The regulations regarding the wear of suspenders found in Department of the Army Pamphlet 670-1 and Army Regulation 670-1 are sparse when it comes to the design or materials of the suspenders themselves: All that is mentioned is that they are to be “of a commercial design.” At The Salute Uniforms, we offer two types of suspenders—clip-end and button-loop—for wear with dress uniforms, both manufactured in Brick Red (cable 65021) for wear by members of the Transportation Corps.

Note that only males are authorized to wear suspenders with dress uniforms, and the suspenders must not be visible.
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In the months leading up to launch of Operation Overlord with the Normandy landings, the Transportation Corps engaged in meticulous planning and sought to prepare for every possible contingency that might arise. One area of special concern was resupplying advancing Allied armies once they moved from their lodgments and broke out of the Cotentin peninsula. Planners realized that while the destruction of French railway lines by Allied bombing and strafing attacks would cripple German supply lines and greatly hamper their rapid re-deployment, it would also deprive the Allies of the use of those railroads for the very same purposes.

Realizing the likelihood that trucks would be responsible for carrying the vast bulk of supplies to advancing Allied armies, the Transportation Corps attempted to set up a system to test out the delivery capabilities and discover possible trouble areas of an express trucking system. A shortage of both equipment and personnel prevented the creation of a “beta” system, however, which the Corps no choice except to activate the system it had designed. The Corps named its round-the-clock transport system “Red Ball Express,” borrowing the phrase used in railroading to describe high-speed “through freights.”

The amount of supplies that would have to be hauled by truck was staggering. In all, there were nearly thirty divisions on the move throughout France and Belgium, and each one needed at least 700 tons of supplies a day. But despite numerous problems that arose due to the ad hoc organization of the operation that kept the system from achieving optimum results, the Red Ball Express was able to provide enough ammunition, fuel, food, and other supplies to enable U.S. and Allied forces to continue their offensive operations.

The Red Ball Express began running on August 25, 1944, with a scheduled end date of September 5. By then, it had delivered almost 90,000 tons of supplies to the Dreux-Chartres delivery zone, exceeding its originally assigned amounts. But the tactical situation meant that the Red Ball Express would continue for more than two months past the original cutoff date; at its peak, it consisted of over 5,900 vehicles hauling 12,300-plus tons of supplies to one of two forward depots. When the operation was finally ended on November 16, the Transportation Corps trucks had carried 412,000 long tons to forward operating areas.

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