Jump to content


Photo

D-Day Helmet Of Elmer "Buck" Buchholz - USN


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:34 AM

This helmet is attributed to Elmer Norbert Buchholz (1923-2010). "Buck" lived most of his life in Kiel, Wisconsin(30 miles from my home), and that is where he’s buried. In December 1943, Buchholz was assigned to duty on the S.S. Charles Morgan.  On June 6, 1944 this ship left Wales with cargo, crew, and 142 others, including 27 U.S. Navy Armed Guards, of whom Buchholz was one.  The ship anchored a half mile off Utah Beach and began unloading men and materiel. You can see his pride in his home state on the back of his helmet.

A huge shout out of thanks to my friend Bill47 for making sure that this helmet got to make it's way back to Wisconsin!


 

Attached Files



#2 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:37 AM

"Buck" made sure everyone knew who he was. .  At dawn on June 10(D plus 4), a German plane dropped a 500-lb. bomb squarely on the deck of the Morgan.  Eight were killed and the ship settled by the stern.  All hands remained on board for a full eight hours as final preparations were made to abandon ship. The Morgan was lost.  Buchholz personnel file shows him as one of those who escaped, and so he is officially listed as "SURVIVOR." 

Attached Files



#3 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:43 AM

Buchholz was sent home immediately after the loss of the Morgan.  After a rest period, he shipped out to the Pacific, where he remained until the end of the war. The photo below is of the Morgan shortly after it was hit.
 

 

 

Attached Files



#4 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:44 AM

The man

Attached Files



#5 zippy144

zippy144
  • Members
    • Member ID: 4,730
  • 558 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Great Britain

Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:46 AM

Hi

 

 

That is a really dodgy "Mug" shot.... I love it.

 

It is great to be able to trace the history on these items.

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

Regards

 

Tom



#6 M24 Chaffee

M24 Chaffee
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,899
  • 923 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia

Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:28 AM

Thanks for the story and photos!

Frank

#7 BOLO

BOLO
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,885
  • 6,093 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:usa

Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:49 AM

is this the actual helmet he wore aboard the S.S. Charles Morgan? or the helmet he used after his rest period when he was shipped back out to the Pacific until the end of the war?  it's a very interesting helmet , most of the time helmets dont have this kind of detailed history of the war time use.


Edited by BOLO, 06 June 2014 - 06:52 AM.


#8 king802

king802
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,878
  • 2,502 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:England

Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:50 AM

Scott,

 

Terrific helmet. great history and i love the colour.

 

very nice and unusual addition to your collection.

 

Rich



#9 Theorywolf

Theorywolf
  • Members
    • Member ID: 576
  • 3,010 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wilmington, NC

Posted 06 June 2014 - 09:11 AM

HI SCOTT,

GREAT HELMET AND THE MAN'S STORY BEHIND IT!

CHEERS,

MIKE

#10 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 06 June 2014 - 02:50 PM

Thanks guys, I've been waiting for this one for quite some time but, Bill was the guy who made this happen. He wanted it back in Wisconsin!



#11 Buckshot

Buckshot
  • Members
    • Member ID: 106,555
  • 234 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina, USA

Posted 08 June 2014 - 11:52 AM

Nice helmet and story.  Thanks for sharing.



#12 costa

costa
  • Members
    • Member ID: 73
  • 5,359 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:nj

Posted 08 June 2014 - 12:58 PM

SCOTT--- DID YOU NOTICE ITS A SWIVEL bail? IF THIS IS A D-DAY LID IT TELLS YOU SWIVEL BALES WERE ISSUED EARLY NOT LATER IN 44.



#13 NPerry

NPerry
  • Members
    • Member ID: 8,592
  • 166 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Iowa

Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:22 PM

No idea about the swivel bail or use in Normandy; however, I have seen another helmet in that color.  A surplus dealer I know went to Hoboken, NJ  in the early seventies where a Liberty ship was being cut for scrap.  There were unopened crates of medical gauze bandages, etc. the owner was selling.  In one cargo hold were helmets that the owner didn't think were valuable enough and were going to be scraped with the ship.  He agreed to sell them for $2.00 each if the dealer would take all of them.  I remember one was this color and was sold as "Beachmaster Blue" whatever that means.  Some of the helmets may have been stored after the war.  I don't know.  FYI

 

Neal Perry 



#14 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:39 PM

...is this the actual helmet he wore aboard the S.S. Charles Morgan?

