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Corpsman Helmet


Pro Libertate
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Pro Libertate, please understand that no one was arguing with you, only pointing out things and particulars that many of us who have collected helmets for decades have seen and things which have been discussed repeatedly on this and other forums for years, are being shared.

 

Specifically, the medic roundells and repaint colors. The size roundells you have have been seen in every era. The shades of repaint green(most cannot even be called olive drab) have been used in every era(some more than others).

 

This is a discussion forum, so we discuss and if we think something needs to be pointed out, it is. Could it be legit, maybe. Could it be a reenactors lid, maybe. Could in be National Guard, Army Reserve,  Navy, post-KW, Vietnam, post-VN... again, maybe. Don't get all lasered in on the seller. Let's stick to the helmet and not get in a snit 

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Pro Libertate

Again, john... the helmet has rust and similar wear all around the inside rim-- it's consistent throughout, and I'd be happy to provide additional photos if you care to see them. It simply makes no sense for anyone to take sandpaper to the whole inside diameter of the thing; anyone who knows enough to look for a heat stamp knows they're likely to find it at the front, above the brim. I did use some Whink and a gentle detergent to clean this area.

 

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Burning Hazard

I don't think this helmet was stripped and re-painted, if you look closer to the rim you can still see the original sand texture. The helmet was likely so heavily worn that much of the original paint wore out around the dome until the helmet was repainted again - then worn out again.

 

This helmet has seen some very heavy use in its life, the large chunks of chipping on the external paint is a good giveaway of a repaint too; the paints don't like each other and won't adhere.

 

I can't say about the medic roundels, would need better inspection. It is scarce to see post-war M1 helmets with painted medic roundels; they do exist but official regulations called for all M1's to have a helmet cover, even medics.

 

Still a nice pickup for $20

 

Pat

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Part of the reception you're getting in this thread is likely because it's very common for threads similar to this to pop up where someone asks for input after starting to have somewhat elevated hopes - then they get input from knowledgable people, and don't want to hear it.  

 

I think Bugme said it well;

 

"Otherwise a nice mid-50's lid. Medic marking would need a hands on look, could be legit."

 

 

I would ask, why such loyalty to the seller?  I mean they run a business, they are selling you something.  Would it be totally out of the realm of possibility that such a seller would buy from any source available for cheap, wholesale helmets - and then perhaps forget to disclose that not every single item they offer is straight from uncle Sam?  

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Please do share pictures of the wear around the inside of the shell.  I certainly could be making false assumptions.  

 

I agree with various comments, this helmet has been around and seen layers of wear, use and paint.  To me it sure looks like nam era paint / texture, then heavy wear, then (probably) post nam re-paint(s). The roundels are on top of all that, or they would have been painted over.

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bigschuss
3 hours ago, Pro Libertate said:

 

 

I've been doing business with this outfit for years, and if they tell me they get their helmets directly from the government, I have no reason not to believe them... which begs the question: what would a reproduction/reenactment helmet be doing in a government warehouse?

 

Care to name this outfit of which you speak?  Your entire argument for this helmet is based on it being a direct government purchased helmet by this supplier.  I'm curious.  

 

What are the odds this company also purchases from other non-governmental sources and their stock of M1's they sell to surplus buyers is not quite as authentic as they make it seem?  

 

If we judge the helmet, and not the story, the helmet must speak for itself.  And IMHO, this helmet is not screaming the same story you are.  That's just me.  This helmet does not look like a Vietnam used combat veteran with that classic one-look patina.  It looks like a $20 Army surplus store special.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pro Libertate
1 hour ago, john k said:

I would ask, why such loyalty to the seller?  I mean they run a business, they are selling you something.  Would it be totally out of the realm of possibility that such a seller would buy from any source available for cheap, wholesale helmets - and then perhaps forget to disclose that not every single item they offer is straight from uncle Sam?  


They're a (relatively) local outfit that's been in business since the 1970's, and I've simply developed a good rapport with their staff.

Honestly, john... do you know of any source available for cheap, wholesale helmets aside from the government? I can't think of a single one. One of the employees told me they frequently sell to companies like J. Murray Inc. (though she didn't name names) because of their reasonable prices. That said, I suppose you offer a plausible enough alternative. I would argue, however, that tracking down helmets in that matter would probably be a lot of effort for an incredibly small return.

 

I'd rather not name the outfit, for obvious reasons. If I did, they'd probably sell out of their inventory within the hour!

 

 

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USMC_COLLECTOR

I'm sorry to give my two cents, but without a name, there is no way to authenticate the company... This could be a story. Just using deductive reasoning...

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USMC_COLLECTOR

I also live in the UT-ID area, and neither I nor anyone in my reenacting group has heard of a company with cheap WWII helmets... I mean, if you have great, but we just want to fact check this so we can see what the whole argument of this post is about.

