Jump to content
akriener

33 signature helmet

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I’d like to share with you a very special and one of a kind helmet I acquired. Some of you may have seen me previously post about my great uncle on my dad’s side (my dad’s mom’s brother). He was in Able Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He jumped on D-Day and fought through to the Battle of the Bulge where he was wounded. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Oak Leaf Clusters and four Bronze Stars. I have attached his obituary and can provide some unit documents if anyone is interested. Unfortunately I did not get an opportunity to meet him and he never spoke to anyone in our family about his time in the war. The helmet I am going to show you is perhaps my closest connection to him, by extension.

 

The helmet itself is a Schlueter with heat stamp 84A. It is a front seam, swivel loop with a Seaman Paper Company liner. Shell chinstraps are original and the liner chinstrap is a postwar, black painted steel version. There is a Guadalcanal sticker applied by a veteran on the right side of the shell as well as hand painted, postwar paint of the Screaming Eagles logo on the left side and a 2nd Rangers insignia on the rear.

 

This helmet contains 33 veteran signatures from WWII. Every signature on this helmet is someone notable or of a notable unit, company, unit, division, etc. , division, etc. This helmet was previously owned by a collector for 15 years who lived in Pennsylvania. When the Band of Brothers series came out he made a point to attend many of the shows in the state. My understanding is that he also lived in Hersey, PA which is where Dick Winters lived. He was in need of funds and sold this helmet to another collector who I then acquired it from. I have included a sampling of photos of some of the veterans signing it at some of these shows. I was able to identify 22 out of 33 signatures on this helmet. I will be posting the unidentified ones in hopes that people may recognize them. The signatures have been authenticated. And before anyone asks, no this helmet was not cheap But who are we to put a value on history?

 

“Easy” Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division

Dick Winters

Wild Bill Guarnere

Babe Heffron

Donald Malarkey

Buck Compton

Ed Mauser

Brad Freeman

 

Bob Noody, “Fox” Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, https://www.valorstudios.com/Images/VictoryPass/bob-noody.htm

 

Bill Gast, M4 Sherman driver, 743rd Tank Battalion, landed on D-Day, one of 5 out of 15 tanks that survived, Silver Star and Purple Heart, https://teachinghistorymatters.com/tag/bill-gast/

 

Jake McNiece, 1st Demolition Section of the Regimental Headquarters Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. “Filthy Thirteen” - This unit was the inspiration for the book and subsequent film The Dirty Dozen, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jake_McNiece

 

Guy Whidden, paratrooper machine gunner in HQ Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/18/us/guy-whidden-mohawk-wwii-vet-trnd/index.html

 

Hank Kudzick, USS Nautilus (SS-168) - Sank Japanese carrier at Midway, https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/bethlehem-sailor-recalls-defective-torpedoes-nearly-changed-trajectory-battle-midway

 

Harold W. Billow, Battery B, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, Malmedy Massacre Survivor.

Ted Paluch, Battery B, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, Malmedy Massacre Survivor.

Unreadable signature, Battery B, 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, Malmedy Massacre Survivor.

 

Emmett T. Lang, 334th Infantry Regiment of the 84th Infantry Division of the Army, Battle of the Bulge, Author of Always a Soldier But Never G.I.: A World War II Soldiers Personal Journey.

 

Harold Derr, turret gunner Grumman TBF Avenger, Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 232 VMTB-232 “Red Devils”, Okinawa.

 

Thomas R. Vaucher, B-29 pilot part of the B-29s test team charged with preparing it for combat use (first to fly it at 38,000 feet), flew first B-29 combat mission over Japan June 15, 1944, mission commander for the Show of Force Flyover of 526 B-29s over the Japanese surrender ceremony aboard the USS Battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945, flew almost 40 different types of planes and completed 117 combat missions, https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/military/2019/11/11/veterans-day-nj-centenarian-vets-honored-special-lunch/2564706001/.

 

Sidney Philips, How Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and saw combat as an 81mm mortarman in a number of battles including the Battle of the Tenaru during the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of Cape Gloucester, played by Ashton Holmes in the HBO miniseries The Pacific, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Phillips.

 

RV (Romus Valton) Burgin, mortarman K-Company (King Company from 1913 to 1957 – Kilo Company after 1957 with the new Military Phonetic Alphabet), 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Battle of Cape Gloucester, Battle of Peleliu, Battle of Okinawa, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, played by Martin McCann in the HBO miniseries The Pacific, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romus_Burgin.

 

Joe Berardi, B-17 bomber pilot in the 8th Air Force, 351st Bomb Group, 509th Squadron. He flew 32 missions and accumulated 1,000 hours in the cockpit. His 30th mission was over Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

 

Eugene J. Richardson, Jr, Tuskegee Airman

William “Bill” Broadwater, Tuskegee Airman

 

M.L. (Mahlon) Fink, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, Iwo Jima, the veteran witnessed the flag being raised on Iwo Jima as per http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/loc.natlib.afc2001001.66537.

