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Mint, Unissued US WWII dated Pith Helmet


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#1 rambob

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 07:17 AM

I got this absolutely mint, pristine US WWII pith helmet off of Ebay during the early years, when there were still bargains to be had. It has never even had its sweatband laced and still has the paper direction tag attached, as can be seen in the photos. The inside ink stamp is a little blurred, but it looks like:

International Hat Co.
NXsx 67491
June 29, 1944

BTW. I added the nice USMC cap badge to the front, to spice it up a little for the pictures. The story is that a master carton of 10 of these helmets were found in an old civil defense shelter and this was the last one they had for sale. I asked the seller if I could buy the carton and he said they had already thrown it away. He had to listen to a grown man cry over the phone.

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  • pith001.jpg
  • pith002.jpg


#2 cbuehler

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 08:43 AM

Nice helmet! I have never seen one the tag still attached. Actually that is a navy issue helmet. It is possible that the Marines could have used some, but they did have their own contract for these and they were all Khaki.

CB

#3 rambob

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 09:24 AM

Cbuehler, Thanks for the info. I was thrilled to get this helmet, off of Ebay of all places. I wish it was one of the USMC issued helmets, but I also believe that since the Navy was transporting tons of Marines, between islands, that the Marines would naturally have aquired and used some of the Navy issue Pith helmets. So I don't think it is too much of a reach to put an USMC EGA cap badge on it for effect.

Bob Law

Edited by rambob, 30 April 2007 - 09:26 AM.


#4 BC312

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 12:20 PM

We found a load of brand new pith helmets 1944 dated at a show today surplus from the lend lease from Greece. With tags and unlaced, tan outside with green inside just as it came from the factory, These can from the same place as the USMC and Navy cammo poncho's that flooded the market recently, priced at 35 each. Talking to the dutch guy today who got them from the Greek army said he bought ton's more goodies that still needs sorting.

#5 MAS36

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:03 PM

I think the USMC would prefer the green colored sun helmets for use on tropical areas to go with the color of the natural foilage and vegetation

they wore green fatiques, so the green sun helmet would go with olive green uniforms better.

#6 GICOP

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:04 PM

The helmets BC312 talks about are stamped

INTERNATIONAL HAT CO.
CONTRACT NOm - 44390
MAY 31, 1944

The last 3 numbers in the contract number are a bit blurred but appear to be 390.

I was with him when we spotted them and bought one. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#7 craig_pickrall

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 08:10 PM

I think the USMC would prefer the green colored sun helmets for use on tropical areas to go with the color of the natural foilage and vegetation

they wore green fatiques, so the green sun helmet would go with olive green uniforms better.



The OD green helmets are Navy. The USMC used tan like the army version.

#8 BC312

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:59 AM

Its tan ones we bought.

#9 BOB K. RKSS

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:38 AM

http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif Since the U.S. Marines are not an independant organization (like the U.S. ARMY, & it's many Corps), but USMC is a Corps of, & WITHIN the U.S. NAVY; so it would not be unusual for Marines to be issued items that are a Navy contract, or marked U.S. NAVY.

#10 Greg Robinson

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:20 AM

If tan on the outside, manufactured by either HAWLEY PRODUCTS CO or INTERNATIONAL HAT CO., and stamped with contract number with NOm prefix then it's USMC contract. Since these were issued to "boots" while in training in the States it's unlikely Navy ones got issued. This being said, who knows what some individual gyrene might wear on some Pacific island far away from the Marine Corps supply system.

Those unissued "pith" helmets sound nice. I'd love to run across one of them

Greg

#11 craig_pickrall

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:25 AM

Its tan ones we bought.


I know the ones you found are tan. I was responding to MAS36's comment not your post.

#12 craig_pickrall

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:32 AM

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/w00t.gif Since the U.S. Marines are not an independant organization (like the U.S. ARMY, & it's many Corps), but USMC is a Corps of, & WITHIN the U.S. NAVY; so it would not be unusual for Marines to be issued items that are a Navy contract, or marked U.S. NAVY.


Bob, I can't say you are wrong but would sure appreciate you finding a period pic to support your comment.

There is no question that cross service use of gear existed. I know my father, who was in the army, told the story of all the men in his unit getting a new pair of navy boots while on Okinawa. But then too the navy shouldn't have left that truck load of boots unguarded.

#13 Bob Hudson

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:19 PM

I normally would pass on sun helmets, but this one had a 1966 DSA contract number and a really nice EGA. The last Marines to use these were primary marksmanship instructors, so this may have come from an instructor at Camp Pendleton (I live next to there).

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#14 Bob Hudson

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 09:32 AM

I found some photos of sun helmets home on the range:

range1.jpg
range2.jpg
range3.jpg


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