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The “Holy Grail” of Raider helmets


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Last Warning: if anyone wants to discuss personal issues between yourselves, do it via PM. This thread is about the helmet. One more: "Oh yeah, well my dad can beat up your dad" post and this thread will be done.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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I think this question may have been asked somewhere earlier in the thread, though I'm not sure if it was answered, but are there any examples of raider helmets with rock solid provenance in museums or known to exist in private collections?

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I think this question may have been asked somewhere earlier in the thread, though I'm not sure if it was answered, but are there any examples of raider helmets with rock solid provenance in museums or known to exist in private collections?

I have never seen one in a museum nor seen one from a museum posted anywhere online. But that doesn't mean there are none with the rock solid provenance.

 

As for private collections, a quick perusal of "opinions" in this thread would tell you: No. However, once again, that does not mean there are none out there.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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As I referenced above, the Raider helmet that was told to be sourced veteran direct, and is in *Grunt Gear*, looks nothing like the ones that started this topic. There is a thread - on our very own beloved forum - from 2010, that shows some period photos of Raider lids in wear. (http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/78876-makin-raiders-helmet-covers/).

 

I would consider ANY recent Raider helmets suspicious, unless there is a rock-solid chain of custody. And I am talking a movie of it coming out of a footlocker, with the Raider himself (in frame) attesting. My preference would be to see a plain salty M1 with a laundry stamp, or otherwise named, to a Raider. I feel like the ones surfacing recently all follow the Strank archetype, which is bothersome.

 

Pause and consider how incredibly unlikely it is that a burlap / netted / camo painted Raider helmet would have ended up here... I have read some of the theories, and they just seem far-fetched to me. And I am not even to the CSI analysis on survivability of burlap (jeez Louise). There is a very narrow window that these were made and worn, which were nearly raid or campaign-specific. How on Earth could pristine examples exist? I highly doubt ANY were worn through the end of the war, as Raiders were folded back into conventional Marine units. Has anybody seen any photos of these in wear on Okinawa or Iwo? Heck, I have seen Okinawa pics of the regular HBT covers falling apart from wear and island conditions. How could less-durable burlap survive. Huh? What*s that you say? Wounded and his helmet sent home? Again, that just doesn’t make sense to me. Serviceable gear belonging to wounded Marines was recycled to those coming off the line to resupply. This was a common practice, which took place adjacent to the battalion surgeon station.

 

When you look at the iconic photo of Raiders on Bougainville, there are ~20 Raiders pictured, and I see ONE with anything other than a standard-issue cover. There were not entire companies of these burlap, wire, and net helmets - at least not according to period photos. Is there maybe photos of five or six total? Anyhow, stream of consciousness is sputtering to an end, but I am skeptical. This is primarily because my tiny brain struggles to create a scenario where one of these burlap beauties survives the Raider BNs being disbanded, makes the voyage home, and remains intact until found by a collector.

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If you do some searching on this forum there are some original examples of painted camouflage over burlap helmets that have been posted. Mine for example. I've never claimed mine to be a Marine Raider helmet but I know its provenance and it is in the original period configuration regardless of whether it ever left the country or served in combat. The Marine Raider claim is based a few photos and a lot of wishful thinking in my opinion. But please don't tar all such helmets with the "reproduction/fantasy" kiss of death. It's tiresome when perfectly original items are "queered" (to use an old and likely politically incorrect collecting term) because of one bad example. It's inevitable that a faker will recreate an item if there is a buck to be made, but every item should be evaluated on its own merits and not summarily written off as a group. It's a shame to see the lack of respect and civil discourse that is so pervasive on other forums creeping into this forum. Try to fight your inner jackass and discuss matters without the cynicism and too clever by half comments. One upmanship gets old quick.

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To make a note. I used to collect early 20th Century Russian Uniforms. Until publications like Osprey Man at Arms came out showing what WW1 , Civil War, and post Revolution period Russian uniforms looked like no-one really knew much about them. The sealed vacuum that was the USSR, released a few of what I considered authentic examples however they were often in very bad shape. All of a sudden when collector interest soared primo examples started coming out and they all looked like the illustrations in Osprey with "authenitc age" but weird patina. After awhile I started to hear of individuals in the Russian countryside making uniforms from original material and components and hanging them on fence posts and on the sides of barns to age them. They all had this familiar black dust in crevasses. I even had one of the importers/ dealers, say "thats how you know it was authentic it was found is some great factory hoard, and that is the dust from ages!". Needless to say the market for Russian uniforms in general has been destroyed.

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Seeking Model 1895 and 1902 Named Officer coats as well as Spanish American War Tropical Uniforms.
Also pre WW2 marine uniforms. Always pre-1945 Colorado National Guard Items wanted! Also seeking Rhodesian

Uniforms and Gear used by Americans in the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Bush War (Africa).

 

Fortune cookie say: "An expert is someone that knows so much about so little."

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The shape of the rim and the dark inside color makes me think of a repro Hawley liner.

 

Maybe I'm just not seeing it but I don't think it looks like the repros I've seen around. Most of the ones I've seen don't get the inside texture right. To me it looks original, although very clean.

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That is not a repro Hawley. And I doubt Jesus ever wept over a helmet liner.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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What is the story behind the estate sale? Was there any other militaria? Was it found about the same time as the 36th Division 111th Engineer Helmet you posted in 2017 on the forum. The "Hess" helmet looks like it has never been in the field what so ever.

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Seeking Model 1895 and 1902 Named Officer coats as well as Spanish American War Tropical Uniforms.
Also pre WW2 marine uniforms. Always pre-1945 Colorado National Guard Items wanted! Also seeking Rhodesian

Uniforms and Gear used by Americans in the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Bush War (Africa).

 

Fortune cookie say: "An expert is someone that knows so much about so little."

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The 36th was acquired directly from the vet’s son by noted 36th collector Mark Hatchel and was about the last thing he sold when he liquidated his collection in the late 80s or early 90s. I purchased it directly from him and it came with the officer’s paperwork and a photo of him wearing the helmet. One of my favorites.

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The condition of the camo helmet is how I found it at the estate sale decades ago. I can’t remember what additional militaria if any was there. As I recall I paid $5.00 or so. Everyone and anyone is allowed their opinion regarding the helmet. I have mine.

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That is not a repro Hawley. And I doubt Jesus ever wept over a helmet liner.

 

Hello, sorry for that. The angle of the picture made me think of a repro.

I saw the 111th engrs helmet, it's really nice. Only one I have ever seen.

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The truth on these helmets will come out eventually and all will see.

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Seeking Model 1895 and 1902 Named Officer coats as well as Spanish American War Tropical Uniforms.
Also pre WW2 marine uniforms. Always pre-1945 Colorado National Guard Items wanted! Also seeking Rhodesian

Uniforms and Gear used by Americans in the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Bush War (Africa).

 

Fortune cookie say: "An expert is someone that knows so much about so little."

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