Rigger-reinforced trousers as worn during the invasion of Normandy.
The jump trousers were introduced for Airborne troops late in 1942. They were made from 8 oz. cotton twill cloth, in the olive drab no. 3 shade (often called "khaki" by newbies). The trousers had a lower rise than the wool pants, button fly, hip, seat and cargo pockets and slightly tapered ankles to make it easier to tuck them into the jump boots. During combat operations in 1943, it was found that the knees wore out quickly and the cargo pocket bellows could blow out during the opening shock of the parachute, which inconveniently scattered their contents all over the sky. In May 1944, troops of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were told to turn in their worst pair of trousers to the riggers. There they had canvas reinforcing sewn onto the knees and around the cargo pockets. Not all troops received the "improved" uniforms in time for the jump, but it appears most did.
ATF's Trousers: As with most of our products, these are exclusive to us. We only copy authentic WWII examples- no reproductions, movie props, etc.. In the early 2000's, we manufactured these in house at our shop in Kentucky. Eventually, the costs became too high, so we partnered with an overseas contractor and provided them the patterns and original samples to go by.
There are cheaper reproductions available- but most are cut incorrectly, featuring cargo pockets on the calves, low-rider asses, short flies and so forth. Some even turn orange in the sun for a marvelous chameleon effect. Our trousers are correctly designed and the fabric is colorfast.
One of the most important differences are our snaps- only we use genuine Scovil brand, American made press snaps. We have them specially zinc plated as was most common in WWII. For some reason or another, the Asians can make stealth fighter jets, super computers and miles wide hydroelectric dams- but their snaps suck. Nor can they seem to install them correctly. So...we have the uniforms made without snaps, which we then put on here in out shop. Yes this raises the cost, but prevents one from getting snap caps caught in the vacuum cleaner after they fall off every time you put on the uniform.
82nd vs. 101st: The leg ties on our trousers are made form 1" binding tape (webbing) which was "101st style" because 80% of reenactors seem to portray that division. The 82nd Airborne riggers used a strip of olive drab canvas instead, which we do sell. See below.
Fit: Extra simple. Just Order your "normal" waist size, whatever you wear in jeans.
82nd Leg Ties: We sell the leg ties peculiar to the 82nd Airborne but we no longer offer sewing.