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WWII US Navy Helmet with Mystery Markings? Yellow anchor & Circles?


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#1 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:31 PM

Hello,

 

Haven’t posted anything in a while, so I thought I would share this one.  This helmet came out of an estate auction last month in Tallahassee FL. (I'm trying to get the auction Co. to put me in contact with the family for further research).

 

I know of two other US WWII helmets marked with these same markings; Large painted yellow anchor on the front and darker orange/gold large circles painted on the sides, which I believe are the Vesicant chemical detection paint that turns to this color with age.  This is a fixed loop helmet, heat stamp 304B, late 1942.

Sorry for the glare in the pictures but the lighting in here with the fact that the shell has been lacquered inside and out at some time in its history. I would think at someone’s attempt to preserve the markings?

 

The liner’s fit and wear matches up with the shell and is a Type 5 Inland liner, with the snap in suspension and double wire buckle headband.  The liner (because I'm sure is US Navy, has a LCMDR rank decal applied to the front and a piece of friction tape with the name "Doyle" painted on the tape.  When looking at the name under magnification you can clearly see it is paint and not a sharpie.

 

I would love to identify this unit and Doyle if possible, but right now at least the unit.  The auction house had this helmet described as a "WWII D Day Fixed bail Navy Beach Group M1 Helmet"??  But no proof or background to go with that description.

 

Thanks in advance

Troy

 

 

 

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Edited by USMC-RECON0321, 20 July 2013 - 06:47 PM.


#2 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:33 PM

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#3 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:35 PM

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#4 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:37 PM

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#5 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:38 PM

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#6 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:39 PM

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#7 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 06:43 PM

Again, sorry for the poor picture quality.  The lighting is just not working out inside with the flash. 

 

Last close up of one of the large circles on the sides. 

 

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#8 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:31 PM

Here are a little bit better pics. 

 

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#9 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:36 PM

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#10 History Man

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 04:33 PM

That is definitely an interesting helmet set!

 

Philip



#11 jkash23686

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:32 PM

There have been a few of these lids pop up before and most of them are believed to be SeaBee related. Really nice looking lid congrats. 

 

-j



#12 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 06:30 PM

Thanks, 

I had a lead on one of the similar helmet sets posted on here years ago, It was from the Grand Daughter of the name on the helmet and she believed it was the 40th US Naval Construction BN.?  



#13 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 06:36 PM

Here is one I used to own with the addition of the corpsman markings,  but traded it off for a 29th ID helmet set.   I don't think he would mind me posting the picture, because we are both trying to figure out the unit markings. 

 

Troy

 

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#14 HoovieDude

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 10:22 AM

Wonder if they could be related to one of the Army's amphib units?



#15 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:51 PM

Wonder if they could be related to one of the Army's amphib units?

Interesting thought, I never considered that because of the yellow anchor? 



#16 unclegrumpy

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:04 PM

A white circle can mean a Navy Corpsman or Doctor....but helmets I have seen that have been in groups attributed as such have not had an anchor on them.  



#17 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:12 PM

A white circle can mean a Navy Corpsman or Doctor....but helmets I have seen that have been in groups attributed as such have not had an anchor on them.  

Unclegrumpy,

I'm pretty sure it's not the medic / corpsman lids with the circles.  Those usually had smaller circles, usually in white, and on the front and back, not the sides.  I Know of 4 of these style unit markings and it has been confirmed the large yellow/brown circles on the sides are the Visicant Chemical detection paint, not darkened white spots.  Also one of these helmets (Pictured above, that I used to own) had both the medic /corpsman cross on the front in addition to the large circles on the sides.  So I concluded that helmet to be a medic / corpsman within this mystery unit? 

Thanks

Troy



#18 Hürtgenwald

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 11:03 AM

This helmet was posted earlier this month.  It also has an anchor on the front.

 

http://www.usmilitar...h-anchor-decal/

 

 

My wife's grandfather was in the Navy and served in an Acorn Battalion, as a Seabee on Tarawa, and as a Landing craft driver during Okinawa and Iwo Jim battles.  I'll have to see if he can remember what they painted on their helmets.



