The Insignia of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment
by Dob Wallace
© 1997 by author
During the conflagration known as World War II, a number of elite combat formations seized the attention of a world accustomed to news of destruction, struggle and courage. The genesis of these units was sometimes the result of chance and necessity, sometimes the product of careful planning and intense training. Some of their names were cryptic: Special Air Service, Long Range Desert Group, First Special Service Force; others were colorful: Commandos, Darbyís Rangers, Marine Raiders, Merrillís Marauders, to mention but a few. They quickly became household names. Now, fifty-odd years later, the names of the units have receded into the history books, but their deeds still stir our hearts. For collectors, eager to possess a tangible piece of these units' proud histories, their rare insignia has become the epitome of collecting.
One of the revolutionary advances during the war was the development of airborne techniques, strategy and tactics. Inspired by the thinking of Americaís Billy Mitchell and pioneered by the Russians, Germans and British, a new type of warrior emerged: the paratrooper. A volunteer hand-picked for his daring, each man was distinguished by his willingness to throw himself out of an airplane to enter combat. America soon recognized the potential of airborne warfare and rushed to create its own parachute and glider forces. A test platoon was followed by parachute battalions, which in turn were expanded into parachute regiments. Each regiment was destined to make its own blazing contribution to the winning of the war and to stake its claim to a piece of the history of elite combat forces. Among the first and best of the American parachute units was the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
The story of this outstanding regiment, also know as "Devils in Baggy Pants", is well documented. Its exciting history as part of the legendary 82nd Airborne Division, of which it was one of the original regiments, and as a separate combat team is familiar to military historians. The insignia worn by the men of this regiment in World War II, however, are not well documented. Some are known only to isolated veterans and advanced collectors. For example, the unofficial pocket patch produced and worn during the war by some 504 troopers is virtually unknown outside of select collecting circles, even to most members of the regiment. If this design is known at all, it is usually due to the copy made after the war for veterans, or possibly for collectors. This article is an attempt to begin documenting the insignia of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment before it is too late and a piece of the regimentís rich history is lost.
Because military insignia have interest only as symbols of distinct units and their traditions, it seems appropriate to provide a brief review of the history of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment prior to investigating its insignia.
The 504 PIR was activated on 1 May 1942 at Fort Benning, Georgia, one of the first of the new parachute infantry regiments formed during the army build-up following the attack on Pearl Harbor. The 504 initially was allocated to the Airborne Command. A little over three months later, on 15 August 1942, the fledgling regiment was assigned to the reorganizing 82nd Division, now designated an "airborne" division. It was to be a long and happy marriage. The 504th moved to join the division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on 30 September 1942.
Following a period of intensive training, the 82nd Airborne Division was alerted for overseas deployment. The 504 PIR staged at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, on 18 April 1943. Departing the United States through the New York Port of Embarkation, the paratroopers removed insignia and donned non-airborne uniforms, including leggings, in an attempt to keep the news of their movement overseas a secret. The ploy was not successful, and "Axis Sally" greeted them on their arrival in the Mediterranean. The 504th landed in North Africa at Casablanca on 10 May 1943 and bivouacked in the vicinity of Oujda and Kairouan. More training followed, and the 504th was assigned to patrol along the Mediterranean for German parachutists. A parade jump for Winston Churchill and other VIPs was also made. Finally, in the summer, the regiment was given a mission: along with the rest of the division, the 504th would participate in the invasion of Sicily.
On the night of 9 July 1943, the 3rd Battalion of the 504th jumped with the 505 PIR to open the assault on Sicily. The paratroopers were scattered widely but banded together to harass the enemy and begin to accomplish their missions. The rest of the 504th parachuted into Sicily on the night of 11 July 1943. It was on this night that tragedy struck the regiment. Although they had been alerted to expect friendly aircraft overhead, nervous antiaircraft gunners on the ships of the invasion fleet and on the beachhead opened fire on the troop carrier aircraft as they passed along the beach. Numerous aircraft laden with troops were shot down. Many of the surviving planes were damaged severely and paratroopers were strewn indiscriminately over the drop zones. Once again, though, the paratroopers managed to join up in small groups to attack the enemy. This airborne operation, although hampered by poor airdrops and friendly fire, disrupted the enemy defensive effort and proved to be a decisive element in the campaign.
