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WW1 USMC Painted AEF Helmet


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Very unique helmet however, the artist appears to had problems with the eagles head both on front and with the EGA.  I must say it is definitely out of the norm for a USMC helmet.

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The paint looks old, but it looks to me like something that was done well after returning home for a veterans parade or some such.   The dates that I've seen most vets use were 17/18/19, not 14-19.     It's something I'd love to own, but just don't think the vet did it for himself, I'm more of the opinion that someone painted the lid for him.   I could easily be wrong, but it just doesn't have the right look to me.   

 

Still pretty cool.

 

Jon B.

Newaygo MI

Always looking for information on the USMC from 1916 - 1920, exp the 11th Company in Haiti and in WW1, 4th 5th, HQ Company.

Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist'

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1 hour ago, jeb137 said:

The paint looks old, but it looks to me like something that was done well after returning home for a veterans parade or some such.   The dates that I've seen most vets use were 17/18/19, not 14-19.     It's something I'd love to own, but just don't think the vet did it for himself, I'm more of the opinion that someone painted the lid for him.   I could easily be wrong, but it just doesn't have the right look to me.   

 

Still pretty cool.

 

Jon B.

Newaygo MI

I agree with Jon and thought precisely the same thing when I first saw your thread. I don’t think this was done in France certainly and like Jon says, it just doesn’t feel like others I have seen. Might have been done by a family member who knows when. It is an interesting piece and I wouldn’t be surprised if the initials  inside were written by the Marine while “over there”, but the shell paint just doesn’t have the right look and is definitely “out of the norm”. 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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It's out of the ordinary for a 4th Marine Brigade helmet, but not all WWI Marines were part of that organization.

 

From the August 1919 issue of Recruiters' Bulletin, reporting on the return of the 11th Marine Regiment:  "Nearly all of the Marines had their helmets painted with all the colors of the rainbow.  The men said that a camouflage artist aboard was responsible for the tortoise-shell effects given to the tin hats."

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Yeah, I doubt it is fourth Brigade as the vast number of those came home with the Indianhead and star. I think the point of those who weighed in is there aren’t many out there attributed with this kind of paint scheme, pretty amateurish, bright colors, flowers, etc. I have a cammo painted one in my collection likely done in France by a Marine (or at least contracted by a Marine) severely wounded who came home in September 1918, so fourth Brigade but before the application of Star Indianhead logos. A lot of the cammo paints imitated the colors and designs used by the Germans (tortoise shell patterns). Additionally, helmets painted over there or on the way home tend to use primary colors for the most part. Not sure if the pallets aboard the ships included turquoise or chartreuse. 

 

There are are some examples of pretty elaborate schemes, but again they have a certain “look”. The feathered helmet that is depicted in Equipping the Corps once owned by Dennis Jackson comes to mind. There are also examples of ones painted by Marines in the 13th and 11th Marines Fifth Brigade that come to mind, but again they just look much different than this helmet. 

 

The big question with this helmet isn’t whether Marines painted their helmets but rather who painted this one and when was it painted? We might never know, but it just doesn’t quite conform. The thread on painted WWI painted Marine Corps helmets on this forum is a great resource to illustrate points in this discussion. 

I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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Over the years I have seen these "non-comforming" painted lids. I want to say that the crude EGA on this lid look very familiar. Like others have said, who knows when it was painted? Only clue that I see, "World's War", I believe it WW1 was always refered to as The Great War until the start of the 2nd??

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1 hour ago, normaninvasion said:

Only clue that I see, "World's War", I believe it WW1 was always refered to as The Great War until the start of the 2nd??

 

"World's War" was fairly common usage at the time.  Collier's New Photographic History of the World's War and The 37th's Bit in the World's War of 1914-1918 are two examples that come to mind.

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