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ARVN RANGER HELMET


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I have to agree with AnDuc, all his concerns are correct.

 

Every division had solider(s) that painted helmets and I imagine that they would've been given to the best painters available to even to civilian painters.

If not, I would think that (at least) officers would've been given the better quality helmets.

 

The condition of the tiger doesn't match the rest of the camo, especially the white paint. To me, it looks like someone artificially aged it (or rubbed the paint/camo off).

 

I would like to see the inside of the liner.

 

Further the rust stains on the chinstrap doesn't match the shell.

 

Until we see better pictures, I will continue to believe that this helmet is a fake. Always buy the item not the story.

 

Alex

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I'm glad someone else had concerns... I was trying to be easy going and ask for the lot number cause that by itself could give it away. Bit I think accusing the OP of possible tampering or replicating may be jumping to conclusions... but I guess they could be just as guilty as anyone

"America shall win the war. Therefore, I will work. I will save. I will sacrifice. I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone." -Martin A. Treptow Jake L.

NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER CHOKED TO DEATH FROM SWALLOWING THEIR PRIDE.


Heaven help me, how I miss my friend

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Here is my question for you then.

 

How many original ARVN ranger painted helmets have you ever owned or handled?

 

I have been collecting Vietnam items with a special interest in SVN militaria for 35 plus years. In that time I actively chased down every lead that came up on original headgear, esp. painted helmets. In all the time I have owned four and only handled maybe another five that weren't for sale. When you have seen and handled a few real ones you know the difference of what the fake / crap painted BDQ helmets look like.

 

Next on BDQ helmets there is no set standard. Each unit had one or two guys that were assigned to paint the helmets for the unit, or in a couple of known cases the officer's wives painted them. Some did it by stencils, some by free hand, which the above is done in free hand.

 

Are you trying to say that every time an officer wore his helmet and it got scuffed or it got dirty he was supposed to have it repainted or get a new one? Doesn't make much sense. The Rangers wore these helmets in the field so that the enemy knew who they were. So the helmet will get used and dirty. Plus this has been sitting in a veterans house for the last 40+ years and has bounced around in storage conditions. Remember veterans don't treat these items we collect as treasures, to them it was just old army stuff. Plus the vet who brought this home was not your basic "grunt" he was in a much different unit. The OP hasn't posted his unit, but we have talked about it and I saw the rest of the killer items that came with this helmet.

 

Your last comment, I would really think about editing. Do you know the op in this thread, to the point that you can accuse him of "aged the helmet and made the story up"? You may want to do a simple internet search of his name and see the books he has written about Special Forces recon teams in Vietnam and how highly regarded he is in the Special Forces community.

www.vintageproductions.com


"A militaria show is a social event for anti-socials" - A.T. 2008


ASMIC Executive President

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Here is my question for you then.

 

How many original ARVN ranger painted helmets have you ever owned or handled?

 

I have been collecting Vietnam items with a special interest in SVN militaria for 35 plus years. In that time I actively chased down every lead that came up on original headgear, esp. painted helmets. In all the time I have owned four and only handled maybe another five that weren't for sale. When you have seen and handled a few real ones you know the difference of what the fake / crap painted BDQ helmets look like.

 

Next on BDQ helmets there is no set standard. Each unit had one or two guys that were assigned to paint the helmets for the unit, or in a couple of known cases the officer's wives painted them. Some did it by stencils, some by free hand, which the above is done in free hand.

 

Are you trying to say that every time an officer wore his helmet and it got scuffed or it got dirty he was supposed to have it repainted or get a new one? Doesn't make much sense. The Rangers wore these helmets in the field so that the enemy knew who they were. So the helmet will get used and dirty. Plus this has been sitting in a veterans house for the last 40+ years and has bounced around in storage conditions. Remember veterans don't treat these items we collect as treasures, to them it was just old army stuff. Plus the vet who brought this home was not your basic "grunt" he was in a much different unit. The OP hasn't posted his unit, but we have talked about it and I saw the rest of the killer items that came with this helmet.