Following the Sicilian campaign, Allied forces assaulted the mainland of Italy at Salerno. The Germans reacted quickly and the Allies soon found themselves in eminent danger of being pushed back into the sea. Faced with this precarious situation, Gen. Mark Clark turned to the 82nd Airborne Division. With just hours notice, the 504 PIR parachuted onto the beachhead at Salerno on 13-14 September 1943 to reinforce the allied troops. The regiment moved into the lines immediately upon landing and soon took the offensive, assaulting the high ground around Altavilla. Bitter fighting followed, as the 504th captured Hill 424 and held it against determined enemy counterattacks. Eventually the regiment secured Altavilla and the Germans began to withdraw from the Salerno area.
Following a brief period of R&R in Naples, the 504 PIR was detached from the 82nd Airborne Division to serve as mountain infantry in the rugged country to the north. Assigned the 376th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion and Company C of the 307th Parachute Engineer Battalion, the 504th became a regimental combat team. Meanwhile, the rest of the 82nd was withdrawn to North Africa, and then to Northern Ireland, to began preparations for its role in the Normandy Invasion. In the mountains, the 504th was to endure some of its epic battles, fighting in the vicinity of the Volturno River at Colli and Hill 1017, participating in the capture of Monte Sammucro near Venafro, and taking Hill 687 in the Liri Valley. After two months in the mountains, the 504th was pulled out of the line to refit and re-equip for the Anzio operation.
Originally, the 504th was to have parachuted onto the Anzio beachhead. At the last minute there was a change of plans, and the regiment landed in landing craft on D-Day, 22 January 1944. After a brief stint in reserve, the 504th was assigned positions along the Mussolini Canal in full view of enemy artillery observers in the Alban Hills. The regiment began an aggressive program of combat patrols to keep the enemy off-balance and maintain an active defense. The Germans had been allowed to strongly reinforce their positions around the beachhead before the 504th and other Allied units were finally committed to offensive action. The Allied attacks stalled. When the enemy counterattacked in the 504 sector, they were thrown back with heavy losses. A bloody stalemate ensued, and the Germans soon learned to respect the American paratroopers. It was at Anzio that a German diary was found, in which the troopers were referred to as "Devils in Baggy Pants". The 504 men enthusiastically adopted the new nickname. The 504 PIR was to remain at Anzio sixty-three days, during which time there was constant attrition of its strength due to regular enemy bombardment and shelling, combat patrol losses, and casualties from German attacks.
In England preparing for the invasion of France, Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, impatiently awaited the return of his long delayed combat team. Finally, on 10 April 1944, the 504 PIR departed Italy, arriving in England on 22 April, whereupon the unit rejoined the 82nd. It was eventually decided, however, that the 504th was in no condition for a quick return to combat. Accordingly, the regiment was not slated for the Normandy Invasion. The 504 PIR was, however, represented on D-Day, as a number of its men volunteered for duty in pathfinder units.
The 504th enjoyed a relatively extended period of reorganization, resupply and recuperation. Naturally, there was also more training. Then, in the late summer, the regiment was alerted for Operation Market-Garden. On 17 September 1944, the 504 PIR parachuted into the Netherlands. Its mission was to secure a number of strategic bridges, thereby clearing the way for the British 30th Corps to capture Arnhem and cross the Rhine. This time troop carriers dropped the paratroopers accurately on their drop zones near Grave. The regiment quickly accomplished its D-Day objectives and fought its way to Nijmegen, where it crossed the Waal River in assault boats under intense German fire to attack the important bridge there from the north side. With the help of a battalion from the 505 PIR attacking from the south, the bridge was secured. Their mission completed, the troopers were dismayed to discover that the British ground contingent appeared to be in no great hurry to rush on and relieve their airborne force at Arnhem. Ultimately, Market-Garden was only a partial success.
After a stretch of relatively static action on the Arnhem front, the 82nd Airborne Division was taken out of the line and bivouacked near Rheims, France. When the Germans struck in the Ardennes, opening the Battle of the Bulge, the division was one of very few reserve units available. Shifting from its position in the rear to the frontline within 24 hours, the 82nd moved up to Werbomont on 19 December 1944, and its regiments deployed. On 20 December, the 504th attacked a strong SS force at Cheneux to deny its bridge to the Germans. After a brutal clash, the town was taken, the defenders were thrown back across the AmblŤve River, and a number of German armored vehicles were captured. The regiment established defensive positions from Cheneux to Trois Ponts. As the German offensive progressed, some battalions of the 504th served as "troubleshooters" and were shifted to reinforce beleaguered defenses along the line. On Christmas Eve 1944, the 82nd was ordered to withdraw to consolidate and strengthen the defensive line. The 504th took new defensive positions at Bra. When the German drive stalled, the 82nd advanced, retaking the territory it had given up by 3 January 1945 and inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.
