Who we are
AIRBORNE-COMMAND is a French historical reenactment group, focusing on American paratroops units of World War II.
A complete infantry unit
AIRBORNE-COMMAND is unique by its organization on the model of a Rifle Platoon, composed of four Squads, associating real life personnel number and adequate equipment. The Platoon chain of command follows as closely as possible a WWII Platoon structure.
The Platoon is reinforced with several operational support personnel, such as a French interpreter, a civilian guide, an S3 Operations Officer and even a War Correspondent! The Platoon is also assisted by an unofficial squad of nurses and Women Army Air Corps (WAAC), as well as reinforcements from other re-enactment groups, sometimes.
An operational paratrooper unit
AIRBORNE-COMMAND is also unique by being a real-life paratrooper unit. 90% of its members are certified military paratroopers, French or foreign, or trained in parachuting associations, and jump in round canopy parachutes in most of the commemorative events the group is involved in.
AIRBORNE-COMMAND is to this day, the only re-enactment group in Europe that jumps as a fully-assembled and fully-equipped platoon.
These features, unique in Europe, and the group's commitment to the history recognition of the 509th PIB have led AIRBORNE-COMMAND to be officially recognized by the 509th Parachute Infantry Association (509th PIA) as a 509th PIB reenactment group, and its founder, Stéphane Hadjadje, to be named honorary lifetime member of the 509th PIA.
Main Units we reenact:
- 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion: the first Parachute battalion in the history of the US Army to make a combat jump, on November 2, 1942 near Oran, then on November 15, 1942 on Youks les Bains (Hammamet), El Djem (Tunisia) on 24 December 1942, Avellino (Italy) September 14, 1943, and that jumped on the south of France on August 15, 1944. It will be disbanded after the Battle of the Bulge in early 1945, having had the highest casualty rate of all US Airborne units.
- 505th Parachute Regiment Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division: one of the most prestigious US parachute regiment that jumped in Sicily on July 10, 1943, Italy on September 14, 1943, Normandy on June 6, 1944, and Holland on September 17, 1944.
- 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion: the second highest casualty rate parachute unit of the US Airborne, after the 509th PIB, and long forgotten, that jumped in France on August 15, 1944 and distinguished itself in the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945.
- 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team: the largest American unit to jump in Provence on August 15, 1944, with the most widespread drops in the region, from Le Luc to Fayence; it will be attached to the 82nd Airborne in the Battle of the Bulge.
503rd Parachute Regiment Combat Team: the first US parachute regiment in the Pacific, where it performs 3 combat jumps, then a 4th in Viet-Nam in 1967, and a 5th in Iraq in 2003.
463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion: an airborne artillery unit that fought in Italy, jumped in Provence on August 15, 1944 with the 509th Combat Team, and will valiantly serve at Bastogne, where it will be attached to the 101st Airborne.
1er Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes: the first parachute regiment of the French Army, trained and drilled by the 509th PIB and the 5th ARMY AIRBORNE TRAINING CENTER in North Africa, and in Sicily, and that fought in the Vosges and Alsace.
Occasionally, AIRBORNE-COMMAND is also interested in more recent conflicts: French paratroopers in Algeria in 1954-1962 and in Suez in 1956, Israeli paratroopers during the Six Day War of 1967 and Kippour War of 1973, as well as the 503rd Parachute Regiment Combat Team of the 173rd Airborne Division in Vietnam.