Packboards were unit items and not individual issue. In some cases they were used to carry the barely man-portable radios of the day for artillery forward observers. Combat medical platoons used them to carry supplies necessary to establish aid stations close to the front. Communications soldiers would carry and rapidly deploy spools of telephone line to link front line positions. Engineers would carry demolition supplies and pioneer tools to support their mission. But in WW II the packboards were most widely used by units habitually operating in mountainous terrain where motor transport couldn’t easily move.