Original U.S. WWII Airborne Paratrooper Named 464th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion Enlisted Man's Peaked Visor - T/5 John J. Barchenski
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic and named example of a “Cap, Service, Wool, Serge, Olive-Drab” enlisted man’s peaked visor. The visor belonged to Technician 5th Grade John J. Barchenski (ASN: 31215394). T/5 Barchenskit served with Battery C of the 464th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion during WWII. Barchenski was born on March 20, 1922 and enlisted on December 18, 1942 out of Springfield, Massachusetts. We have not been able to find much on T/5 Barchenski, making this visor a wonderful research opportunity.
Modifications were made to the service cap in 1934 resulting in the new specification 8-5E. The cap was given a slightly higher front rise, angled visor, and a wider chin strap. Later, in 1937 the wool serge material was darkened and a new domed cap device was developed. The expansion of mechanized, armored, and aviation units, plus the looming threat of war caused the Army to begin developing more practical headgear to replace the traditional service hat and cap.
The peaked cap was discontinued for official issue to most enlisted soldiers after the end of 1941, but remained a popular item for private purchase. Thereafter, only the garrison cap in either olive drab for winter or khaki for summer wear with piping in the color of the soldier's branch of service was the designated enlisted service headgear. The soldier's distinctive unit insignia (DUI) was worn on the left front of the curtain if the unit issued one. However, after 1943 the manufacture of new DUIs under government contracts were suspended for the duration of the war.
This peaked visor is in wonderful condition and does exhibit signs of moderate use and service wear. There is no extensive damage present, just some minor stitching loss on the celluloid identification card pocket on the top of the lining. There is no manufacturer information present on the ID card, just that it is “UNION MADE” and that it has a “GENUINE ROAN LEATHER SWEATBAND”.
The ID Card Reads as Follows:
Name: John J. Barchenski
Company: Btry. C. 464 Parcht. F.A.B.
Regiment: Camp Mackall. N.C.
River Road, Whately, Mass.
The size is listed on the tag as being a 7 ¼.
A wonderful example that comes more than ready for display.
The 464th was activated on 1 April 1943, and unlike most of the division's other component units, it wasn't assigned to the 17th Airborne Division until later in the war. The 464th joined the 17th as part of the 1 March 1945 divisional realignment.
As part of the Division, the 464th engaged in the Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. During Operation Varsity, the Battalion was attached to the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, with the mission to provide artillery support throughout the operation. The 464th was the first field artillery battalion to jump into Germany and the first across the Rhine.
Military government duties began 12 April, and active contact with the enemy ceased 18 April 1945. The division came under the XXII Corps on 24 April. In early May 1945 the Battalion helped oversee Displaced Person camps in Germany. On 4 August 1945, the 464th left France, arriving at Camp Kilmer, NJ 13 August. The Battalion was inactivated on 25 October 1945.
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