 

Your last comment, I would really think about editing. Do you know the op in this thread, to the point that you can accuse him of "aged the helmet and made the story up"? You may want to do a simple internet search of his name and see the books he has written about Special Forces recon teams in Vietnam and how highly regarded he is in the Special Forces community.

 

Instead of pulling the how many have you ever owned or handled and generalizations, explain why this is so correct for those of us who don't see it? Like I said I don't collect these but from the small pics and lack of up close pictures I would want to see better pics, just like I ask for with WWII lids which I am much more comfortable identifying.

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First off, I would like to apologize to the OP for my accusation. It was rash and uncalled for. For that I apologize.

 

To vintage productions:

 

I'm not claiming to be an expert by any means nor have I ever stated I have experience in this area. I've never been fortunate enough to handle genuine a ARVN Ranger helmet. I have only seen them in pictures. Right now, I'm just merely voicing out my concerns.

 

My main concern is the fact of how new the the tiger looks compared to the faded and worn out camo of the helmet. Not to mention the dirt building up on the rim of helmet. It would've surely fallen off during the transit back to the states and not to mention "40+ years and bounced around in storage conditions". The ARVN vets I've talked to and fellow Vietnamese researchers have always talked about how the South Vietnamese soldiers were taught to be clean and act clean as they're essentially the people that civilians look up to. He wouldn't have to clean his helmet every time, but why would he be wearing a helmet in a city? Soldiers, Vietnamese and US alike were expected to clean up before entering a city. Unless it was an emergency, he would've cleaned up and switched his helmet out for a beret or such before entering the city. I could see if he left it in his jeeo by accident, but again why is the white paint so clean compared to the rest of the camo?

 

Like Luxumbourg, my opinion of the helmet is unchanged. Closeup of the paint and pictures of the liner would be appreciated.

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So let me get this correct. When someone posts a US Vietnam helmet set and its not "Worn" or "Dirty" enough we say, there's no way that was in theater, but when its an ARVN and "dirty" or "worn" we say it can't be, because they kept theirs to clean??

 

I like the look and the "Story", I'm assuming the OP is a very specialized collector who know enough, that when he goes to a "Vets" home, he can quickly figure out if he (The Vet) is the real deal or not and looks for plenty of other evidence (for sale or not) to back up the Vets claims while there.

 

Troy

USMC 2/2 Fox Co 0311 & 1st Recon Bn Delta Co. 0321. 1986 - 1995 (Desert Storm 90/91)

US Army Long Range Surveillance Co F 425th INF ABN LRS Team 1-6 2003 - 2005 (Iraqi Freedom 03/04)

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I understand the sentiment behind the phrase "buy the piece not the story" but, call me naive, but in my case I also buy the integrity, experience and trustworthiness of the person telling the story. In this particular case, there are few other people whose story (when it comes to obtaining superior material directly from the source) I would trust more. After 40 years of doing this the one thing I have learned is that collectors now, more than ever before want this stuff to fall perfectly into little buckets with check boxes but that is simply not the reality of this stuff. People who have never seen nor held one of these calling it into question I must admit I find intriguing.

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Let me slow this thread down a bit. I provide a helmet inspection service to help collectors determine legitimacy and as such have handled several legitimate ARVN Ranger helmets and a great many more fake ones. First, no one... I mean no one can call fake or legit based on the photo's provided. So, every poster who has said it's a fake, shame on you! Unless you had it in your hands, you can't possibly know for sure. I don't know for sure. This "cock-sure" Internet expertise some of you exhibit needs to be reeled in.

ARVN helmets cannot be inspected in the same way as a WWII painted helmet. I like many of the aspects of this helmet and there are things here that are consistent with legitimate ARVN helmets. Since these are THE MOST faked helmet from the Vietnam era, the knee jerk reaction is to think it's bogus but, that does not make it so.

