US helmet marking?

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raddock
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US helmet marking?

Post by raddock » 14 May 2006 11:19

Can anyone identify this helmet marking. This helmet was used in the Battle of bulge.

Also it has a number on it - US50137700, I am told that this is neither a service number or socil sec. number?

Any help would be appreciated.
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JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 14 May 2006 18:14

FWIW, that number looks very much like my brother's US Army service number. It has the same number of digits. My brother's number started with 'US515'. The 'US' would designate the man as a draftee.

Can't really make out the insignia.

Possibly that helmet saw use post-war, say 1950's-1960's.

raddock
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US helmet marking?

Post by raddock » 14 May 2006 22:56

Thanks for your reply. Do you know if the serial numbers were different post WW2?
What was FWIW standing for?

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 15 May 2006 20:32

Not sure about when the service number changed. I think I recall an article on the web about US Army service numbers. Let me see if I can find it.

FWIW = For What It's Worth

Edit: Okay, it looks like your boy was a draftee between 1948 and 1969. He was from Hawaii, Panama, or Puerto Rico. See link:

http://25thaviation.org/id958.htm

Other US Army designations include
RA = regular army
AR = army reservist
US = draftee
NG = national guard

The starting digit 5 also indicates a post-war draftee. During the war a draftee's number started with a 3.

Quite possibly the helmet saw service in WWII and was later recycled to a new soldier after the war.

raddock
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US soldier ID?

Post by raddock » 16 May 2006 18:49

Thanks for your help. His name on the helmet reads Juan Camacho, so that sounds about right that he would be from Panama or Puerto Rico. The liner also might not be possibly original to the helmet.

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Alexander Bergen
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Post by Alexander Bergen » 26 May 2006 22:25

Helmets, as well as other re-usable military equipment, have been used and recycled during different periods of peace and conflict. So it is well possible that your helmet was worn by a participant in the Battle of the Bulge (or Ardennen-Offensive) and later used by a draftee from Puerto Rico (or Panama, but more likely Puerto Rico) during the Korean War or the peace period of the late 1950s.

Regarding the emblem on the helmet I cannot say anything, since it is ideed not to see properly in the photos. The colours have obviously faded and rust might have played a bit a role as well. If you could describe the emblem in detail, giving the shapes you can make out as well as the possible colours, I might be able to help further.

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crookers
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Helmet marking ID

Post by crookers » 16 Jun 2006 19:19

Hi, im almost certain that it is a helmet of the battalion HQ of the 101st airborne.

Is there a smaller square at either 12, 3, 6, or 9 o clock around the larger one? This would denote which battalion it belonged to.

raddock
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US helmet marking ID?

Post by raddock » 23 Jun 2006 19:01

Thanks for your reply. Can't see any smaller marking, I did suspect this but it looked a bit too yellow for the 101st even though I know white does go yellow a fair bit with age.
It is only on the right side, would this still match with a 101st HQ?

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Alexander Bergen
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Post by Alexander Bergen » 24 Jun 2006 14:16

Can you make out any detail regarding the shape of the figure depicted inside the square?

raddock
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US helmet marking?

Post by raddock » 25 Jun 2006 13:03

Not really, perhaps a figure 4 or 9? The closest I have ever seen was the 13th Anti Aircraft Artillery but that was a red 13 in a yellow square and was on the front of the helmet.

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Alexander Bergen
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Post by Alexander Bergen » 25 Jun 2006 15:13

Looks a bit tricky, and for the time being I might be at the end of my tether.

If you know someone who works in a forensic laboratory, he might be able to do a more indepth analysis.

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new2this
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Post by new2this » 25 Jun 2006 20:05

I don't know a thing about these, but when I tried to search it I ran across this on steelpots.com, under a review of the book painted steel.

"Have a question? Drop the author, Chris, a line at chrisa@core.com "

Perhaps you could e-mail this gentleman with your pic and get a good starting point.

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Billy
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Post by Billy » 16 Oct 2007 05:45

As for the red insignia, is it possible it could be the red keystone symbol of the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard)? It looks i.m.h.o. like most of a red keystone painted on there at the time and since worn down, and the 28th Infantry Division definitely fought in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge) as it had been sent there after slugging it out in the bloody Hürtgen Forest. It was sent to the quietest sector of the front, the Ardennes, and was there refitting/recuperating when it suddenly became not-so-quiet a sector.

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John G.
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Post by John G. » 16 Oct 2007 16:34

Describe the helmet shell better, does it have fixed or swivel bales (chin strap fittings) and where is the seam on the edge trim meet.....what shape are the bales (airborne would be differant than "regular"), does it have the chin strap and what does that look like.....what about the liner? The name and serial number are definately Post War.....and while helmets were reissued- they would have been reworked and repainted several times with differant chin straps, etc......The chances of original WW 2 markings remaining on a helmet worn into the 1960s/70s (in service) is nil......(without removal of overpaint)....
Of course the shell could be WW 2 and the liner a later addition (is the liner or the shell named?)
If you contact the helmet guys they'll ask you these questions.....answere here to help educate our newer collectors......
Sincerely
John G.
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