In late 2020, a friend sent me some cool footage of members of the 4th Infantry Division receiving supplies and rations on 31 May 1944 in preparation for D-Day. Intrigued, I examined the video closely and found a second video providing a little additional context. Then, to the best of my ability, I recreated the experience with original and reproduction items to the best of my abilities.
- Seasickness Bags
- Carton of Lucky Strike Cigarettes
- Independence Safety Matches
- Halazone Tablets (for water purification)
- D Rations (“chocolate” emergency rations packed with vitamins and calories)
- Shoe Impregnation (to waterproof shoes)
- K Ration (each ration contains a can of meat, cigarettes, matches, and an accessory packet of crackers, sugar, Toilet Paper, and a powdered drink)
- M1926 Life Belt
Note: 6 and 8 are both originals, but not quite the same model that appeared in the footage.
Not pictured: packet of razors. Thank you Marco Cremonesi and the crew at https://www.normandie-44.it for pointing that out in the original footage (the razors are sitting on top of the Halazone Tablets in the footage).
My attempt to reproduce a still from the video (including the ring and bracelet). Note the white t-shirt—many men in this video are wearing white t-shirts under their uniforms, something you see much less of in the field.
The “Two-Piece Herringbone-Twill Work Suit” impregnated with reproduction CC2 anti-gas compound you see many of the 4th Infantry soldiers wearing.
Another view of the HBT uniform.
Original footage of the 4th Infantry Division receiving these items in Devon, England:
For more information about the 4th Infantry Division on D-Day, check out:
War Stories, Utah Beach to Pleiku by Robert Babcock
Spearheading D-Day: American Special Units in Normandy by Jonathan Gawne