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a really odd WW2 First Army MP helmet

Started by jgawne , Sep 26 2012 03:53 PM

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#51 Baron3-6

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:56 AM

Here's another of the SG marked helmets... Still taken from George Stevens' D-Day to Berlin footage..

 

 

 

Thats awesome....and it appears that it could almost be THE SG helmet from post #26...even the block lettering on the G is the same. If not the same one, at least  the same painter.  My guess is "Special Guard"...or escort, like the kind a Lt. Col. and a camera crew would need to drive around freely and shoot film.



#52 cavscout6b

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:24 PM

Thread bumped = Beginning Round 2

#53 cavscout6b

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:43 PM

The late-1945 listing is good information; but not accurate for WW2 service.
http://militarypolic...N LATE 1945.pdf

By the time it was made, the US First Army was back in the US; and several battalions had returned stateside or moved to other commands. (Example: The 783rd was assigned to & fought with 1st Army, from Normandy until the end. By the time the list was made, the 783rd was at Camp Claiborne, LA. Not a very accurate description of their wartime service/assignment.)
I have found a few units that the late-1945 list doesn't accurately reflect their wartime service, assigment, or previous locations.

#54 cavscout6b

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

I'm going to go out on a limb and wonder if the 518th ( if it was that unit) just happened to be the unit assigned to guarding the first army HQ area. I can't recall if I have a list of First Army attachments or not someplace.


Nope. The 518th was directly assigned to VIII Corps.

#55 cavscout6b

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:13 AM

Ooops... I stand corrected: The 818th MP Co. was directly assigned to VIII Corps; not the 518th MP Bn. (I mistook the 8 to be a 5 in a photo.)



#56 GITom1944

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:05 PM

Here's another reference pic. From the NARA Signal Corps collection. Summary Court, Belgium, 4 November 1944. The arresting MP is Basil Smith of the 509th MP Bn. The First Army style insignia is on Smith's helmet as well as the podium.

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  • 509th MP.jpg


#57 GITom1944

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:12 PM

Both the 518th MP Bn. and the 509th MP Bn. were assigned directly to First Army for Operation Neptune & the marking shows up in Normandy photos shortly after D-Day. Just a guess - perhaps this is a symbol for First Army Provost Marshal and might have been used by army-level MP units.

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  • ist Army MP bn s.jpg


#58 cavscout6b

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:26 PM

Both the 518th MP Bn. and the 509th MP Bn. were assigned directly to First Army for Operation Neptune & the marking shows up in Normandy photos shortly after D-Day. Just a guess - perhaps this is a symbol for First Army Provost Marshal and might have been used by army-level MP units.

 

AWESOME PHOTO !!!

What reference did you use in finding this information? (Thats the kind of material I have been looking for.) I have thought about trying to format a spreadsheet with listings & assigments for MP units in the ETO; but time & computer skills are a premium with me. :wacko:

 

Can you please check the list again, and see if there is mention of the 783rd or 713th MP Battalions? Both were supposedly assigned to 1st Army, but parceled out at various times. Neither wore the emblem you indicated, so it may have been just the 509th & 518th.

 

C Co./783rd MP - Passed to 5th & 6th ESB on 6/9/44. Landed 6/10/44 and cleared traffic from Omaha Beach.

D Co./783rd MP - Passed to 1st ESB on 6/3/44. Landed 6/10/44 and cleared traffic from Utah Beach.



#59 GITom1944

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:23 AM

The photo was scanned at the National Archives; the info regarding the 518th & 509th MP Bns came from Fold3, specifically WWII War Diaries, First Army Report of Operations in the Invasion of Normandy. Search engines can be funky... It took me quite a while to find the reference a 2nd time. Fold3 is a subscription site, but if you are looking for this kind of info, it is cheaper than traveling to College Park, MD. At the moment I have to defer on the 783rd & 713th but I am certain info for both is on Fold3.

 

Regarding the insignia, I'm thinking it might also represent First Army Headquarters or First Army Special Troops, but that is just speculative. Given that this marking shows up so quickly in Normandy, I suspect the insignia was added in England before D-Day when troops were still in garrison (I don't think MP Bns that had just arrived in Normandy during the hectic build-up period would have had their guys turning in their pots for insignia painting).




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