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82nd Airborne Paratrooper

by Randy Colvin


82nd Airborne Paratrooper





This is the DML 101st Airborne figure in 120mm. I converted it to 82nd because of the time I spent with that unit between July 1992 and October 1995. Being a modeler, a historian and a paratrooper in the 82nd is like baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.






To convert this figure to 82nd was simple.

All I added was a Verlinden US M1 steel helmet, an 82nd patch, and a new head. The DML figure came with a head that had a Mohawk haircut which the 101st made famous during D-Day however many 82nd troops did the same thing because the Germans believed that all US paratroopers were Indians. In reality, however, no paratrooper walks around in battle without a helmet. I'm kind of a novice when it comes to figure building but I'm getting better. 

Except for adding the other pieces mentioned above the rest of the kit is straight out of the box. 

The base the figure stands on also has a severed German arm grasping an Iron Cross and a ribbon. The saying on the front of the base is on the walls of the 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters. It is in large 10" letters and is supposedly a quote from a paratrooper during the Battle of the Bulge. The figure represents a Sergeant from Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division on 6 June 1944, this was the same unit I was with during my tour at Ft. Bragg, NC.





I recently completed a five year tour of duty in Germany but before I left I had to see Normandy. It was an eight hour drive from Mannheim, Germany to the beaches of Normandy. Myself and three other NCO's from my unit planned this trip several weeks in advance and we bought maps of France and a few books, mainly "D-Day" by Stephen E. Ambrose who has written several books on the battle for Normandy. We planned to leave in the morning during a four day weekend but we couldn't wait and decided to leave at nine p.m. the night before and we arrived at Omaha Beach at 5 in the morning. 

We parked, grabbed flash lights and hit the beach. It was still dark and we found several bunkers lines that began almost next to where we parked and we headed down hill to the sand. We stayed there until about 11 a.m. going down the beach a little bit and then back up the hill to the US cemetery where Steven Speilberg began his movie "Saving Private Ryan".

During the next few days we visited Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, St. Mere-Eglise, Pointe-du-Hoc, a German cemetery and parts of Sword, Gold and Juno beaches. The one sight we wanted to get to but ran out of time was Pegasus Bridge were it all started.



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Model, Text and Images Copyright 2000 by Randy Colvin
Page Created 28 October, 2000
Last Updated 26 July, 2007

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