As the tide turned, the allies again took the initiative. On 28 January 1945, the 82nd Airborne Division was committed to the effort to push the Germans back into their homeland. The weather was horrible: deep snow made forward progress torturous. On 3 February 1945, the division broke through the Siegfried Line, then crossed the Roer River on 17 February. On 22 February, the division was relieved and moved back to its base at Rheims.
On 4 April 1945, the 82nd Airborne Division returned to the line, taking over security duty on a sector of the Rhine River near Cologne, Germany. Not content merely to hold its sector, the 504th frequently sent combat patrols across the river into Germany. The 82nd resumed the advance on 30 April, reaching and crossing the Elbe River. As the 504 PIR advanced eastward, the German 21st Army surrendered to the 82nd Airborne Division on 2 May. The war ended on 7 May 1945, as the 82nd mopped up in its sector.
Following occupation duty in Berlin, the 82nd Airborne Division, including the 504 PIR, returned to the United States on 3 January 1945. Chosen to represent the U.S. Army in New York Cityís Victory Parade, the division proudly marched up Fifth Avenue before returning home to Fort Bragg on 16 January 1945.
During its two years of combat, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment inscribed an enviable combat record: participation in six major campaigns; three combat parachute jumps and an amphibious landing; a total of five Presidential Unit Citations awarded to its units.
Of course, history is a great deal more than dates and places, no matter how evocative the dates or how famous the places. It is the story of individual effort. The chronicle of the "five-o-four" was painted in bold strokes by its troopers, many of whom received no recognition for their exploits other than the respect of their fellow soldiers. So it is in war. Any review of a wartime unitís history should recall at least a few of its men.
The 504th Parachute Infantryís only Medal of Honor winner was Pvt. John R. Towle. In fact, there were only three MOHs awarded in the entire 82nd Airborne Division. Towle was just a kid who had joined the regiment as a replacement in Italy. He was known as a quiet, thoughtful boy with dark hair and a wide grin. In other circumstances, he would have seemed to be just an ordinary young man at the beginning of his life. On that fateful day at Nijmegen, however, he was one of the first men in the regiment to spot a strong force of German grenadiers approaching. Led by two tanks and a half-track, the enemy threatened the battered group of 504 troopers holding on to the north bank of the Waal River by their fingernails.
Johnny Towle also happened to be the only bazooka man in the regiment with any rockets remaining. He is said to have remarked, as he took a deep breath below the rim of a covering bank, "I see that Iím going to get the Congressional today!" (Carter, p.151) He set out alone with his bazooka and, moving skillfully from position to position, disabled both tanks. Towle next turned his attention to a squad of German soldiers taking cover in a building. As they closed the door, he sent a rocket through it, wiping out the group. Johnny Towle then left cover to take aim at the remaining half-track. Before he could fire his shot, however, a German mortar round ended his life. He would never know that his actions had ended the counterattack, or that, as he had joked, he would receive the Medal of Honor... posthumously.
Col. Reuben H. Tucker III was the 504ís CO and best-known soldier. Graduating from West Point in the class of 1935, he paid his dues as a young officer with the 9th and 33rd Infantry Regiments during the armyís lean peacetime years. Always athletically inclined, and something of a daredevil, Tucker was one of the early volunteers for the new airborne forces. He was given command of the 504th a few months after it was activated and led the regiment throughout its time in combat. When the 504th finally came home at the end of the war, Rube Tucker marched at its head.
A demanding individual and a tough disciplinarian, Tucker was admired and respected by his men. As one of his troopers jokingly commented, "He is a hard old joker to get along with, but he stands up for our rights and we fight like hell for him." (Carter, p.129) Like the best of the airborne commanders, Tucker was a qualified parachutist. He jumped into combat with his men and shared their danger on the battlefield. He was one of them. General Gavin later described him as "a tough, superb combat leader...probably the best regimental combat commander of the war." (Gavin, p.67) Coming from Gavin, that is high praise, indeed.
