Woodbury County

T/Sgt. Ralph E. Gragg




An unusual souvenir was received here this week from France.  Shown above are Dianne Gragg and her mother holding a camouflaged parachute sent to them by S. Sgt. Ralph Gragg.

Mrs. Ralph Gragg Gets Unusual Gift from Husband

“I wanted it even though it won’t fit in my scrap book,” wrote T. Sgt. Ralph E. Gragg, when he sent a camouflaged parachute home to his wife, Mrs. Ralph E. Gragg, 1621 Pierce street.  He added that he had seen paratroopers land and knew that a ‘chute would be available if he could only find it.  He searched for six hours wading around in swamp water before he finally located it.  He also said that this parachute had served a double purpose; it had saved a man’s life and also played a part in the invasion.

The parachute is huge, even though part of it has been cut away.  The material is thin and light but feels strong when pulled.  It has a tan background with the camouflage design done in two shades of green.  The letters AN are stamped on it in several places in blue and the manufacturer’s stamp can also be seen clearly.  At the present time it is rather soiled and there are several stains on it which could be either mud or blood.  When laid on the grass it cannot be distinguished at a distance of 15 feet.

Sgt. Gragg also has several German souvenirs which he has not been able to send home.  He has been in the Army air corps for nine years and overseas since last December.  He was sent first to England then to France in the invasion.

Source: The Sioux City Journal, August 19, 1944 (photo included)