By Oliver North; Chuck Holton
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Extra resources for American heroes in Special Operations
So important is the Ju-52 that some observers have tended to believe that the Ju-52 was the GEaRMAN AII-H(ORNE TRANSPORT 47 basic factor in the makeup of the German system of airborne units. The German Army probably adopted the *Ju-52 for air transport because there were so many of this type on hand at the beginning of the war, because so many supercharged engines were available, and because so many pilots had been trained on this type. Jigs and manufacturing facilities were already set up, and, though obsolescent, the Ju-52 had most of the following characteristics, which had been set up for a suggested new plane in this category: (1) Ability to operate in small or temporary fields with heavy loads, (2) Cheapness of construction, (3) Simplicity and ruggedness of construction, (4) Simplicity in operation, (5) Easy field maintenance, (6) Ability to fly with one engine out of commission, (7) Ability to withstand crash landings with reasonable safety to occupants, (8) Ability to tow gliders at low speed.
_ 12 41. TRANSPORTATION OF GERMAN PARACHUTE UNITS German parachute units and equipment are specially adapted to fit into the Ju-52 system of transportation. In both Crete and Holland it has been demonstrated that the following loading practices are customary: 54 ENEMY AIR-BORNE, IFORCES a. Transportation of a Parachute Company One compllany of parachute troops is transported by one squadron (Staffel) of Ju-52's (12 aircraft). In the case of the parachute rifle company, every Ju-52 carries 12 men and 4 armis containers.
They have buttoned pockets on the sides 495191 --° 42----3 26 ENEMY AIR-II(RNE, FOR(IES of the thighs, in which such articles as garrison (overseas) caps and swastika flags are kept. b. Helmet This is round in shape, and is thickly padded with rubber, with a narrow brim and practically no neck-shield. It is varnished a matt blue-gray, or mottled, color, and bears ordinary German Air Force insignia. The strap forks below the ear, and is attached to the helmet at four p)oints. The helmet is commonly worn with a cloth cover, frequently with a light-colored cross on top (the purpose of which is unknown) and with a band round it for insertion of camouflage; the band may be colored for purposes of recognition.