Tuckerís toughness in battle can be illustrated by an incident that occurred at Salerno. During the struggle for the heights around Altavilla, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 504th were being subjected to intense shelling and counterattacks. Meanwhile, the regimentís 3rd Battalion was being held in corps reserve. Believing Tuckerís men were being annihilated, the corps commander called the colonel on the radio and gave him permission to withdraw. Tucker responded, "Retreat, hell! Weíve taken this g--d hill and weíre keeping it! Send me my other battalion!" (Breuer, They Jumped at Midnight, p.241-242)
Reuben Tucker rose to the rank of major general before retiring from the army in 1963. Following his retirement, he served as Commandant of Cadets at the Citadel Military Academy for five years. On 6 January 1970, he died unexpectedly while strolling in the afternoon---a fittingly peaceful, if early, end for a man who had survived his share of violence. Gen. Tucker is buried in the National Cemetery at Beaufort, South Carolina, near his oldest son, Major David B. Tucker, who was killed in action in Vietnam.
Every collector is familiar with the famous shoulder patch of the 82nd Airborne Division, which was worn proudly by all of its soldiers, including the troopers of the 504 PIR. Relatively few, however, are aware of the insignia which were exclusive to the 504th. When one asks a veteran of the regiment about a 504 patch, he usually responds by shaking his head and saying, "we didnít have any!" Occasionally, he may mention the unitís DI or crossed infantry rifles with bearing the number 504. Louis Hauptfleisch, who was an officer in the 504th and served as regimental adjutant during its last two campaigns, told me that he had no knowledge of a pocket patch, adding, "I was with the unit from the beginning. If there had been a patch, I was in a position to have known about it." There is evidence, however, that such a patch did exist. The identity of those who arranged to have it made up remains a mystery. The unequivocal statement above, however, makes it seem likely that the patch was unauthorized and its wear fairly isolated, possibly limited to the junior officers of a single battalion. If the majority of the regimentís troopers, not to mention responsible officers such as Hauptfleisch, were unaware of a 504 pocket patch, it is hardly surprising that the patch remains virtually unknown to most collectors over fifty years later.
One tantalizing clue, encountered by chance many years ago, made me believe in the existence of a 504 pocket patch. I was a student at Montana State University and had a decent accumulation of World War II era shoulder patches, many of which I had acquired as a kid from army surplus stores. One day, while browsing in the college library, I ran across a copy of Soldiers magazine with an article discussing patch collecting. (Richards, "The Patch Game") The author had interviewed collector Ann Betts and illustrated his article with photographs of her "patch blanket." A short foray into collecting German war souvenirs had educated me to the problem of reproductions, and I was suspicious of "pocket patches" almost to the point of paranoia. But here was a photo of Miss Betts pointing to a 504 patch that was obviously too large to be worn on the shoulder. I resolved to be on the lookout for one.
When I finally found a 504 patch years later at a gun show, I happily brought it home to compare with my old photocopy of the Soldiers article. Unfortunately, the patch I had purchased appeared to be significantly different from the one of Betts in the photograph. After spending some time playing the "variation" game in an effort to convince myself that my 504 patch might be genuine, I wrote to Ann Betts and asked about her patch. Miss Betts graciously responded and sent me a photocopy of the patch in question, which was still on her blanket. She wrote that she had served overseas with the Red Cross during the war and that she had been given the patch by a captain from the 504th while on R & R in Nice, France, in the spring of 1945. (Betts, private correspondence) I regarded the information Miss Betts provided with mixed emotions: I now had first-hand evidence that a 504 patch existed, but that evidence cast serious doubt on my patch, which was much different than one known to be genuine. I had acquired the mass-produced, US-manufactured version, which will be discussed below.
Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this story. A few years later, I was able to secure from a reputable source a pocket patch that is attributable to a 504 veteran. This patch is identical to the one on Ann Bettsís blanket. Along the way, other pieces of evidence of the authenticity of this insignia appeared. A much deteriorated example of this patch was shown in the 1995 The Trading Post article on cloth airborne insignia. The author, Les Hughes, wrote of having contacted a number of 504 veterans, none of whom were familiar with the patch, but he also refers to a statement by a Col. Frank Dietrich of the 504th that his unit had a patch matching the description of the one pictured in the article. Hughes concluded that the pocket patch could not have been widely disseminated. (Hughes, "Cloth Airborne Insignia of WWII: A Primer", p.34.) Finally, long sought photographic documentation was found. George A. Sellner, a 504 veteran, provided a photograph of himself wearing a A-2 jacket with the 504 pocket patch stitched to the front. The patch on Sellner's A-2 is identical to Miss Bettsís patch. Sellner remembers the patches well and states that they were obtained while the regiment was still in the US, probably in late 1942 or early 1943. Officers purchased the large patches for wear on their leather jackets. Significantly, Sellner was returned to the States after Anzio with a severe case of amoebic dysentery. Unfortunately, his A-2 with its patch were stolen from a vehicle in Naples.
