A visit to the William C. Lee museum “Father of the Airborne”


Recently I visited the ‘Bill’ Lee museum here in North Carolina. The museum is quite small, being of his old house – purchased after his death to keep his memory alive. The museum had a ton of original artifacts that were amazing. the museum also had some serious flaws in their displays. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.


Original Infantry Journals and other artifacts from his inter-war years.

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A very exquisite display of the Generals’ original early war Test Platoon ‘balloon suit’, mint M1941 Jump uniform, and Air Force Coveralls for training.


A mint M1942 Jumpsuit


Early Riddell football helmet, the Generals’ actual helmet


Another shot of the M1941 Parachutist Suit


A close up of the Balloon suit.


Original 325 GIR Ike Jacket


Col Bob Pipers’ overalls, 505 PIR 82nd Airborne


Another used M1941 Parachutist suit


A salty M1942 Parachutist suit


Notice the white thread stitching for reinforcement. Commonly done in the MTO with 82nd and 2/503rd (509 PIB)


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Close up of the jacket reinforcement

Overall it was a great visit, and there was a plethora of information on the General. I was most intrigued about his Inter-war visits to France. At one point he was considered the go-to man for European tank tactics. He eventually gave it up for the pursuit of vertical envelopment theory.


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