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WWII U.S. Airborne Unit Markings ETO - 1944-45
1:35 / 1:32 scale
This sheet contains most of the markings needed to model U.S. Airborne troops deployed
in Europe during WWII. Shoulder patches are included for the most well known combat units as well
as Glider Command, U.S.A.A.F. and 9th Air Force. Helmet and brassard markings for M.P.’s and
medics are here in addition to the distinctive tactical helmet markings of the 101st Airborne. And to
round out the sheet we have included correct U.S. Army rank insignia from P.F.C. to First Sergeant
along with helmet markings for N.C.O.’s and Officers.
Airborne warfare started with WWII and reached an intensity which the world may never
see again. The U.S. Airborne forces were key players in the invasion of German occupied France in
June of 1944, Operation Market-Garden, the defence of Bastogne and the Rhine Crossings.
To give you an idea of the size of the operations, for the Airborne assault on France it
required 822 aircraft to transport the main body of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. This
totalled about 13,000 parachute infantry, artillery, engineers, HQ and communication units. Over 2000
gliders were available, piloted by U.S.A.A.F. personnel. The Arnhem and Rhine operations of 1944
and 1945 required almost the entire resources of the Allied Transport Aircraft Fleet to lift the troops
and gliders into battle.
101st Airborne Division Helmet Markings - a complete set of tactical markings specific to
the 101st Airborne were used in WWII. These were painted on both sides of the helmets and were
used in combats areas. The clock positions of the bars indicate: 12 o’clock HQ, 3 o’clock 1st Battalion,
6 o’clock 2nd Battalion and 9 o’clock 3rd battalion. The symbols are as follows: CLUB -327th Glider
Inf. Regt. DIAMOND - 501st P.I.R. HEART - 502nd P.I.R. SPADE - 506th P.I.R. Disk - Field Artillery
TRIANGLE - A.A.A. SQUARE - for Recon, Signals and Ordinance. E -326th Engineer Battalion.
Anyone who has ever used water slide decals is familiar with the procedure for using
Hudson & Allen decals. The area to receive the decal should be coated with a clear gloss to give a good
surface for the decal to adhere to. This will also help to hide the decal film. After consulting your
references to determine the decals correct placement, carefully cut the desired part out of the decal sheet.
Soak the cut out decal in warm water until the decal can be easily slid off the paper backing. Do not
slide the decal off the paper backing until you have removed the decal and backing paper from the
water and are ready to position the decal. You may wish to moisten the area of the model that is to
receive the decal. You may also wish to use one of the several decal setting solutions available to help
the decal lie flat on the model and to conform to the surface of any curves or wrinkles. Now carefully
slide the decal from the paper backing and onto the model. Discard the paper backing and gently pat
the excess water from the surface of the decal and model using a cotton swab, a lint free cloth or a piece
of tissue. While patting the decal and model make sure that no air bubbles are trapped under the
surface of the decal. If air bubbles are present, carefully work them to the edge of the decal and out
from under it. Be careful not to move the decal out of position while patting it, although at this stage it
is easy to push back into place. Wait at least 24 hours before handling your model to proceed to the
After the decals are completely dry, they should be covered with a clear flat paint to protect
the decal and to hide the decal carrier film. We have chosen to manufacture our decals using the
thinnest film possible but you must still build up a thin layer of clear flat thick enough to hide the
carrier or the effect of having U.S. markings stenciled on the equipment will be lost. With a little
patience and a little practice you will soon be comfortable with the process and will be producing
beautifully detailed models.
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