I do ask the OP to please post some close up shots of the Ranger insignia, if you run into resizing problems, send them via Pm and I will take care of it for you.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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I understand the sentiment behind the phrase "buy the piece not the story" but, call me naive, but in my case I also buy the integrity, experience and trustworthiness of the person telling the story. In this particular case, there are few other people whose story (when it comes to obtaining superior material directly from the source) I would trust more. After 40 years of doing this the one thing I have learned is that collectors now, more than ever before want this stuff to fall perfectly into little buckets with check boxes but that is simply not the reality of this stuff. People who have never seen nor held one of these calling it into question I must admit I find intriguing.

 

I think its ok to question anyone or any helmet when they cary such high price tags. Look at what was recently uncovered with the TR lids. A few of the experts used that title to rip off people for thousands of dollars.

 

With this helmet in particular there are so many fakes with this marking I'm just curious what it is thats making everyone so sure that this is real without really good pics other than the OP. There are differences in the style from the numerous fakes out there but there are also things I don't see on this, at least from the pics, that I have been told to look for on these like spotty yellowing in the white etc.

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So is that a no to the lot number then?

"America shall win the war. Therefore, I will work. I will save. I will sacrifice. I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone." -Martin A. Treptow Jake L.

NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER CHOKED TO DEATH FROM SWALLOWING THEIR PRIDE.


Heaven help me, how I miss my friend

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So is that a no to the lot number then?

 

Just out of curiosity, what would a lot number tell you on a Vietnam era helmet (ARVN or American used)? The war in Vietnam had soldiers wearing M1 helmets from WWII, the 1950's and the new production M1's made in the 60's and early 70's.

USMC 2/2 Fox Co 0311 & 1st Recon Bn Delta Co. 0321. 1986 - 1995 (Desert Storm 90/91)

US Army Long Range Surveillance Co F 425th INF ABN LRS Team 1-6 2003 - 2005 (Iraqi Freedom 03/04)

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First and foremost my name is Jason Hardy and I do not make up stories or items, Second: Questioning the story of the veteran or even if he is a veteran, give me a break. Third the helmet has brown PAINT not mud. Forth: Buy the item not the story? I personally enjoy the history of the pieces and not just the item.

 

What amazes me is that if a person could build a time machine, go back in time to the day at the PX and personally witness the veteran souvenir the piece, some people would still question the authenticity of the piece. You can knit pick shinola to death and waste your time, this IS a REAL ARVN RANGER helmet and the Veteran IS also a REAL VETERAN.

 

I am real curious that without honorable people who show what they managed to locate from the hands of veterans how would you ever know what is an original piece?

 

Jason Hardy

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Just out of curiosity, what would a lot number tell you on a Vietnam era helmet (ARVN or American used)? The war in Vietnam had soldiers wearing M1 helmets from WWII, the 1950's and the new production M1's made in the 60's and early 70's.

 

well if it happened to be a rj stampings helmet it wouldn't very well fit the story, now would it. I'd rather look at something solid that has no "its possible" to it before I question paint and all that like the rest of the members have. I personally am a big skeptic towards most any helmet with a high tag on it. But you can't argue with something stamped like a lot number

"America shall win the war. Therefore, I will work. I will save. I will sacrifice. I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone." -Martin A. Treptow Jake L.

NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER CHOKED TO DEATH FROM SWALLOWING THEIR PRIDE.


Heaven help me, how I miss my friend

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Ok, I can see what the rest of you guys are saying, but there is no need to look at the paint and such. All you need it basic Vietnamese and to look at the "D" on the liner. In the Vietnamese language/alphabet, there are two "D"s. This (D) and this (Đ). On this particular liner, the "D" is painted as (D) which is incorrect because it gives a different sound, meaning a different pronunciation therefore a different sound. To be correct, it should be (Đ). This is the correct way to write the word because it gives you the right sound, meaning correct pronunciation, therefore correct word. I've talked to Nick Vu who is a highly respected researcher on Facebook and is known for his immense knowledge of the Vietnamese side of the war. He himself is the son a ARVN vet and regularly creates posts to educate people about the Vietnam war. He has concluded that no ARVN soldier would ever make a mistake like this, especially an officer.

