Codenames 101st Airborne Division

101st Airborne Division, activated on August 16th 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana

101st Division Unit Callsign Helmet Decal Dutch
The 101st Airborne Division Kangaroo --- ---
Divisional Headquarters / HQ-Company Klaxon Square (tick at 12) Vierkant
501st Parachute Infantry Division Klondike Diamond Ruit
502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment Kickoff Heart Hart
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Kidnap Spade Schoppen
327th Glider Infantry Regiment Keepsake Clover Klaver
326th Engineers Kiwi E E
81st Anti Aircraft Kentucky Triangle Driehoek
Division Artillery (Divarty) Kingfish Circle (tick at 12) Cirkel
321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion Kansas Circle (tick at 3) Cirkel
377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion Kite Circle (tick at 6) Cirkel
463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion Keynote Circle (2 ticks 6) Cirkel
907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion Kilogram Circle (tick at 9) Cirkel
326th Medical Company Kindergarten Cross Kruis
426th Quartermaster Company (QMC) Kitchen Square (tick at 6) Vierkant
801st Ordnance Company Kildare Square (tick at 9) Vierkant
Division Signal Company Kilowatt Square (tick at 3) Vierkant
Division Recce (Recon) Platoon King Square (tick at 12) Vierkant
101st Military Police (MP) Platoon --- MP MP

Infantry Regiments use additional 'ticks' to decal at 12-3-6-9 o'clock position.

12 O'clock Tick indicates HQ & HQ Company
3 O'clock Tick indicates 1st Battalion (RED) (Able - Baker - Charlie Company)
6 O'clock Tick indicates 2nd Battalion (WHITE) (Dog - Easy - Fox Company)
9 O'clock Tick indicates 3rd Battalion (BLUE) (George - Hotel - Item Company)

101st Airborne Division Operations prior to Market Garden:

Operation Eagle Dress Rehearsal for D-Day (UK) 9th to 12th May 1944
Operation Neptune Assault phase of Allied Invasion of Normandy 5th / 6th June 1944 (D-Day)
Initial verbal challenge for D-Day: Flash  
Password: Thunder  
Answer: Welcome  

These Challenges & Passwords changed periodically (as shown in the table below).

Challenge Reply
H Hour to 23.59 hrs D-Day FLASH THUNDER
00.00 hrs D +1 to 23.59 hrs D + 3 THIRSTY VICTORY
00.00 hrs D + 4 to 23.59 hrs D + 6 WEAPON THROAT
00.00 hrs D + 7 to 23.59 hrs D + 9 WOOL RABBIT

* Unclear if the Reply was followed with an Answer like with the initial Flash-Thunder-Welcome.

Challenges & replies during Market Garden

Top Secret APO 472, U.S. Army
Dated 15 September 1944
No. Of Copies: 150

HQ 101st Airborne Division
Office of the AcofS, G-2

Subject: Counter-Signs.
To: Unit Commanders

The following challenges and replies will be used in this operation on the dates indicated;

Challenge Reply
H Hour to 23.59 hrs D-Day RED BERET
2359 hrs D-Day to 2359 hrs D + 1 UNCLE SAM
2359 hrs D + 1 to 2359 hrs D + 2 CARRIER PIGEON
2359 hrs D + 2 to 2359 hrs D + 3 AIR BORNE
2359 hrs D + 3 to 2359 hrs D + 4 ROBERT BURNS
2359 hrs D + 4 to 2359 hrs D + 5 TROOP CARRIER

In the case of British SAS troops, the word NANCY will be used.
Use of the word NANCY identifies person as SAS personnel.

These challenges and replies will be memorized and this memorandum destroyed prior to leaving the U.K. Under no circumstances will the challenges and replies be carried into the Operation in written form.

Article: D.C. van den Bogert
Sources: National Archives US
Cees Jansen / Para Research Team
This website is dedicated to all Allied Paratroopers of World War Two. They became a 'Band of Brothers' who enlisted for a new type of warfare. They jumped into occupied Holland on September 17th 1944 like Angels from the Sky. We will honor their heritage.