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Latest Find 339th Polar Bear Helmet


manayunkman
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Manay -

 

Beautiful pickup! Thanks for posting. All the ones I have seen have been attributed to the 339th Infantry Regt. but it could be possible that members of 1st Batt. 310th Engineers may well have painted "Russia" on the helmets as well.

 

Best,

 

Bill K.

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Bodes, why did some of them not want Russia painted on the helmet?

 

Thanks Ron, I only got the helmet because it levitated and jumped into my hands.

I believe mostly due to their experiences there......Per Wilson's request, American soldiers sent to Russia were only there supposedly to guard weapons/ammunition captured from storage areas.....These were munitions sent by the Allies to fight Germany, that they didn't want falling into the hands of the communists....They ended up fighting any way....Lastly, the expeditionary force sent to Russia was there for some time after the armistice was signed....Families back home petitioned the government to bring these soldiers home since the war was supposedly over.....Bodes
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manayunkman

I found a picture several days ago showing a member of the 339th wearing a white helmet in Russia.

 

Now I can’t find it, does anyone know this photo?

 

Did they have white helmets in Russia?

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I found a picture several days ago showing a member of the 339th wearing a white helmet in Russia.

 

Now I cant find it, does anyone know this photo?

 

Did they have white helmets in Russia?

Not doughboy helmets....I believe Wilson wanted the US soldiers to wear uniforms that reflected the style worn by those in country.....US helmets/uniforms stayed behind in England.....These polar bear helmets being painted white on the trip back to America....Bodes

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manayunkman

Mike, thanks for taking the time to post that primo example.

 

It is so much more unique making me think that it’s either a personal preference or different parts of the regiment adopted their own style.

 

Thanks again for posting it.

 

Peter

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Mike, thanks for taking the time to post that primo example.

 

It is so much more unique making me think that it’s either a personal preference or different parts of the regiment adopted their own style.

 

Thanks again for posting it.

 

Peter

 

First awesome helmet. I passed on one several years back at the Raleigh show to pick up another item and it is one of my greatest collecting regrets. Always found the 339th Infantry and North Russia episode really interesting and was lucky enough to get a uniform from a 310th Engineer Soldier a few years back with the polar bear patch and collar disks.

 

In terms of unit styles In Bozich's book "Detroit's Own" he says that the companies that came back aboard the USS Von Steuben (CO: A,E,G,I,L,M and Machine Gun) wore the white painted helmet with the Russia stenciled in blue and those that came back aboard the USS President Grant (CO: B,C,D,F,H,K and HQ and Supply) wore the camo painted helmets. He also noted there were two different stencil machines used aboard the Von Steuben for the Russia in blue. Most of the really stylized helmets with the polar bear and unit numbers painted on them were done after returning home at reunions and such.

 

Ken

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manayunkman

Great info Ken.

 

Was that a white Russia helmet you passed on?

 

Regardless of what it was what was the asking price?

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I

Can anyone give me an idea of how much the helmet I posted is worth?

I saw one sell without the liner on the internet for $900.....I think the seller was like Bay Millitaria or close....Seems they carry quite a bit of WW1 doughboy helmets, etc.....Perhaps you could contact them and seek their opinion on value.....Bodes

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Great info Ken.

 

Was that a white Russia helmet you passed on?

 

Regardless of what it was what was the asking price?

 

 

No problem, If you are interested in the North Russia Polar Bear 339th stuff the "Detroit's Own Polar Bears" book is a great reference that talks about all the equipment and unit history

 

Yes it was a white painted helmet with Russia across the top in blue. I don't think it had the full liner just the pad and part of the chinstrap left. The guy was asking $600 for it. Unfortunately at the time I had recently purchased something else and had not researched 339th/North Russia helmets enough to be comfortable knowing what an original should look like so passed. Guess that is what makes the hobby though, the thrill of the hunt and the regrets of the ones you missed out on.

 

Ken

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  • 1 month later...

Cool helmet from an often ignored part of the first world war era. Interesting that they chose to write Russia on top.

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  • 4 years later...
domatan

Hi to all american friends,

 

I need your opinion on this kind of letters stencil painted on a (maybe) 339th inf helmet ?

Sorry for the poor quality of the pic. It's a pic of a pic.

 

Thank's for your help and opinions.

 

Dominique

 

20240623_193009 (002).jpg RUSSIA.jpg

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manayunkman

The font and color of blue is different.

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domatan

Thank's for your answer.

 

Do you think that these font and color could have been used ?

 

I don't find informations in my old books.

 

Anyway Thank's a lot

 

Dominique

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  • 2 weeks later...
The Rooster
On 6/10/2019 at 4:21 PM, stratasfan said:

Super cool! So . . . did all the helmets worn by Polar Bear soldiers have "Russia" stenciled across the top like that? That is super cool! I'm partial to the Polar Bears, ever since I got the patches and medal from a 310th Engineers guy. -grin-

Here is another Siberian worn Helmet not painted white.

US is scratched in.

Man who wore it was in Head quarters company 3rd Infantry AEF Siberia.

1-Copy.jpg.ecb408a1e1d4f1271ff7f64ab744c999.jpg

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Very nice, you have bragging rights now.

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