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Parachute Buckle

Article about: This Parachute Buckle is before my time (1970's) anyone know if it's WW2 issue.

  1. #1

    Default Parachute Buckle



    Click image for larger version. 

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    This Parachute Buckle is before my time (1970's) anyone know if it's WW2 issue.

  2. #2
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    I believe it is WW2, as all the four strap securing buckles have released from the "clock" quadrant.
    The next model .. slightly later in WW2, retained one of the buckles (on strap) when the "clock" was turned/released.

    Gary J.

    Noting that the 1st model in this style had a complete circular dial when first issued.
    The flat edge was cut into the dial to stop mishandling or misinterpretation of "clock" lock position.

  3. #3
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    Here's a 1st model (cutaway dial) "clock" that was retrieved from DZ "K" Arnhem.
    Note the clock has not been operated (opened) and thus possibly from a KIA as the parachute was never released from it's body straps.

    Gary J.
    (Thanks to GFC).
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Looks like that the buckle "dial" has been partially melted by intense heat as well.

    Philip

  5. #5

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    Thanks Gary J for the information you provided and especially the image, it does indeed look like the buckle in your photo. Looking at the state of your buckle it looks like it's wearer went down with the aircraft!
    I jumped at Arnhem 1975/8. Thanks again for the reply.

  6. #6

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    (Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.)

    I bought one of these a few years ago (eBay). At the back of mine is a slot to accept a 45mm strap. On earlier wartime X Type harnesses, all four lugs release and the QRF box stays attached to the harness via a strap that's sewn to the harness:

    Parachute X-type, Mark II, white harness, 1943 Airborne troops Original BRITISH MILITARIA at Paratrooper
    (Click the main pic to see it larger. You'll see that the strap attaches to the left side of the harness.)

    When I tried to orientate it, I found that the text is 90 degrees out if I angle the (locked) box to where that strap would attach.

    I've not been able to open it so I don't know if that can be corrected (for X Type). It might have been reassembled wrong - or perhaps it's for a RAF parachute. Some motorsport enthusiasts seem to like them for safety belts so I'm wondering if it's been modded for that.

    ##

    I initially thought these second versions with the straight edge were WWII but I'm unsure, now. They were certainly used decades later. Any pointers would be most welcome.

  7. #7

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    Quote by FallschirmWomble View Post
    I initially thought these second versions with the straight edge<snip>
    WHOA!!!

    I got it wrong. Took me a while to work it out. Better late than never...

    After YEARS of studying contemporary pictures, I've never been able to find a SINGLE example of one of these "cutout segment" QRF boxes on a X Type in use for parachuting by ANY member of British Airborne Forces. That's WWII and postwar.

    MISCONCEPTION #1:
    In our stores (I'm Airborne, 1980s/90s), we had a "harness release and drag practice" dummy rig with one of these boxes - and that's played a big part in confusing me over the years. It made me think that these boxes WERE used on X Types at some time.

    I've reasoned that this type of box was used on a dummy rig simply because it would NEVER be used for actually parachuting. These dummy rigs need to look slightly different to "live" rigs (to prevent them being mistakenly used on a drop) and can also be made up of odds and ends.

    Why fit an expensive serviceable item to an item of ground training kit when a functional but uncertified item would do?

    MISCONCEPTION #2:
    I used the 1980s "PX4" version of the X Type rig ("Type X Mk3"). When you slapped the release dial, 3 straps were released, the fourth remaining in the QRF. This is how it remained attached to the harness.

    I knew that most wartime X Type rigs had the same system - but some released all 4 straps and remained attached to the rig via a 44mm strap. Just as others had, I reasoned that, because the Mk3 X Type only released 3 straps, it had to be the second type (Mk2) that did the same with the first type (Mk1) releasing all 4 straps.

    The logical evolution of design and improvement - but I was wrong!

    The correct definitions of X Type marks:
    The Mk1 (wartime) and Mk3 (mid-1950s to mid-1990s) X Types released 3 straps, the Mk2 (late wartime to mid-1950s) released 4.

    If you watch the Alan Ladd film "The Red Beret" (aka "Paratrooper") (1953), you'll note that the rigs used are Mk2s with the 44mm attachment strap.

    The Mk3 rigs entered soon after the film was made, with the double D Rings for container and reserve parachute.

    ##

    So, back to your cutout segment QRF:

    1. I don't think it was used on a live X Type rig, wartime nor postwar.
    2. The cutout segment QRFs seem only to have been used on RAF aircrew rigs.
    3. Studying photographs of wartime cutout segment QRFs, I don't think the wartime ones had the oiling hole in the dial.


    I saw a picture of a display at the Hartenstein Hotel Museum. Two mannequins: one RAF pilot, the other a Paratrooper - both in parachute harnesses. RAF QRF was cutout segment, Para had round QRF.

    If it's any consolation, I have one of these cutout segment QRFs that's not correct for my ABF collection. I should get a decent price for it on eBay, I suppose...

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