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Vietnam helmet cover or child's play piece?


thunderw21
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I'm guessing a kid's piece but just wanted to be sure. It came with a bunch of surplus I got several years ago.

 

Fairly crudely constructed, doesn't fit an M-1 all that great, and it's pretty clean. Made of cotton material.

 

What say you?

 

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That's what I'm wondering. Looks like it could have been ARVN but the construction is so crude. Field made piece? The center seam is well made on a machine (if a bit off center) but the outer edge stitching is obviously rough hand stitching.

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As I'm pretty sure this wasn't made for a kid to dress up a toy helmet or real helmet for that matter to play army with, I rather fancy for lack of anything else that this was a genuine cover fashioned out of duck hunter fabric for field use in the 50s or 60s (60s would be early 60s, or thoughout the 60s in one of the Reserve Components)

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vostoktrading

This could also be a cover for a foreign military. I don't have my reference books handy but I recall seeing something like this pattern before.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

As I'm pretty sure this wasn't made for a kid to dress up a toy helmet or real helmet for that matter to play army with, I rather fancy for lack of anything else that this was a genuine cover fashioned out of duck hunter fabric for field use in the 50s or 60s (60s would be early 60s, or thoughout the 60s in one of the Reserve Components)

 

Interesting. So if I understand you right, it could possibly be a privately purchased/made cover out of commercial duck hunter camo for an ARVN soldier in the 1950s or reserve in the 1960s?

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Thanks for the replies.

 

 

Interesting. So if I understand you right, it could possibly be a privately purchased/made cover out of commercial duck hunter camo for an ARVN soldier in the 1950s or reserve in the 1960s?

A little Army helmet cover history is in order here I think. In the 1950s the United States Army had no official helmet cover, the camouflage nets of WWII had completly stopped as a official issue item at the end of the war, though it could still be seen, but it was very very very rare, (how many times can I say very :lol:) and was obtained privatly rather than as mentioned being issued. In Korea the habit of wearing covers began with the use of Burlap or Hessian covers, made usually from cut up sand bags of the various drab shades they were found in. Among these were Camouflage material made from the Camouflage Parachute material, both types, Burlap and Parachute Camo were seen in use earlier in WWII in the Army, but this was very very very rare.

 

In time both the Burlap/Hessian and Parachute Camo started to be seen Army wide and not just in Korea. Some companies both foreign (South Korean) and domestic towards the late 50s, don't know how many there were, would make specifically made Camouflage covers out of the Parachute material, these sometimes had a elastic band sewn under. However the plain unadored Steel Pot was the norm, the two makeshift covers only a supplement subjected to either the inclination of the individual soldier who wanted to wear one, or ordered or proscribed for unit wear, this last one fairly uncommon to the Army both regular and Reserve Components overall. In short most didn't wear covers or the WWII era Camouflage Band that still was seen here and there, (that's the band by itself without the net)

 

This pertained to both the Regular Army and the Reserve Components, the Reserve Components being both the National Guard and the Active or Organized Reserve. In around 1962-63 the Army adopted the wear of the so called Mitchell pattern or Leaf pattern helmet covers Army wide, but the Reserve Components never received them, hell they never received the M14 Rifle, at least for certain units like maybe the District of Columbia National Guard and the 4 Reserve Combat Infantry Brigades, to wit the 191st, 157th, 187th and the 205th Infantry Brigades (separate). While the DC Guard may have had a issue of the M14 Rifle, they still went around with bare Steel Helmets, the Reserve units mentioned may have all been issued the Leaf Covers, photos I have seen from 1968 show units of the 157th Inf Bde USAR out of Pennsylvania with the Leaf Covers, so if this one, the 157th had them the other 3 Brigades might of had them too.

 

Which brings me to your cover, since the 1950s early 1960s Army had no official cover, and the 1960s Reserve Components never having one, it will be in the realm of possibilty that this cover was made for wear for a GI or GIs either in the 50s or 60s by simply using large pieces of Duck Hunter Camo, done up somewhat professionaly, and not necessarily for "ARVN" though the temptation to catogorize it as ARVN or even South Korean Marines is strong, it may in fact be as mentioned, one for a U.S. Soldier.

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Excellent history, thank you. I didn't know for sure if you were referring to ARVN soldiers or US soldiers in your previous post, but you cleared it up with your latest one.

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To show just what I'm talking about, here is at least one GI of the Berlin Brigade August 1961 wearing a cover that's similar to your's, it is not Parachute silk like material as it lacks that sheen but rather a cloth version, Duck Hunter cloth.

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Here's some good talks on the related. Burlap and nets and pre mitch camo covers post war.

 

 

 

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/141856-burlap-helmet-cover/

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/130335-a-question-for-our-helmet-guys/

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/74350-para-camo-helmet-covers/

 

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This one is clearly not an original cover. It looks like it was made yesterday.

Sorry, but it's a child's play piece, like you said.

 

HOS

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This one is clearly not an original cover. It looks like it was made yesterday.

Sorry, but it's a child's play piece, like you said.

 

HOS

What's clear about it? you never seen an unissued or mint/excellent condition item, one that's very old but looks like it's brand new?

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Just to check it out and see if perhaps this might be a modern or recent made item as Head Of Steel suggests. Take a piece of thread from the seam on the crown and one from the hem, and burn it, chances are if it burns cotton it just might be ok, if it burns poly/nylon then......... then there might be an uncomfortable factor.

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maybe a kid's mother made it to use on a helmet liner for a Halloween costume? that could explain the smaller size and not fitting the steel shell

 

I remember some of the mother's use to make customized costumes for some of the kids during Halloween, maybe they used one of their father's hunting shirts to make it?

 

put it on a liner and see if it covers the whole shell

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Excepting for alittle bit on the sides, it seems to fit fine, it's the hem, perhaps that's what's been messed with, if it wasn't hemed with the elastic band would be able to be tucked between the shell and the liner or just a little bit tucked, enough to bite? if not, the hem was done to high. In any event while I still wont say this is an outright phony just yet, just consider the way it's made, way to well made and elaborate for a housewife for kids, nor a father, it just to elaborately made, why make a center seam with two parts like that, why not just cut a large piece sew a hem and away we go.

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I have some Taiwanese M1 camo helmet covers and they have a built in elastic band instead of the long flap used on a standard GI issue cover

 

the elastic band sewn in is something more often seen on foreign used M1's

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I have some Taiwanese M1 camo helmet covers and they have a built in elastic band instead of the long flap used on a standard GI issue cover

 

the elastic band sewn in is something more often seen on foreign used M1's

Got a early 60s photo in one of those C B Colby books The National Guardsman, it's GIs of an State and Unit unknown 4.2 mortar crew, they have these elastic hemed covers, though they are Parachute camo, it's similar, one guy hem is riding up over his bails, not pulled tight under the rim at all.

 

 

Here the types mentioned by Linedoggie, don't look the same do they, this one in the OP looks just like the one the GI is wearing in Berlin.

 

http://brendonshelmets.weebly.com/various-helmet-covers.html

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  • 1 year later...

post-34986-0-34697100-1432524266.jpg

 

And here's that foto of National Guardsmen Mortarmen I mentioned wearing the Camo para covers with the elastic hems, please note the GI on the far left, even though he's got this elasticized hem, it still seem these were prone to riding off the rim.

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  • 6 years later...
  • 6 months later...
This One Time...

Old picture I've had sitting around for a while. The 107th Armored Cavalry during the 1966 Hough Riots, with two duck hunter covers right in front.867970804_Hough17.png.67e27f2810e1fa0a976db80915d1fb4b.png

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