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