4th Infantry Division, Part I: Supplies Before D-Day

A still from this video.
Note the soldier’s bracelet, likely a private purchase identification tag.

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.

  1. Seasickness Bags
  2. Carton of Lucky Strike Cigarettes
  3. Independence Safety Matches
  4. Gum
  5. Halazone Tablets (for water purification)
  6. Insecticide
  7. D Rations (“chocolate” emergency rations packed with vitamins and calories)
  8. Shoe Impregnation (to waterproof shoes)
  9. K Ration (each ration contains a can of meat, cigarettes, matches, and an accessory packet of crackers, sugar, Toilet Paper, and a powdered drink)
  10. 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

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