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Elvis era tanker helmet


gunbunny
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Here's an interesting Army armored forces helmet from the late '50's. I called it an "Elvis era" helmet because if I remember correctly there is a display at Graceland that features a similar helmet. I bought this years ago at a little shop on the main drag in downtown Tacoma, WA. It was one of those shops that catered to GI's from Ft. Lewis and it was loaded with patches, brass, uniforms, etc., etc. Sadly it's long gone. The helmet is a classic Rawlings football helmet. It's interesting in that it appears to be made for the Army. Although it has been repainted by brush in a semi-gloss OD the helmet is molded from OD plastic with OD pads with dulled black snaps and rivets.

 

DSCN5728-1.jpg

 

DSCN5729-2.jpg

 

DSCN5731-3.jpg

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Here's an interesting Army armored forces helmet from the late '50's. I called it an "Elvis era" helmet because if I remember correctly there is a display at Graceland that features a similar helmet. I bought this years ago at a little shop on the main drag in downtown Tacoma, WA. It was one of those shops that catered to GI's from Ft. Lewis and it was loaded with patches, brass, uniforms, etc., etc. Sadly it's long gone. The helmet is a classic Rawlings football helmet. It's interesting in that it appears to be made for the Army. Although it has been repainted by brush in a semi-gloss OD the helmet is molded from OD plastic with OD pads with dulled black snaps and rivets.

 

DSCN5728-1.jpg

 

DSCN5729-2.jpg

 

DSCN5731-3.jpg

 

Beautifull, superb condidtion, all its missing is its chin cup. start browsing E-BAY for vintage football helmet chin cups.

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Here's an interesting Army armored forces helmet from the late '50's. I called it an "Elvis era" helmet because if I remember correctly there is a display at Graceland that features a similar helmet. I bought this years ago at a little shop on the main drag in downtown Tacoma, WA. It was one of those shops that catered to GI's from Ft. Lewis and it was loaded with patches, brass, uniforms, etc., etc. Sadly it's long gone. The helmet is a classic Rawlings football helmet. It's interesting in that it appears to be made for the Army. Although it has been repainted by brush in a semi-gloss OD the helmet is molded from OD plastic with OD pads with dulled black snaps and rivets.

 

DSCN5728-1.jpg

 

DSCN5729-2.jpg

 

DSCN5731-3.jpg

 

You know you talking about that Army Navy store got me thinking about one I strolled in in Killeen Texas back in 1980 when I was at Fort Hood in the 1st Cav Division. I remember all the OLD stuff they had, I talking OLD, like WWII Tank Destroyer stuff, Armored stuff, I particularly remember the collar pins, both Officer and EM, AHH if I only knew then that I would collect stuff , I did,nt tarry long there, as I was going somewhere else and did not intend to go there, I only just spoted the store and popped in, I never went back to it, but I bet if I cared to explore more I bet I would have seen the type of tanker helmet you have, as a matter of fact there was tanker helmets there on the rear shelves behind the register, though again I did,nt ask to look at them I,ll also bet that that store is gone, if it is there still at the very least I imagine that the stuff that was there from the WWII, 1950s, period are long gone. this type of place reminded me of at least one old type Army Navy store near where I lived here in the Glendale/Ridgewood Queens area when I was a kid in the 60s, it had loads of stuff, so much stuff that the store which was a corner store, had an additional store front around the corner that was used only for storage, I still remember seeing stuff shoved up to tinted windows of this storage store front. I would go in there once and awhile with my father who would by t-shirts, underware, stuff like that, as it was a store typical of that time, in that they sold Military stuff, but also other mens stuff like Sneakers,ETC, It was nothing like todays places in that it sold strictly workers clothing, and not HIP clothing, which most army Navy stores sell today in NYC, I recall that smell, that unique smell of the the place, I ve only smelt this twice again, once in Woodhaven Antiques another great militaria place, near where I went to HS, and again at the store off post at Hood., this smell was aptly described by Tony Randall's Felix Unger charactor in an Odd Couple episode as smell of a WWII undershirt, and thats what it was, it was that Mildew smell. :)

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Very nice example of a c.1959 modified commercial football helmet used by armored forces. The decals are very nice and the M-6/UR wire boom mic looks like it is in excellent condition.

