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M1 Stripped to Reveal BEACH BATTALION Helmet?!


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#1 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:40 AM

I recently purchased this helmet from a fellow forum member. Beneath the OD overpaint, it showed signs of possibly being some sort of amphibious forces helmet. Since I collect 4th BB items, I had to jump on it! As you know from my past posts, the 4th BB painted a vertical stripe from front to back with the color of the beach they were to land on during amphibious assaults (i.e. Red Beach, Yellow Beach, Blue Beach, Green Beach, etc.) I decided right away to strip the helmet knowing that to me, a much greater story was told below the late/post war OD overpaint. I used Goof Off and spent roughly 5 hours getting it to its current state. I am not sure if I will work more to remove the remaining OD paint...

 

Based on the heat stamp, this helmet was made in Nov/Dec 1944. By this point in the war, the 4th BB had already finished 2 of their 3 amphibious assaults. 9 months later in August of 1944, the battalion would land in Southern France during Operation Dragoon. If this helmet it in fact a 4th BB helmet, it makes sense that there is only 1 stripe and none below it from previous invasions. There were a number of sailors coming and going from the battalion, especially before Op Dragoon. I guess there is no way to 100% identify the lid, but evidence leans towards 4th BB or some other amphibious forces group. Regarding the blue base paint, I just asked one of my 4th BB vets via email if they had OD or Navy Grey helmets. He told me, "The majority were Navy". I assume he meant GREY in color. So the blue base paint is not a deal breaker for a beach battalion unit as I had previously assumed.

 

What are your thoughts? Does anyone have any proof of photographs showing vertical stripes being used in the Navy besides the 4th Beach Battalion? Thanks and enjoy the photos!

 

 

The B/W photo is of a 4th BB sailor over the body of a dead German near Sainte-Maxime during the invasion of Southern France in August of 1944.

0.jpg


Edited by stealthytyler, 06 February 2016 - 09:49 AM.


#2 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:41 AM

BEFORE / AFTER

 

1.jpg


Edited by stealthytyler, 06 February 2016 - 09:49 AM.


#3 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:41 AM

2.jpg



#4 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:41 AM

3.jpg



#5 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:41 AM

4.jpg



#6 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:42 AM

5.jpg



#7 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:42 AM

9.jpg



#8 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:42 AM

6.jpg



#9 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:43 AM

7.jpg

 

8.jpg



#10 USdog

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:05 AM

Cool helmet. Maybe by Navy he meant a Navy blue-ish color?

#11 sgtdorango

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:19 AM

Bazinga!!!....great helmet, i was lucky enough to see it in person, love it!....mike

#12 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:22 AM

Bazinga!!!....great helmet, i was lucky enough to see it in person, love it!....mike

 

Thank you Mike for directing the helmet my way! I appreciate it. I had mixed feelings stripping it but I feel much happier with it back to its almost original state. What say you? 


Edited by stealthytyler, 06 February 2016 - 10:23 AM.


#13 TheGrayGhost

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:27 AM

Fantastic restoration and a great looking helmet! Congrats.

#14 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:30 AM

Here is my grandfathers 4BB helmet for reference. He was involved in 3 landings, tons of training in between and beach battalion school with this helmet. It is pretty well worn... not to mention 2 generations of children played with it after the war!!!!  :blush:  Notice the OD paint instead of grey or blue. Not sure what dictated the sailors getting an OD, grey or blue helmet??? 

 

M1 3.jpg

 

 



#15 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:38 AM

Question:

 

When M1 helmets were manufactured, they were given an OD paint, right? There is no evidence of OD paint under the blue paint. Is it possible that some helmets would have been sprayed blue and just skip the OD base paint? Confused... thanks!



#16 Brian Keith

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:43 AM

Nice work, love the side by side before and after shots. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

BKW



#17 1canpara

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:57 AM

Looks great Tyler! Great job on the paint removal!

Rick

#18 byf41

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:11 AM

Nice one !



#19 doyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:24 AM

Question:

 

When M1 helmets were manufactured, they were given an OD paint, right? There is no evidence of OD paint under the blue paint. Is it possible that some helmets would have been sprayed blue and just skip the OD base paint? Confused... thanks!

 

 

 

 

OD  was standard  the blue-blue grey were basically ships paint ans applied later

 

The talker/gunners helmets were blue but were specifically navy.I have observered dark and light shades of blue.Even had one that was repainted a battle ship grey.


Edited by doyler, 06 February 2016 - 11:27 AM.


#20 ccmax

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:51 AM

Very cool helmet and excellent restoration.

#21 manayunkman

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:57 AM

Very nice looking helmet.

 

What did you use to remove the paint ?

 

When was the helmet painted over ?



#22 anton67

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 02:01 PM

Good job on the restoration.



#23 Ronnie

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 03:57 PM

Ah-freaking-mazing!
Nice job....great helmet!
Ronnie

#24 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 05:03 PM

Very nice looking helmet.

 

What did you use to remove the paint ?

 

When was the helmet painted over ?

 

 

Thank you very much. I do not know when the helmet was repainted. The previous owner thought it looked like a late late war paint job. I might agree with him. To me, it lacks that classic thick shiny Korean war era overpaint.

 

I used Goof Off, paper towels, Q-tips and 5 hours of tedious work! NOTE: try your hardest not due directly breath the fumes! This stuff made me feel pretty weird, even with a window open! At first, I would squirt the chemical on a paper towl and rub once in one direction. I would find a clean spot on the paper towel and repeat until I got down to the original paint. I noticed right away that this technique was taking off the paint on the top of the corking before the lower parts of the helmet. This would eventually cause the red stripe to be rubbed off on the top of the corking. Not good! I switched my technique and rubbed the OD paint off quickly with a saturated piece of paper towel until I came close to the red. I would then take a q-tip or small paper towel piece and let the paint soak in the chemical until it looked like it became soft. I would then quickly take a dry paper towel before the chemical dried and spun in a clockwise rotation. I found that it removed the paint fairly evenly from the top of the corking to the lowest points of the helmet. I used q-tips to get small areas and the rim. This was my first time doing it and with a little patience, it was pretty darn easy. Now, the hard part would be finishing up all the small green areas which I don't think I will do. Not worth the risk! I hope this helps. Next time I will make a short video on how I did it. I couldn't find any videos on this subject anywhere.



#25 stealthytyler

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 05:04 PM

Thanks guys for the nice comments. It was really fun to see the helmet come to life. It was really easy too! Read my post above!




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