 

It was uncommon for a Navy helmet to ever leave a ship. The seaman moved but, the helmet stayed. However, Buchholz was not on a Navy ship(technically) he was on an armed cargo ship and the Navy provided the personal that would man the guns, so the helmet was likely carried by the sailor. Also, the Morgan was in an active combat area and the men would have been wearing their helmets the day they were attacked by the Luftwaffe. When the order to abandon ship was given, he was probably still wearing the helmet.. Since the Morgan was lost, it is easy to speculate that the helmet came with him. After the D-Day experience, Buchholz spent the remainder of the war on an LST and then later some other Liberty ships in the Pacific.

 

SCOTT--- DID YOU NOTICE ITS A SWIVEL BALE? IF THIS IS A D-DAY LID IT TELLS YOU SWIVEL BALES WERE ISSUED EARLY NOT LATER IN 44.

Sorry, Mitch, I don't have the smoking gun, it's an early fixed loop.



#15 Sabrejet

Sabrejet
  • Members
    • Member ID: 8,022
  • 37,412 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, U.K.

Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:50 AM

I note the Welsh connection. The Morgan would have sailed from either the ports of Newport, Cardiff, Barry or Swansea. Any idea which one?


Edited by Sabrejet, 10 June 2014 - 12:52 AM.


#16 Sabrejet

Sabrejet
  • Members
    • Member ID: 8,022
  • 37,412 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, U.K.

Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:54 AM

PS. I just researched it. It was actually Newport.

 

http://home.comcast....ES_MORGAN_R.pdf

 

 

She was damnably unlucky to be hit as there was almost no German air activity over the invasion beaches as the allies had air superiority from day one!



#17 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:43 AM

Here's some close-up shots. It looks like Elmer tried to scratch off his nickname from the front of his helmet.

Attached Files



#18 USMC-RECON0321

USMC-RECON0321
  • Members
    • Member ID: 33,000
  • 4,810 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Michigan

Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:53 AM

Scott,

As always, GREAT helmet and history!  Also love the additional pictures.

 

Troy 



#19 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:23 AM

PS. I just researched it. It was actually Newport.

 

http://home.comcast....ES_MORGAN_R.pdf

 

 

She was damnably unlucky to be hit as there was almost no German air activity over the invasion beaches as the allies had air superiority from day one!

Thanks Ian, from the report, it looks like the attack came during the night thus making friend/foe identification hard. I'm sure most of the gunners thought it was a friendly plane right up until they were hit.



#20 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 14 June 2014 - 01:27 PM

The cemetery where Buchholz is buried. 

Attached Files



#21 Sparty On

Sparty On
  • Members
    • Member ID: 104,736
  • 1,544 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 June 2014 - 01:59 PM

The cemetery where Buchholz is buried. 


You should request a photo of his tombstone on Find a Grave website

#22 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 15 June 2014 - 04:06 AM

You should request a photo of his tombstone on Find a Grave website

No need to Mike, he is buried less than 30 miles from my home. My wife and I went there a few weeks back, found Elmer's final resting place and took our own photo's.

Attached Files



#23 Grant G.

Grant G.
  • Members
    • Member ID: 11,015
  • 1,657 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Illinois

Posted 24 May 2019 - 04:19 PM

Great helmet, Scott! Looking back on it, after a little over a decade of helmet collecting, I don't think I've ever owned a helmet with traceable provenance to the D-Day Invasion. Just goes to show how truly rare these D-Day helmets are!



#24 Bugme

Bugme

    ADMINISTRATOR

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 1,726
  • 15,257 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marsaxlokk, Malta & Wisconsin Shoreline

Posted 05 June 2019 - 12:36 PM

Thanks Grant and I have to agree, there are a lot of "D-Day" helmets but few have provenance. I am happy to have this one.

#25 Simon Lerenfort

Simon Lerenfort
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,177
  • 343 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 June 2019 - 06:40 AM

Great story, good to know it is back in his home state.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users