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Headset for a radio?
Looks like a wire crossing his collar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Headset for a radio?
Looks like a wire crossing his collar.
That's what I was thinking too, but I don't see any radio, unless it's on his right side. However, mobile radios weren't exactly small back then, so I would think one would either see a part of the radio, or at least a strap around his shoulder attached to the radio. I suppose the headset could be detachable, and the radio is sitting off to the side out of frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was thinking that the soldier could've been like the one in the photo below, with the headset detached from the radio itself.

454816


However, would that radioman be carrying an M1 Carbine as well????
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Four men, all wearing tanker jackets and only two carbines, maybe a tank crew?
Very possible.

Also, most likely this photo was staged (most were for edifying folks back home). Depth of field, composition and exposure are spot on, as are how all are positioned.

I stole this photo from Facebook, which had the following caption: "“This photo, taken on July 24, 1944, at a temporary American cemetery in Normandy, shows four members of the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, saying goodbye to one of their fallen comrades.”
 

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Given the fact that this is as you say a propaganda photo, they could be four guys from the Graves Registration Platoon.

And that "thing" is probably the hood that came with the tanker jacket.

EDIT: These hoods do not attach to the jacket collar but are an independent article of wear. I think he is wearing the hood under his helmet, but has the chin strap fastened across the nape of his neck , exposing the pile lining (why it looks like a fury squirrel on his neck).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Given the fact that this is as you say a propaganda photo, they could be four guys from the Graves Registration Platoon.

And that "thing" is probably the hood that came with the tanker jacket.

EDIT: These hoods do not attach to the jacket collar but are an independent article of wear. I think he is wearing the hood under his helmet, but has the chin strap fastened across the nape of his neck , exposing the pile lining (why it looks like a fury squirrel on his neck).
Would that hood be something worn in July?

Also, something else I just noticed... none of them have any insignia or unit badges on their sleeves. Is that normal?
 

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You can see a wire going around the guys neck; Barrel of his Carbine is almost straight up in the air ::: Now look at the black rectangle under the Left hand ???? What could that be ??? part of the radio ???
 

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The no insignia,, it was common that replacement troops pulled from the reple-depot would not have any insignia.
 

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I agree it is a set of headphones. If you zoom in on the photo you can see them clearly.
 
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Man. Even zoomed in, it's a little tough to see. If he had a walkie-talkie, you'd probably see more of it peeking around if it was behind him, but I could be wrong. Not a handy-talkie there at all and they didn't have a headset anyway. Definitely a puzzle.
One thing I noticed is, he's the only one wearing leggings (gaiters). I wonder if that is a key to figuring out what his job is. Too bad there are no insignia to help us out. If they were tankers, you'd think they would have tanker boots on too.

As far as having a Carbine, certain jobs/ranks ended up with them rather than an M1 or 1911, so a radio op might have one. Some officers (LT's) had them, but you could find them among the REMF's or just about anywhere really. Some because they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a pistol, and this was a good replacement. One of my uncles carried one for a fair chunk of the war. He stole it from a lieutenant just after an air raid because he was issued an non-functional M1 (on purpose) when he transferred to that unit. It turned out to be an exceptionally appropriate choice as he was an advanced scout for his unit and a lighter weapon was a good thing. That LT chased him all over Europe and never caught up with him.
 

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This is a staged photo. These guys are way too clean to be combat soldiers. Only one is wearing leggings and that indicates to me they are not from the same unit. Their helmet netting is totally undamaged and that indicates their helmets have not seen service in the field. The lack of unit patches tells me they are replacements. I don't believe the item in question is a radio item, more likely some item of clothing that is rolled along his collar. Though the landing occurred in June, the weather in France was rather cool and I don't view it as unusual for soldiers to be in coats of one type or another or to be wearing sweaters or personal clothing under their coats.
 

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By July 1944 were the m1943 boots available? They eliminated the need for leggings from what I recall.

Looks like a pair of goggles.
 
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