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French Airborne Troops Helmets - Indochina


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Here is one of my few M-1 helmets I am sure that the pot and the liner were together for a longtime, at least they were together when they were picked up.

This set of MB steel pot with Westinghouse M1-C liner has been found by a friend of mine in a street sale in Vincennes, near Paris.

Back in those days, some twenty years ago he was NCO at the 46th RI, the Palace Guard of the Military Governor of Paris. This sunday he was pulling CQ Senior NCO and was hurrying to the fort. He was late and was running to the gate from the subway station when he noticed the helmet lying on the sidewalk at the small street sale where usually nothing pops up.

He bought it and then drop it in his room then went to take the CQ. Monday he showed it to another NCO friend and they called me to come to the fort to see the helmet. It was mine in no time and ever since seats in my collection.

Enjoy the pics.

 

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"One law for them, another one for us !"

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I have no story to go with nor proof it was worn in Indochina but this is the typical set used by french paras in-country.

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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When I got it first, the elastic band was still supple and was holding tight around the pot. Unfortunately along the years, it became dry and loosen.

The helmet was found in 1990.

The band has been IDed as an elastic strap of the reserve chute.

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Two nets?! Very cool!

 

Ian :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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The original owner name's on the sweatband is GARCIA P.

On the chinstraps there is another name or nickname. On the short one it is written PIRATE and on the longer one CHARLOT

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Two nets?! Very cool!

 

Ian :thumbsup:

Yes, two nets ! The first one is either the US M-44 without the elastic band or a piece of vehicle net and the second one looks to be french or british.

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Another one...

This M1 steel pot has been modified for the airborne troops with the addition of a third D-ring in the rear in order to adjust a rigger made three point leather chinstrap.

This type of modification was used with a regular M1 liner. The original owner of this helmet was lucky enough to grab a M1C liner so he discarded the neck strap of the rigger modification. Unfortunately, I do not own a full TAP Métropole modification set.

Note the leather chin cup, rigger made.

This helmet was given to me by the original owner thru a friend who was NCO in the same airborne regiment in the 80s.

 

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"One law for them, another one for us !"

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The third attachment point of the rigger made Modification TAP Métropole, not used in this set.

M1 Helmet with the TAP Métropole modification were made in France for the mainland airborne units. They are believed to not have been shipped to Indochina.

 

Another friend has a TAP Métro M1 helmet remodified to US standard, leather made rigger three points chinstrap removed and US M1 chinstrap re-riveted, third D-ring still present but bent outward and worn with a rigger repaired Westinghouse M1C liner. One of the V yoke has been re-riveted backward. This set was given to him by a vet of his airborne regiment when he was a National Serviceman NCO in the 80s.

 

The Airborne Command in Indochina did another modification called Modification TAP Extrême-Orient which is way harder to find. I will post my modified helmet set next WE.

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Awesome!. :thumbsup: ..did the French make many combat jumps during this conflict?....thanks....mike

Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



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Awesome!. :thumbsup: ..did the French make many combat jumps during this conflict?....thanks....mike

 

I think they made more combat jumps during these 10 years conflicts than the US airborne troppers had ever made during the 20th century (but of course in smaller scale (one or more battalion size))

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Awesome!. :thumbsup: ..did the French make many combat jumps during this conflict?....thanks....mike

Hundreds of combat jumps...

I have the log book of one of my uncle who served with the 7/II/1RCP. From 46 till 48, the battalion tour of duty dates, he made 27 combat jumps.

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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I think they made more combat jumps during these 10 years conflicts than the US airborne troppers had ever made during the 20th century (but of course in smaller scale (one or more battalion size))

Company size and even smaller like a platoon or two. Most of the time as quick reaction force for besieged outposts.

"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Two nets?! Very cool!

 

Ian :thumbsup:

Two nets has been around a long time. Cool? You bet! Had to be. Steve McQueen wore two nets on his helmet in "Hell Is For Hero's" and he wrote the book on cool.

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