The above evidence is all that I have been able to assemble regarding the 504 pocket patch. It seems rather sparse in comparison to the documentation of other airborne insignia, but this paucity of information is understandable in light of what must have been the very limited distribution of the patch. Perhaps there will be readers who can add to our knowledge.
While what follows is speculation, it conforms to the available evidence. I believe it is probable that the designer of this insignia was Staff Sergeant Sam DeCrenzo, who served with the Headquarters Company of the first battalion of the 504. DeCrenzo, a draftsman, is remembered as an outstanding artist. He produced numerous drawings and paintings of 504 campaigns, created the motif of the unitís silver service known as "Tuckerís Tumbler", and is reputed to have designed the regimental DI. I believe it is likely DeCrenzo that is responsible for the design of the unofficial 504 pocket patch. As to the time and place of manufacture of the patch, some collectors describe it as "theater-made." And the devil-thumbing-his-nose design could be viewed as having been inspired by the captured German diary which gave the troopers the appellation "devils in baggy pants." This would indicate production during or after the Anzio campaign. On the other hand, this view is contrary to the recollection of George Sellner who recalls having and wearing the patch prior to the regiment's leaving the States. Sellner's evacuation after Anzio would have made it impossible for him to have gotten his patch after that time. In addition, a devil motif is not uncommon on airborne insignia. The chenille and chain-stitch construction, commonly employed for athletic jacket letters and symbols, is very similar to that of some early US-made squadron patches as well as to that of the jacket patch of the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery, which was made in the States. Furthermore, chenille is rare in theater-made insignia. With these points in mind, I believe the patches were produced in the US before the regiment was shipped overseas. Unfortunately, it is difficult to prove or disprove this theory, as the matter is complicated by the passage of fifty years.
As the reader will see in the accompanying photograph of this pocket patch, the entire design is executed on a very large off-white wool felt disc. The central figure is tightly chain-stitched in red and outlined in blue chain-stitching. The parachute is worked in a white chenille stitch, also outlined in blue, and the patch is bordered by a single blue chain-stitched line. The overall effect of the patch is very impressive: Ann Betts called it the "star" of her collection. Unfortunately, the usual caveats apply in regard to this insignia. As discussed above, this pocket patch is extremely rare, and the potential purchaser would do well to request documentation and proceed with caution. Already there have been reports of relatively well executed reproductions, and, regrettably, a new wave of reproductions may well follow publication of this article.
The existence of another pocket patch of a very similar design is well known in collecting circles. This is the so-called "US-made" variation. It was this variety that I first acquired in my search for an original 504 pocket patch. It differs from the patch documented above in some significant details. Most noticeably, it is much smaller in size. The figure is not outlined in blue, but rather has some details picked out in white. The parachute is not done in chenille, but is merely outlined in blue, leaving the white of the background wool to show through. The design is bordered by two concentric blue circles, rather than the single border described above. And finally, it has to be said that the devil does not have the panache of the original! While I certainly have no desire to lend credibility to later productions, some runs of this patch are definitely World War II "period pieces". These patches may have been sold to veterans at the end of the war (cf. Hughes, "Authentic Reproductions"), as well as collectors. Other productions of this design were intended for the collecting market. Even these later copies are now rare and are often mistaken for originals.
The next category of insignia for discussion is the often overlooked parachutist wing background trimming, or background oval. Here, once again, there is some difference of opinion. It seems that the ovals worn varied somewhat from unit to unit, and possibly, from individual to individual. The World War II oval most commonly associated with the 504 PIR, although it is by no means a common item, is infantry blue with a gold border. This oval is fully embroidered and has a squarer shape than is normally encountered in ovals of the period. This oval has been found in the groupings of a number of 504 veterans of World War II and has been confirmed by others. This background continues to be worn by the regiment to the present day, although, of course, materials and methods of manufacture have changed.
