Original U.S. WWII Paratrooper Gas Detection Brassard Marked Dated July 1943 by JL&S
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Original Item: Only One Available. For the Normandy invasion, American troops were provided with a variety of chemical warfare equipment, as it was still unknown whether AH would employ poison gas on the battlefield in an effort to prevent the breaching of the Atlantic Wall. One measure taken was that all Allied invasion clothing was saturated with CC-2, an oily, smelly gas repellent that made GI uniforms stiff and uncomfortable (scenes of GIs boiling their uniforms in iron pots to soften them and get rid of the smell were captured on film taken after D-Day). Another was the issue of special assault gas masks in water-resistant black rubberized bags to be used by the troops that were part of the initial landings. Yet another was the gas-detection brassard, which was an armband much like a military policeman’s armband that was made of chemically impregnated light brown paper (resembling waxed paper) designed to be worn on the shoulder. After sliding the armband up the sleeve, a small loop was threaded through the epaulette on the wearer’s jacket to secure it in place. These brassards would turn red from a chemical reaction if they were exposed to mustard gas, thus warning the soldier of its presence (though rather late to do much about it!). The brassard was fragile and easily torn in combat. It was intended to be worn on the left shoulder so as not to be shredded…