#19 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:12 PM

Wow what a history to have in your family! It would be great of you could find picture or any info on his helmet markings.
Thanks Troy

#20 unclegrumpy

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:03 AM

Unclegrumpy,

 

I'm pretty sure it's not the medic / corpsman lids with the circles.  Those usually had smaller circles, usually in white, and on the front and back, not the sides.  

Thanks

 

Troy

 

I totally agree, and was not trying to say that.  However, it still may be medically related.

 

While I don't know what it is, one aspect of these markings that is being neglected in this discussion is the anchor.  There are heraldic aspects to anchors, where each part has significance, and this anchor does not have the typical features of American anchors.  In my eye, it has a European look to it, and except for the lack of fouling, it looks French.

 

That is not to say that a design could not have been created that did not follow any historical protocols....we know GIs did all kinds of things all the time, but maybe if we consider there is more purpose than meets the eye, it might lead somewhere.  

 

Again, I am not saying this is what it is, but if for example the "Doyle" helmet liner is not original to this shell....which it could well not be, because both the rank decal and tape marking look later, then that opens the door to other possibilities, like for example being something like Free French Navy medical personnel.   

 

This is just a pure guess, only meant to expand the discussion.  It would be very interesting to have some Europeans chime in, as their eyes may see something we are missing.


Edited by unclegrumpy, 28 July 2013 - 07:04 AM.


#21 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:22 PM

I was thinking the same thing when I first seen one of these style marked helmets and I remember seeing the attached thread that has 2 posts within the thread that ID these markings to US military personnel, just not the specific unit.  Here is the thread http://www.usmilitar...o-helmet-to-id/

and more specifically post #'s 17 and 31.  

 

As far as the liner goes in the start of this thread, I'm thinking it is an original liner to the shell from matching up the wear marks on the exterior of the liner paint to the interior of the shell.  The decal appears to be a lacquered over paper transfer type insignia and the tape is the commonly seen friction tape seen in use on many WWII helmets for rank or leadership bars etc.  The name "Doyle" under magnification is very neatly hand painted with black paint.

 

But on the flip side,,, if it did turn out to be WWII French markings, that would be nice also. 

 

Troy


Edited by USMC-RECON0321, 28 July 2013 - 06:23 PM.


#22 fireguyfire

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:51 PM

I am very curious to know the outcome about these markings!

#23 unclegrumpy

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 06:45 AM

The name "Doyle" under magnification is very neatly hand painted with black paint.

 

I am not sure when they came into use, but I suspect the lettering was done with what we used to call a "paint stick".  This was a marking pen of sorts that was filled with paint, rather than ink like marking pen.  They have a wick, and when used by someone with decent penmanship, produce results like we see on this tape strip.

 

My intention is not to start an argument, but I still think the liner name marking looks later.  I wish I knew the exact date paint sticks became commonly used.   However, from looking at many examples over the years,  my guess would be in the just post war years, with most examples on helmet liners being from the very late 1940's to early 1960's.

 

 

One other thing to consider is that liner name marking tape just about perfectly duplicates a 50's era fatigue cloth name strip....I think that was intentional.

 

I am not trying to pick this helmet to death, but do think that assuming the liner and shell have always been together may be a conclusion that prevents looking in different places for the answer.



#24 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 02:12 PM

I'm with ya on that, forget the liner and let's focus on the intent of this thread which was really on figuring out the shell markings. The liner can be figured out later if need be.

#25 GITom1944

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:29 PM

Here's a Coast Guard pic taken on Guam. The stretcher bearer in front, Anthony Patak, has an anchor emblem on his helmet liner. Perhaps there is a connection? Info from the Getty Images website IDs the men as (l-r) Joseph Friel, Daniel McGinn, Patak, and Joseph Krynicky. The caption does not explicitly ID the four as being Coast Guardsman, although per Fold3, an Anthony Patak, USCGR from the Coast Guard manned USS Aquarius who was wounded during the Guam landing.

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  • Guam anchor.jpg



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