There appear also to have been a number of bullion and theater-made variations of this oval, however I have not been able to confirm this with veterans. To complicate the matter, some veterans report that other ovals were worn. Louis Hauptfleisch still has the "back patch," as he calls it, that he wore as an officer in the 504th. He describes it as follows: "Mine (an original) is white, red and blue. White being the broad outer ring of the oval, then a thinner red ring with the center thereof a dark blue." (Hauptfleisch, private communication) Hauptfleisch goes on to state that to his recollection this oval was worn only by officers. He believes enlisted men wore a blue oval with white border. George Sellner also reports having worn this background. Collectors are familiar with this insignia, although its use by the 504th is not commonly recognized. An oval matching this description is pictured on the back cover of a period booklet about the Parachute School, and it may have been worn by other organizations, as well. It is also well known that blue ovals with white or light blue borders were worn by troopers from a variety of regiments as a more or less generic infantry insignia. Both Hauptfleisch and Sellner were commissioned, and it is possible the white, red and blue background was a generic oval worn by infantry officers.
There are two other items of insignia that were exclusive to the 504 PIR. The most significant of these is the unitís distinctive insignia (DI), or in common parlance, crest. The DI of the 504 consists of a shield, which is described in heraldic terms as "azure, a sword in bend argent, hilt and pommel or, fired proper." (Sawicki, p.620-621) Crudely put, for those of us who donít speak that language, a burning sword is depicted on a blue shield. Under the shield is a scroll with the motto "STRIKE - HOLD". Although this DI was not approved officially until sometime later, it was available in the immediate postwar years and may have been worn during World War II. Once again, veterans point to unit artist Sam DeCrenzo as the designer of this insignia. Finally, period photographs also show officers of the 504 PIR wearing infantry branch insignia with the numerals "504" positioned above the crossed rifles. Louis Hauptfleisch confirms this practice and still possesses his. (Hauptfleisch, ibid)
Many individuals who have reached the most advanced levels of collecting are very cagey about sharing information outside of an intimate circle of fellow collectors. Some feel that any information they publish may aid the unscrupulous who are diluting--or one could say, polluting--our hobby with reproductions. Unfortunately, experience has shown that this view is often accurate. Good reproductions do follow the publication of detailed information about rare insignia, and over-eager collectors are often duped into paying exorbitant prices for junk. So the question is: Why prepare articles for print, when the information in them can be used to hurt the hobby? For me the answer is simple. Weíre not really talking about collecting here; weíre talking about history. If history is not recorded, it is lost. Collectors are curators of Americaís history, and the items in their collections are actually only in their temporary custody. With proper care and preservation, the historical artifacts we collect will survive us. It is our responsibility to future generations to document them to the best of our ability.
A number of individuals have provided information, insignia or photographs for this project and/or assisted in the preparation of the article. Accordingly, I would like to thank the following, without whose help it would not have been possible: Ann Betts, Vickie Cawthra, Jerry Dobesh, Louis Hauptfleisch, Les Hughes, Dan Popa, Bill Scott, George Sellner and Gene Wallace. Of course, the responsibility for factual errors and for the conclusions drawn and the opinions expressed remains solely that of the author. I encourage anyone who notes errors or who has additional information to contact me. Finally, I wish to thank my wife, Teresa, for her invaluable help and support in this endeavor.
Blair, Clay. Ridgwayís Paratroopers. New York: The Dial Press, 1985.
Breuer, William B. Geronimo!. New York: St. Martin Press, 1989.
Breuer, William B. They Jumped at Midnight. New York: Jove Books, 1990.
Carter, Ross S. Those Devils in Baggy Pants. New York: Signet Books, 1957.
Devlin, Gerald M. Paratrooper!. New York: St. Martinís Press, 1979.
Gavin, James M. On to Berlin. New York: The Vikings Press, 1979.
Hughes, Les. "Authentic Reproductions." The Trading Post, Oct.-Dec. 1985: p.10.
Hughes, Les. "Cloth Airborne Insignia of WWII: A Primer." The Trading Post, Jan.-Mar. 1995: p.33-40.
Richards, SSgt. Zack. "The Patch Game." Soldiers, Nov. 1976: p.50-52.
Rottman, Gordon. U.S. Army Airborne 1940-90. Elite Series, No. 31. London: Osprey Publishing, 1990.
Sawicki, James A. Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army. Dumfries, VA: Wyvern Publications, 1982.
Stanton, Shelby L. Order of Battle: U.S. Army, World War II. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1984.