 

Larry

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Here's an interesting Army armored forces helmet from the late '50's. I called it an "Elvis era" helmet because if I remember correctly there is a display at Graceland that features a similar helmet. I bought this years ago at a little shop on the main drag in downtown Tacoma, WA. It was one of those shops that catered to GI's from Ft. Lewis and it was loaded with patches, brass, uniforms, etc., etc. Sadly it's long gone. The helmet is a classic Rawlings football helmet. It's interesting in that it appears to be made for the Army. Although it has been repainted by brush in a semi-gloss OD the helmet is molded from OD plastic with OD pads with dulled black snaps and rivets.

 

DSCN5728-1.jpg

 

DSCN5729-2.jpg

 

DSCN5731-3.jpg

 

Lets us now talk about the decals, on this most excelent helmet, the 40th Armor triangle I believe is not the 40th Armored Division, this Division was a California National Guard Division, during that time it had as tank units the 133rd, 134th, 139th, 140th Tank Battalions assigned to it, the unit crest decal is that of the 40th Tank Battalion, TAKE AWAY, LarryM3, and Tanker 1, finish this one up, I got to go to the Latrine :rolleyes:

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I see that the others guys are logged out, my point is that the Armored Triangle with the 40 is a Battalion level insignia, and not a Divisional one, in this case a Battalion of the 40th Armor as opposed to an Armored Division which would have been the 40th Armored Division, a California NG unit, as it has the DI on the otherside for the 40th Tank Battalion/40th Armor, this would make sense. The 40th Tank Battalion was part of the 4th Infantry Division from 1948 to 1957, it returned with the 4th Division from West Germany to the the Divisions new home at Fort Lewis in June 1956, on 1 April the 40th Tank Battalion was inactivated, on 27 October 1957 it was reformed under the Combat Arms Regimental System or CARS as the 40th Armor, Here the info on this unit dies out. I can not find any info on elements of the 40th Armor from the late 50s, early 60s, the next time I see any info is during the mid to late 60s, here the 40th Armor was assigned only in company sized units in in a few units Army wide, for instance Companies A, and D where in Alaska with the 171st Infantry Brigade, Fort Wainwright, and the 172nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Richardson, one in the 171st and the other in the 172nd respectively, Company F was organic to the Berlin Brigade in West Berlin, while the only other element that was active was Company B, which was III Corps, Corps troops at Fort Sill Oklahoma.

 

Given that it has no 4th Divisonal decal, just what I suspect is a Battalion numbered Armored triangle, with the Battalion DI on the other side, I can guess that after this unit was reactivated as it where, that a unit of the 40th Armor was at Fort Lewis but no longer part of the 4th Infantry Division and was operating as a seperate unit. I have the 1963 Yearbook for the 4th Infantry Division, in it, by that year, the Armor component was the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 34th Armor and not any element of the 40th Armor( Note the use of MEDIUM TANK BATTALION ) this is an early designation during the CARS era, which coincided with the Pentomic era, during 1963 a new concept was ongoing called Reorganization Objective Army Divisions or ROAD, pronounced RO---AD, which did away with the Pentomic system, after this the Armor units had only BATTLION in the title as in the 1st Battalion 34th Armor, etc,etc .

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  • 10 months later...

That's a fabulous helmet. I'm a former Cavalry Scout who served with the 40th Armor Batallion from 1990 through 1992, in Berlin. The unit crest we wore on our dress uniforms was the same dinosaur with flaming sword insignia. Of course, the unit patch we wore on our left shoulder was that of the Berlin Brigade. The unit was deactivated in 1992, and we packed up our stuff, left Germany, and were dispersed to new units (I went to the 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia). My fondest Army memories are from my Berlin days with the 40th, and up until our deactivation were were still using the 1911 .45 pistols, and blowing up shape charges and other explosives that were 40 years old!

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