This will not be received very well by many, but re-enactor websites are the very last places I'd look for a primer on what the WW2 solider had and wore. While many out there are pretty good, they are all geared to a specific unit at a specific time. One cannot be used as an "all inclusive" listing for the WW2 GI.
Re-enactor websites are often dictated by several incorrect factors. They often show "cool items" that are in a unit's collection that may or may not be correct for that unit or timeframe (often from a member who'd been around a while and people are scared to tell him not to bring them). Many re-enactor websites will not list correct items if the members don't actually have them (such as machine guns, artillery or rocket launchers). They'll also try to show slightly marginal items as correct to justify the incorrect things they bring to their events. And for someone who doesn't know any better, they'll take that as the gospel. Many re-enactor units use large "wall" tents when in fact, very few soldiers ever actually used them in the field.
And sadly, some re-enactors just don't have any clue what they're talking about. Many have the wrong uniforms, weapons, and vehicles (I've personally seen several M-37 weapons carriers and CJ-2A Jeeps at events, and their drivers said they were "close enough."). We in the hobby call these people, "Farbs".
What most WW2 US re-enactors can't seem to understand is that the "normal" WW2 American solider often went against the regulations as a normal procedure. Many are actually re-enacting a STEREOTYPE of the WW2 American soldier. They are also subject to the current trends in re-enacting. For example, when I got into WW2 re-enacting in the late 1980s in the Southeast, NOBODY wore the cotton fatigue herringbone twill (HBT) uniforms, even though they were correct for several battles and units, because the overwhelming opinion in the hobby was that the public associated the GI with a WOOL uniform, and not the HBT uniform, so it was wool and nothing else. Ever. Thank goodness that is no longer the case.
A example of stereotype re-enacting is the photographic evidence which proves that a large grouping of US soldiers never sewed shoulder insignia on or ranks. They often didn't have that leather connecting strap for their helmets and often didn't wear much more than a pistol or cartridge belt when in the field. But all re-enactors HAVE to have these things. MG and bazooka crews often had less people than the TMs called for. These are things that were, by and large, policy within the units, but not listed in the TMs of the day. People will pull out the books and say that NOBODY did this or that at any time, which could be countered with strong evidence to the contrary. I once had a hour-long argument with someone at an event where he contended that NO US soldier EVER wore his chinstrap in place and also NEVER wore the HBT uniform in Europe. I showed him a book on the 29th Division, a unit that wore chinstraps everywhere and often wore the lighter twill uniform. He was left speechless, but still wouldn't concede something he'd heard so many times that he could register it being anything but a fact, probably the same reaction Galileo got when he proved that gravity all affects objects the same no matter what their weight (wind resistance notwithstanding).
I would suggest you do what most re-enactors should (be often don't) do; to research what specific unit you're looking to learn about and at what timeframe. There was so much variance in what the GI carried and wore throughout the war, that NO one source will ever be able to show you everything…
Take it all in, but take it ALL with a grain of salt. There's NO one true source out there, no matter what some will try to tell you!
Home of Charlie the Wonder Pup!
1944 Willys MB #366014
MVPA, REMF, former US Army Captain