 

Again to reiterate it, no Vietnamese would be caught dead making a mistake like this especially an officer.

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well if it happened to be a rj stampings helmet it wouldn't very well fit the story, now would it. I'd rather look at something solid that has no "its possible" to it before I question paint and all that like the rest of the members have. I personally am a big skeptic towards most any helmet with a high tag on it. But you can't argue with something stamped like a lot number

 

I've seen your post before on M1 Lot numbers (great info by the way) but is there anyway to know 100% that large lot numbers you referred to are only "RJ" stampings? I've not done a comprehensive study of the M1 lot stampings, but they don't look to un-usual to others I've seen.

 

Here is the example you posted a while back

 

post-33000-0-63154000-1453852660.jpg

USMC 2/2 Fox Co 0311 & 1st Recon Bn Delta Co. 0321. 1986 - 1995 (Desert Storm 90/91)

US Army Long Range Surveillance Co F 425th INF ABN LRS Team 1-6 2003 - 2005 (Iraqi Freedom 03/04)

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I am real curious that without honorable people who show what they managed to locate from the hands of veterans how would you ever know what is an original piece?

 

Jason Hardy

I don't mean any offense, but without people to question the items that are shown... how would you ever know who is an honorable person? Many times there have been good people caught up with greed even here on the forum. Enough to use their credibility to deceive others... that being said I have no judgement on you or your credibility because I don't know you, and that is the problem. How would I know you are honorable? It's wrong to accuse someone without reason. But I think it is ok to question any item because that may lead to reason. This exact senario resulting in many accounts being banned. I never want an item to be fake whether it is mine or anyone else's but that's just life

"America shall win the war. Therefore, I will work. I will save. I will sacrifice. I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone." -Martin A. Treptow Jake L.

NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER CHOKED TO DEATH FROM SWALLOWING THEIR PRIDE.


Heaven help me, how I miss my friend

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I've seen your post before on M1 Lot numbers (great info by the way) but is there anyway to know 100% that large lot numbers you referred to are only "RJ" stampings? I've not done a comprehensive study of the M1 lot stampings, but they don't look to un-usual to others I've seen.

 

Here is the example you posted a while back

 

attachicon.gifd4.jpg

that lot number style has been only found in RJ Stampings helmets, this being found from boxes of NOS helmets and other examples. The only similar stamp would be from parish/Dana which are substantially smaller and of a different font, the later RJ stampings helmets had a 3 numer stamp and as seen in that same post was discovered the same way, through NOS boxes of helmets from their last runs.

"America shall win the war. Therefore, I will work. I will save. I will sacrifice. I will endure. I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole issue of the struggle depended on me alone." -Martin A. Treptow Jake L.

NO ONE IN HISTORY HAS EVER CHOKED TO DEATH FROM SWALLOWING THEIR PRIDE.


Heaven help me, how I miss my friend

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I used the amount of years I have been collecting, and actively chasing ARVN headgear as an example of how rare these helmets are. In the 35+ years, like I said, I know of less then ten originals in private collections. Are there more? I am sure there are, but these are the ones I am aware of. When I was printing mail order catalogs in the mid 1980's-early 1990's, that were being mailed to every Vietnam collector, I had ads running in every issue saying I would buy any original ARVN Ranger helmet that came on the market. I also stated that the collector could name the price in cash or trade. In about 18 or 20 issues of the catalogs I mailed, not one of those helmets was ever offered up. It wasn't as if they were too expensive, they were just not available.

 

Now on to the subject of the painting of the Vietnamese letter D. Am I looking at the same photo the poster who said it is spelled wrong? When I look at it, and click on the photo to bring it up a bit, you can look at the left side of the D, and see a paint chip on the left, but on the right side you can see a thin white painted line. Exactly where it is stated it should be.