 

RE (Richard Eugene) Cole, Doolittle Raid, co-pilot to Jimmy Doolittle in the lead airplane of the raid, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_E._Cole.

e7a27c0a28460eaeeaf0404d26684db3.jpg

e3efc1ad039b4e08ba7a8525f1bad6be.jpg

6253033ac59728e1a47af8e189377462.jpg

3e835f90a90cd85e6466c7e60bc97d3a.jpg

e911cc0e6cda300376e6a077d5c0b1ac.jpg

603ca080f0108f86326d63c801fa9ddc.jpg

3b95eb9924b54f69b2cce9d5ab31d1dc.jpg

3b518ef0c637816f057b96439d2e613b.jpg

5046d55d356903a4e789b49b09f577cf.jpg

676c2f62942172ddfb5b095ddcd471e3.jpg

550dcf442a17aaf69874051c9d5de055.jpg

756c2a689e1742fd8f16b396c2e3cd4d.jpg

cf1ed23516d9938fdfb8486b5f5efd10.jpg

de0c7558a5ced09c393faf27c275eea5.jpg

7487029a750e6c9d9b1b7c516e41dd9f.jpg

f57e68da060ddcac42e00a5c4a8c4604.jpg

ed878da36892dd708cb0e6ab5b8608d6.jpg

2034d3641e23f6f66f55666d8727ca5f.jpg

59d063ee2a3f3c648e1fd638f6fde12b.jpg

8671941a12259ff3e26054f391488daa.jpg

e44c00f879d9a405b03c68b0059e98ce.jpg

12747ad0a37780a78977b73909ac2b90.jpg

fa50961770e82a625b63cb0158334690.jpg

c1fc53e5b145cf0134b9198841d3bd91.jpg

9c381030e54c47d33a1d2200985c4628.jpg

7e75b4e8d3299fd299103f83e8d628bc.jpg

83750fb9326e809d336b2bd26c7f784d.jpg

ad3be9719839a3893d00e365d2d12cab.jpg

c53ccda21915013568ce6954369630c5.jpg

67e97e15bd7bf3a841d84e730013e427.jpg

7966de100afdde0cddea0760406dd5b4.jpg

281948ab0a1df82fdba358a61e1a2353.jpg

8d51c87d475dc0a16a73596a354f8686.jpg

fd1209f4ce263c2d75608e8f2fb5c991.jpg

7f8e2580f0f25401732572bd6625622e.jpg

3a54aa8b4a8e052732f0f06c31b33257.jpg

1b7c04818f8344c476e519ce57f37005.jpg

8d11dc1ba7b9e93d2e14fd38b7edbc43.jpg

035390dc64f65bd7ce5743fe6ae2edbe.jpg

8a4c6b84b90f30ee0016a0a1bde3f9f6.jpg

8da9e3e243c20f7d0480538a53722c72.jpg

7722e8a35de067d50a236281bb8f3756.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is really great! Love it. Dallas Market Hall used to be a hotbed for guys (and a few women) who wrote really good books about their wartime experience. German vets, Japanese vets, you name it. RV seemed to be a regular, met Adolf Galland several times, (lot of German pilots). Then there were the Texas Rangers too who made regular appearances. Ray Martinez seemed to always be there and I loved visiting with him and his wife VerNell. (Martinez helped cap Whitmann at the UT tower). I always enjoyed the sea of collectors who would walk right past them without batting an eye as there was nothing but a book for sale. That's a great helmet. Met several of these guys at the opening of the D-Day museum in NOLA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, iron bender said:

That is really great! Love it. Dallas Market Hall used to be a hotbed for guys (and a few women) who wrote really good books about their wartime experience. German vets, Japanese vets, you name it. RV seemed to be a regular, met Adolf Galland several times, (lot of German pilots). Then there were the Texas Rangers too who made regular appearances. Ray Martinez seemed to always be there and I loved visiting with him and his wife VerNell. (Martinez helped cap Whitmann at the UT tower). I always enjoyed the sea of collectors who would walk right past them without batting an eye as there was nothing but a book for sale. That's a great helmet. Met several of these guys at the opening of the D-Day museum in NOLA

Those are some great experiences you have. Thanks for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s a very cool helmet to feature in a collection!

 

Frank


​​​​​donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2020.gif


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great helmet - looks like some of those pictures are from the Reading PA  WWII air show?


donation2012.gifdonation2013.gif

donation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gif

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
great helmet - looks like some of those pictures are from the Reading PA  WWII air show?

They were gathered over 15 years so I'm sure it was at that one a few times.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice helmet!!!  Looks like a lot of the signatures are from Reading.  Not sure how they got Dick Winter's signature though, I don't believe I've ever seen him there, and he rarely signed stuff other than prints for Valor Studios. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Pudgy (V) said:

Nice helmet!!!  Looks like a lot of the signatures are from Reading.  Not sure how they got Dick Winter's signature though, I don't believe I've ever seen him there, and he rarely signed stuff other than prints for Valor Studios. 

 

I can't speak to Dick Winters, though I know it's authentic. Remember this helmet was owned for 15 years living in the same town as him so many he made a connection that way. I also believe one of the signatures may be Bert Winzer and the unknown Malmedy Massacre one is now confirmed as George Fox as per https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1QZX5T/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_LPU5Eb8NDZR79 He is the very top signature on this item

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great helmet, congratulations on a real jaw dropper in your collection. Many great men signed this helmet. Very cool

 


Always looking for quality/interesting original, WWII M1 helmets with leather chinstraps intact as well :excl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who was the collector in PA?

 

Dick Winters signed several things for me and used Hang Tough each time.


donation2013.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, manayunkman said:

Who was the collector in PA?

 

Dick Winters signed several things for me and used Hang Tough each time.

I'm not sure. I got it from someone who got it from the guy in PA. Don't know how long the last guy owned it. The research I've done is that Dick Winters only signed Hang Tough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.