D-Day cricket history
was after during the Airborne operation over Sicily in 1943 that
Commander Taylor, the future general commanding the 101st Airborne
Division, realized the importance of the communication among the
parachuted units into enemy territory. Indeed, scattered in various
places, isolated paratroopers had a hard time to find their comrades
without risking to expose themselves to the enemy fire.
The Americans reused the principle of a popular toy at the time
which consisted of a steel spring blade emitting a click when pressed.
Indeed, British THE ACME firms had received the production order
of several thousands of small brass crickets, some were made in
Only the 101st Airborne Division was provided with crickets (only
the paratroopers from the division) a few days before 6 June 1944.
In addition to this recognition mean, an oral code was developed
(valid 24 hours after the start of the operations): "Flash",
a word which should meet "Thunder". The second day, the
code became: "Hustle" - "Along". Other means
of identification were: smoke (colored or not), billboards, lights
The paratroopers were free to hang their cricket wherever they wished.
Some have kept it in the pockets of their jackets or their pants,
others have hung it around the neck or on their helmet.
Nowadays, many reproductions have been produced and it is not uncommon
to hear "click-clack" in the commemorative ceremonies
Unit: 101st Airborne Division
Height: 15 mm
Length: 48 mm
Width : 25 mm
a pressure on a metal coverslip emitting a "click-clack"
asking for the identification, the answer should be a double pressure
on the metal coverslip: two "click-clack".