Cannon My Mail is Forwarded Here

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  7. Two Types

    Two Types I'll Lock Up

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    Whilst we are talking about re-enactment jumps, the most impressive had to be when the 33 American veterans jumped into Normandy in 1994 to celebrate the 50th anniversary. I just found this newspaper article which says that neither the men's wives nor the US governmetn were happy about it but as one of the men put it: "If i could jump when people were shooting at me, why can't i jump now?"
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...n5jAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nnkNAAAAIBAJ&pg=6927,4373119
    Interestingly, they used a photograph of one of the veterans from California, Bill Sykes.
    Bill was the odd-man out on the jump since in 1944 he had been a British paratrooper who settled in the USA in the 1960s.
     
  8. rjb1

    rjb1 Practically Family

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    One indication that it's a European reenactment is that none of the people have rifles (or even pistols). US reenactors would have M1 rifles or carbines.
     
  9. Demolition Man

    Demolition Man New in Town

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    Hi, everyone.

    You're right, this is a reenactment jump made in 2012 if my memory serves me well. Parachutes pictured here are of the T-10 family ( most are in fact MC1's ). You can tell by the shape of the backpack and the thin yellow static line. Another clue is the deployment bag containing the canopy at the end of the suspension lines of the second paratrooper ( the one holding his helmet ) and, last but not least, the first jumper's canopy has an anti-inversion net, which T-5 parachutes didn't have.

    Operation "Flatbush" was the first time since WW2 since a C47 loaded with paratroopers took off from Great-Britain ( Lee-on-Solent ), flew to the french coast following the same flight route as in 1944 and dropped us in the vicinity of Hiesville, near Ste-Marie-du-Mont ( former drop zone C ). On this particuliar occasion, we weren't allowed to carry weapons with us. But we did in fact make jumps in Normandy at night with full gear and weapon.



    The fact is that some people photoshoped the picture and erased the caption and sometimes my helmet marking, adding grain, to make it look "older" and published it in magazines as a war time photo.

    For me, it was the million dollar pic because, of all the pictures taken by Lyle on this day, this one was clearly the best. Here's, in color, the complete sequence of my exit :

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    François Kovats
     
  10. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Outstanding Francois. Ex-101st Airborne:)
     
  11. Demolition Man

    Demolition Man New in Town

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    Thank you, Harp. :) Blue skies !
     

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