Demonstrating just how much gear paratroopers jumped into combat with in World War II, D Company's S/SGT Murray Perlman of New York prepares for a training jump. A full combat load weighed between 60-70 pounds so Murray and the other troopers more shuffled than walked to the jump transport’s door and struggled to climb the ladder’s three steps, often with their comrades pushing them up.
It is of note that broken legs frequently occurred in these jumps.
The normally calm Perlman endured constant teasing from his D Company buddies about his pretty sister and according to PFC Billy Pettit, “He sure got mad when they talked about her...”
The boys of the 511th PIR enjoyed Camp Mackall's superior facilities when not out on several-day bivouacs or long marches. Out of 12,000 volunteers, only 2,176 remained, having passed (i.e. survived) Colonel Orin Haugen's strict acceptance guidelines. At Mackall the soldiers practiced field problems and got to know the other units in their mother organization, the 11th Airborne Division under Major-General Joseph May Swing.