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Neon Green USMC ? M1917


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I bought this neon green, glow in the dark M1917 on eBay. I noticed it had a punched hole above the 2nd Division painted insignia. It was cheap so I took a chance hoping it might possibly be a WW1 USMC used helmet. When I received the helmet I noticed there was a name scratched into the rear of the helmet. I could not make out the name so I removed some paint and was able to see the name "E M Brown USMC".

 

This helmet was painted gold, brown, and then neon green. There is a square incised around the Indian head. I really don't know what to do with this helmet. Should I strip it completely or leave it alone?? Also, was there an "E M Brown" in the USMC during the WW1 timeframe??

 

Here are some pics

 

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There were 2 "E.M. Brown" Marines - both Eugene who served in the 4th Brigade. Both in different companies in the 5th Marines.

 

Re: the 'neon' paint, my first impression is that someone "refurbished" a good WWI helmet shell. The punched hole is a good tell. The Indian? well maybe it's original and not painted over - maybe not. Probably not. The star & border are not old. It is what it is today!

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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There were 2 "E.M. Brown" Marines - both Eugene who served in the 4th Brigade. Both in different companies in the 5th Marines.

 

Re: the 'neon' paint, my first impression is that someone "refurbished" a good WWI helmet shell. The punched hole is a good tell. The Indian? well maybe it's original and not painted over - maybe not. Probably not. The star & border are not old. It is what it is today!

Thank you for the great info!

 

I searched all day and found the two E. M. Browns online. One was from Kansas and the other was from Brackenridge Pennsylvania. I purchased this helmet from a seller in Bridgeville Pa. which is very close to Brackenridge where Eugene Mahaffey Brown died in 1966.

 

The paint job is definitely modern, but I wonder what is underneath the modern paint. I don't know if I should try and strip the entire helmet?

 

Chris

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Looks like you did a great job of removing the neon without damaging the original paint.

That hole in front maybe shrapnel damage?

Thank you.

 

I agree, the hole in the front could certainly be shrapnel damage.

 

Chris

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I decided to strip the crazy looking green neon paint. I stripped as much as I felt comfortable doing. I left the painted insignia. I feel the painted insignia is not WW1 period and is fairly modern. I do however feel this helmet is from a WW1 US Marine. Somebody over the years, with a good intent, decided to spruce up the helmet along the way. The extra holes on the side brim could have been as part of a lamp.

 

The helmet is what it is! It will never be a highly valuable piece, but I really like the way she turned out. The helmet has the remnants of gold paint left on the shell. I should probably continue to remove the remaining gold paint and probably will later on when I find some more motivation!!

 

Here is a couple of pictures.

 

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Looks a lot better!

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif
"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Looks a lot better!

Thank you. The green was really ugly!!

 

There were 2 "E.M. Brown" Marines - both Eugene who served in the 4th Brigade. Both in different companies in the 5th Marines.

Hey bobgee, would you be able to list the two different companies from the 5th that these two "Browns" were assigned to???

 

Thank you.

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally placed an old salty EGA on the helmet. I believe this EGA is from around the WW1 timeframe, possibly pre WW1. Overall I think the helmet looks pretty good. The EGA cost more than the helmet!!

 

It is nice to have a name to go with the helmet.

 

Based on where this helmet was purchased, I strongly believe this is the helmet for Eugene Mahaffey Brown from Pennsylvania. Brown was attached to the 8th MG Co. 5th Marines. I believe he was a replacement and was probably not involved with the Belleau Woods battle. I should probably try to get his records if possible.

 

Here is a pic of the EGA on the helmet.

 

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Can you tell if there is a painted Indian under the modern paint? If so, maybe you can be very careful to remove the modern paint. If there was never an Indian underneath, then you would have a nice EGA named marine helmet. Just my thoughts.

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Can you tell if there is a painted Indian under the modern paint? If so, maybe you can be very careful to remove the modern paint. If there was never an Indian underneath, then you would have a nice EGA named marine helmet. Just my thoughts.

I really can't tell what is under the modern painted 2nd Division Indian head and Star. There is an old outline of a box around the 2nd Division Indian head that could indicate the 8th Machine Gun Co. 5th Marines.

 

I think I will leave the helmet as it is now. It will never be particularly valuable, but it was cheap and it has been a fun project.

 

Chris

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