 

There are many members on here who have spent many years interviewing vets, US and ARVN. We have been doing this for a very long time. We have one member on this forum, and no matter how I say this it is going to come out the wrong way, but is the only White guy who the SVN veteran community has ever adopted and trusted. He is invited to all the festivals here in Southern California and is the one who puts on a huge display for them, when he is in town. So it is just as easy to use him instead of a Facebook referral. In fact this member's website has been brought up many times here on USMF when the subject of ARVN's come up. We can also look towards Jason who is the original poster of this thread and the new owner of the helmet. He is one of the few collectors who has dedicated the last 20 or so years to tracking down SOG veterans, and interviewing every one of them he could find. His books he has published are only around because the SOG community trusts him and they share their stories and their personal photos and memorabilia with him. That is how he knows the stories.

 

Lastly, and I know this is going to sound condescending but the statement about ARVN rangers wearing helmets in the city is just ridiculous. Have you ever seen photos of rangers in full uniform? While there are a few with them wearing berets, there are far more of them wearing their loud garrish painted helmets. Also the ARVN army is no different then any other army in the world. While some units may have had artists painting their helmets, I am sure there were just as many that had one or two soldiers get caught doing something dumb, and were then assigned to paint helmets so that there are no two helmets painted alike. Same things as the US military does when someone does something stupid they are sent out to white wash the stones on the walkway or pick up cigarette butts.

www.vintageproductions.com


"A militaria show is a social event for anti-socials" - A.T. 2008


ASMIC Executive President

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On the Vietnamese letter D, I see no such thing present on the liner. "A chip" is not going to remove a bold mark like that. No sign of the "thin white" line either.

On the subject of a Facebook referal who's this person you're talking about? You would not trust a referal who's Vietnamese, trusted and respected by the Vietnamese community, grew up around ARVN veterans, and doesn't require a invitation to go a festival? You don't need an invitation to go to festivals. IMO I would go to a Vietnamese person first. If you want to contact him, he'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and refer you to vets. His father was in the RVN Navy, his uncle a VNMC Marine and both are in contact with many ARVN veterans, including Rangers.

What do you mean my statement about them wearing helmets in a city is ridiculous? Unless they were fighting in a city, they wouldn't be seen walking around wearing helmets besides perhaps for a parade. The uniform authorized for leave in a city was polished boots, rolled sleeves and a beret. The same applies for American soldiers. How many do you see wearing helmets during the occupation of Japan and Germany after WWII? How many during R&R during Vietnam. A helmet is a heavy piece of gear and a soldier will almost always remove it when give the chance.

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I don't mean any offense, but without people to question the items that are shown... how would you ever know who is an honorable person? Many times there have been good people caught up with greed even here on the forum. Enough to use their credibility to deceive others... that being said I have no judgement on you or your credibility because I don't know you, and that is the problem. How would I know you are honorable? It's wrong to accuse someone without reason. But I think it is ok to question any item because that may lead to reason. This exact senario resulting in many accounts being banned. I never want an item to be fake whether it is mine or anyone else's but that's just life

 

I guess people must sort out whom they deem trustworthy.

 

I CANNOT produce the inventory sheet giving the Vietnamese Government our helmet surplus, the name of the supply sergeant who received the lot of helmets, the name of the clerk who issued the helmets to the ARVN unit, the paint manufacturer, the brush manufacturer, the name of the Vietnamese national who painted the helmet, the education level (what grade he received in art) of he artist, the number or rain storms the piece has been through, how many times the piece was placed on a head, how many times it was tossed down (there are dints, dings, scratches and scraps), the identity of the DNA on the helmet, the serial number of the jeep the item was stolen from, the ARVN officer's name who had the piece stolen, any form of a Vietnamese National Police INCIDENT REPORT sighting the stolen helmet, the luggage tag describing the weight of the veteran's whole baggage or inventory sheet that was shipped home.

 

All I have is the helmet and a signed statement (NOT NOTORIZED or citing JESUS CHRIST himself) from the veteran describing the helmet and it's history, I would say that it is good enough for me.

 

With all that said, I am done wasting my time on this thread with people who have never owned or held a real one.

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