Jump to content


a really odd WW2 First Army MP helmet

Started by jgawne , Sep 26 2012 03:53 PM

  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#51 Baron3-6

Baron3-6
  • Members
    • Member ID: 83,679
  • 1,411 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:JQMD

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

cavscout6b
  • Members
    • Member ID: 123,609
  • 233 posts

Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:24 PM

Thread bumped = Beginning Round 2

#53 cavscout6b

cavscout6b
  • Members
    • Member ID: 123,609
  • 233 posts

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

cavscout6b
  • Members
    • Member ID: 123,609
  • 233 posts

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

cavscout6b
  • Members
    • Member ID: 123,609
  • 233 posts

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

GITom1944
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,064
  • 1,014 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Connecticut

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.

Attached Images

  • 509th MP.jpg


#57 GITom1944

GITom1944
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,064
  • 1,014 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Connecticut

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.

Attached Images

  • ist Army MP bn s.jpg


#58 cavscout6b

cavscout6b
  • Members
    • Member ID: 123,609
  • 233 posts

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

GITom1944
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,064
  • 1,014 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Connecticut

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).



#60 MilwaukeeDan

MilwaukeeDan
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 162,564
  • 1 posts

Posted 27 June 2016 - 10:52 AM

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.

Hi GITom,

 

I was wondering if you could help me find more photos of MP's from the NARA Signal Corps collection.  I believe that is my grandfather on the left in this photo: http://www.usmilitar...-1389751461.jpg

 

Is that collection available online somewhere?

 

Thank you!

 

Dan



#61 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 14,259 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 27 June 2016 - 11:15 AM

Dan, it might be easier to send a private message to GITom to insure that he actually gets your message.



#62 capajo02

capajo02
  • Members
    • Member ID: 9,280
  • 348 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Coast, US

Posted 10 February 2017 - 08:32 AM

I know this thread is five years old, but I wanted to link to some more evidence of these helmets appearing during the war.  While is a bit gruesome, there are 1st Army MPs with helmets painted like the one in question in this film of the execution of German infiltrators from the Battle of the Bulge. These are likely 509th and/or 518th MP Bn troops.

 

YouTube link:

 
Critical Past link: http://www.criticalp..._spies-are-tied



#63 GITom1944

GITom1944
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,064
  • 1,014 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:40 AM

capajo02 - Thanks for posting this. Gruesome, yes but it is useful documentation. I've seen it before but I never noticed the First Army style marking on the MP's helmets. Per the info provided in the link, the clip shows the prisoners being "brought to (the) execution spot of the 482nd MP guard station by military police of 509th MP (Bn)." Perhaps the MPs without the insignia are from the 482nd and those with it are from the 509th. 

 

Tom



#64 capajo02

capajo02
  • Members
    • Member ID: 9,280
  • 348 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East Coast, US

Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:54 AM

Tom,

Good catch... Of all of the obvious places to look for info, I missed the description.  I am usually so intent at viewing the footage, I miss the obvious.  

-John



#65 Johan Willaert

Johan Willaert
  • Members
    • Member ID: 92
  • 8,096 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ETO

Posted 14 March 2017 - 01:33 AM

Surfing the www, I came across this picture taken by CAPA in France, 1944...

MPs from a 1st Army unit, the MP in the back of the Jeep sports the red/white insignia on his helmet...

Attached Images

  • Capa-Life-Magnum-FranceInvasion-1944 (56).jpg


#66 Mustang

Mustang
  • Members
    • Member ID: 53,513
  • 119 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:N.C.

Posted 14 March 2017 - 07:00 AM

Surfing the www, I came across this picture taken by CAPA in France, 1944...

MPs from a 1st Army unit, the MP in the back of the Jeep sports the red/white insignia on his helmet...

Great photo..................is that a pile of German helmets in the center background?



#67 sgtdorango

sgtdorango
  • Members
    • Member ID: 350
  • 11,822 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mass. USA

Posted 14 March 2017 - 07:33 AM

Yes i think it is....was eyeballing it too!....mike


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)