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ww2 M1 with unknow insignia

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Hello everyone,

Here is a new helmet from my collection, coming from France. It's a nice fixed bail, with skull and bones insignia on the shell and the liner. There is an asn into the shell but the file burned I suppose. There is a strange marking into it but cant read good, someone know the meaning of it? I read : INF ?53 FUPT

Someone know this marking from an unit? Dont think it's for a coast guard, the ASN is for an army soldier and the shell is green

Thanks a lot




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Thanks for your help,

I think its the picture, there is no shellac on the shell for me, I made another picture with this nice weather :)

I suppose it's not a coast guard helmet because we have an army helmet (paint in green) and an army ASN

Maybe a minesweeper?


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There are several possibilities,


Generally speaking the skull and bones (often refered to as Jolly Roger) has a strong connection to pirates, hence why it has sometimes been used by naval troops throughout history. This however would not account for the infantry association in your helmet, unless of course your helmet was reissued before the application of the insignia, which is very much possible.


The engineer/bomb disposal unit suggestion is a really good possibility as well. There is a very good chance of that and probably is the most likely of all possibilities. The skull and bones insignia most often signifies death or danger, which of course is why it has been the most appropriate to be used on warning flags and such. Considering this, perhaps there's also a chance of this helmet having belonged to an army coroner or someone in charge of removing fallen soldiers from the battlefield? Perhaps the latter sounds a bit too disrespectful, but I can imagine the people who had to do this work liked to lighten the mood with this kind of thing.


Thirdly, there is a possibility of it being a personalization, USAAF bomber crews would sometimes paint whatever was painted on their aircraft on their helmets as well. The same may have been done in certain infantry units, armored infantry units in particular spring to mind.


Finally, this one is pretty far fetched, but the Germans had an SS Totenkopf division that used the skull and bones as well. Unlikely as it may seem, there are pictures of German troops wearing allied helmets (see picture attached). This is thinking out of the box, far out there and ridiculous thinking perhaps, but every now and then you will come across period pictures that go to show there is no real 'normal' when it comes to collecting helmets. Frankly I'd rule out this possibility, it is just very unlikely but the pride some Germans took in wearing allied steel still is an interesting historical fact and what better time to share this than now?


The insignia in any case looks original, I hope you can figure it out. Good luck!





"The battle belonged that morning to the thin wet line of khaki that dragged itself ashore on the channel coast of France." - General Omar Bradley.



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Thanks a lot for your answers. The bomb disposal is effectly the most interesting suggestion

I contact geoff to help me to discover more about the soldier, it would be very helpful for the identification of the insignia

Stay in touch!


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I agree with the wide possibilities as posted by ken88.

Just to throw in another photo, here is a shot of a cracked up cargo plane in the CBI with skull & crossbones usage. This is a photo in an album I have:



A member of this fine site since December 16, 2006....Member # 60





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Here’s a period photo of a mine flag on an M1, the skull painted on the OP’s helmet really does look German inspired.


Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I just finish the identification, with the help of golden arrow :) The soldier was a half track driver of the 53rd armored (4th armored division). He received the purple heart in France (8/1944) . He fought in normandy, France, Ardennes,...

So I suppose the skull and bones are for a half track driver

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