The key part of a Paratrooper; what sets him apart from the everyday infantry soldier; is his parachute. With this in mind, a paratrooper impression isn't truly complete without a parachute! For reference, the main parts of the T-5 parachute are the harness, the pack tray, the pull-out panel and static line, and the parachute canopy and suspension lines. In addition, there is the reserve parachute which consists of the reserve parachute pack tray, and the reserve parachute canopy and suspension lines
Previous to the purchase of this harness, I had already purchased an original T-7 parachute pack and harness. This parachute had the harness which incorporated the "dial-of-death" central harness connection. While the "dial-of-death" was used in the Holland drop, the T-5 harness with its 3 separate buckles was still extremely common, and was used throughout the war. With this fact constantly nagging at me, I finally decided to take the plunge and get a reproduction harness (the pack tray and pull out panel of the T-7 are of the same design and operation as the T-5).
There are currently several companies that offer reproduction parachutes and harnesses, however at the time of my search (the first quarter of 2015), all the companies I found were either not currently producing them, or did not offer the harness that I needed. I finally ran across a website where they had posted a parachute that they had purchased from Joshua DeJong. I inquired where they had purchased the parachute, and actually received a reply back from Mr. DeJong himself (the webmaster had passed on my message) on February 23rd, 2015.
I did some preliminary research on Mr. DeJong's work to see what others had said about him. What I found completely suprised me. He is a home-schooled, self-taught rigger. He has provided parachute assemblies for historians, museums, as well as big-name movies (information from http://www.homeschoolingteen.com/article/joshua-dejong-parachute-rigger/). With this information in hand, I felt 100% confident working with him, and that I would receive a product that would absolutely blow my mind. Joshua gives full customization of the harness, even down to the date of manufacture I wanted stamped on the harness. When I was unsure of which option to take, Joshua clearly explained the differences and the pros and cons of each side. He was an absolute pleasure to work with.
After conversing and discussing all the options, I finally gave the green light to begin the project on March 9th, 2015. He gave an estimated completion time of a week. On March 13th, he sent me pictures of the completed harness and an invoice for payment, which was completed through PayPal (he also accepts check, money order, or whatever the customer prefers):
Price for the harness: $491
Price for shipping: $18
Grand Total: $509
Joshua had some trouble shipping the harness; he said the label was not printing correctly. I received the harness on March 29th.
T-5 Parachute Harness Reproduction, made by Joshua DeJong
G Company, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division (Reenacted)
Words cannot describe how absolutely ecstatic I am about this harness. However, a review is not a good review without an attempt to be unbiased, so:
-web material is spot on in construction and heft
-hardware is spot on, if not original
-full customization ability, even down to the date of manufacture
-no sewing flaws were found so far
-working with Joshua DeJong was an absolute pleasure, was absolutely painless
-about the only major thing, is that Joshua does all the work himself, so if he is backed up with work, it will tae a while. However, it is WELL worth the wait, if there is one.
-another con, is that I wish I would have found him sooner!
If you would like to contact Joshua DeJong about purchasing a harness or a complete parachute, you can e-mail him at: