"American parachutists-- devils in baggy pants-- are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere."
--Found in the diary of a German officer who opposed the 504th on the Anzio beachhead.
I Company, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (re-created) is a non-profit organization, dedicated to preserving the history of the 504th PIR and the 82nd Airborne Division during their service in World War II (1942-45). Paratroopers were a new type of soldier during this conflict; their jump boots, bloused trousers and shiny jump wings were symbols of their elite status. Those who volunteered for the dangerous business of airborne warfare were truly a breed apart.
First and foremost, our organization seeks to honor and respectfully represent the history and service of those who made up the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and others like it. Using original artifacts and quality reproductions, we strive to bring their history alive—for ourselves as well as the public we aim to educate. Safety and Authenticity are two hallmarks of our unit. The hobby of military re-enacting is an inherently dangerous one. We take our safety seriously and we take our history seriously; to do any less would be a disservice to the veterans whose memory and sacrifice we strive to honor.
But we also have a lot of fun! Based in Western New York, our members participate in tactical scenarios, living history displays, parades and school programs. We also attend purely social functions, where we can don our Class A’s and jump wings and cut a debonair figure! Plus, ours is a unit that trains. We train together to do justice to the skills of the veterans, and we train together to enjoy one another’s company. Working together on and off the field makes us a close group of friends.
So….are you interested in the history of the Second World War? Are you serious about history (but not always about yourself!)? Are you interested being a part of a close-knit group of friends who share your interests? Want to experience a taste of what it was like to wear the elite paratroopers’ uniform, fire a rifle and work together as a team, while honoring the men who endured and sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy? Then click on the "How to Join" tab to find out more about becoming part of “The Devils in Baggy Pants!”
Members of I Company, 504th PIR prepare to jump into Holland
as part of Operation Market Garden, September 17, 1944.
TSgt Bodie staffs part of the unit display at the
D-Day Ohio event, Conneaut, 2008
Education is a big part of what we do....
....But so are training and tactical programs!