Hope there is no hard feelings...

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Pro Libertate

That's fine. You're more than welcome to be as skeptical as you wish. The fact remains, I have no intention of disclosing my source so that every other USMF member that reads this can go on a shopping spree and leave me with no choice but to resort to paying ungodly Ebay/antique store prices. The fact you've never heard of them just illustrates my point... they're my state's best kept secret.


Below are just a couple of other helmets I've purchased from the same company.

 

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bigschuss
21 minutes ago, Pro Libertate said:


They're a (relatively) local outfit that's been in business since the 1970's, and I've simply developed a good rapport with their staff.

 

I'd rather not name the outfit, for obvious reasons. If I did, they'd probably sell out of their inventory within the hour!

 

 

 

So a small, local outfit, that's been around for 50 years, that nobody else has heard about, with governmental contracts to sell surplus M1's?  

 

Presumably they are buying more than a dozen M1's at a time from Uncle Sam?  Probably crates full...hundreds probably.  And you don't want to share with your fellow forum members because.....????  You might buy all 500 M1's at some point?  I'm not seeing the "obvious" reason you can't name the outfit. 

 

I have absolutely no interest in Army/Navy Store surplus M1's.  Just trying to follow the bouncing ball.  

 

 

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Pro Libertate
12 minutes ago, bigschuss said:

 

So a small, local outfit, that's been around for 50 years, that nobody else has heard about, with governmental contracts to sell surplus M1's? 


Pretty cool, right? Though your characterization of them being a small outfit that nobody else has heard about is a bit off. They periodically go "out of stock" on their helmets, so I suspect plenty of people have heard of them.

 

I'm not concerned about folks buying up the other run-of-the-mill M1s, bigschuss. I've developed a relationship with company staff and have them hand-pick from these crates those that exhibit unusual markings or display insignias, names, service numbers, etc. Can you imagine if every other bloke did the same? Where would that leave me?

You mean to tell me that, if you came across an auction or website that was selling something for a very small fraction of the price you usually find it (with incredibly limited stock), you'd be chomping at the bit to shout the news from your rooftop? Well, my friend... you're a better man than I am!

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bigschuss
4 minutes ago, Pro Libertate said:


Pretty cool, right? Though your characterization of them being a small outfit that nobody else has heard about is a bit off. They periodically go "out of stock" on their helmets, so I suspect plenty of people have heard of them.

 

I'm not concerned about folks buying up the other run-of-the-mill M1s, bigschuss. I've developed a relationship with company staff and have them hand-pick from these crates those that exhibit unusual markings or display insignias, names, service numbers, etc. Can you imagine if every other bloke did the same? Where would that leave me?

 

Indeed.  I hear you.  Just trying to get a feel for the outfit so that we might gain some insight into your helmet.  

 

 

 

 

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Pro Libertate

Listen, guys... I've had dozens of people message me on Facebook to inquire about where I've gotten these helmets, so pardon me if I'm a little leery. Please don't press the matter.

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CavalryCombatant

I’ve been keeping out of this, but I’d like to bring up a few points.


I believe I know which dealer you’re referring to, and I find it odd how they can stock so many wartime helmets if they only buy from the Goverment, unless they buy A LOT.  In my experience it’s maybe one in twenty? That’s not even counting the fixed bail shells.   I certainly haven’t dealt with surplus as much as some of the guys here, but from what I’ve seen at most of the “modern” surplus stores are buying “stuff” by the duffel bag, which could become a source for questionable helmets. 

I’m very hesitant to comment on the actual paint of the helmet, but the sharpie is definitely not what I’ve seen before in Vietnam period helmets.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen similar ones before, but it’s almost always on 1980’s NG style helmets.  I really would have a hard time seeing this used before the mid 1970’s, if the markings were/are legit.  I have a theory I’m playing around with, nothing super factual as of yet, but could you post a picture of the bales? 


Let me put it this way, if I saw it at a flea market for $20 I would pick it up for the chance it’s legit, but with anything painted like this it’s virtually impossible to tell for sure.  If you like it, be happy with it.

 

Just my thoughts,

CC

 

 

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USMC_COLLECTOR

And with these helmets... Are these prices for SHELLS only? Or are you saying you can buy front seam swivel bail complete helmets for under 100 dollars?? Either way why would a Ma and Pa store sell these helmets for way under retail??

Listen man, we just want to know. We aren't trying to discredit you, but we only want to know how you were able to find this place, and why you won't tell anyone about this.

Sorry for another post, but I'm really curious.

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USMC_COLLECTOR

Apologies. I'll leave you alone.

Hope there are no hard feelings.

Regards,

Porter

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Pro Libertate

Nah, that's alright-- it was Blacksmith that overstepped. Oh well... nothing good lasts forever, I suppose.

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Pro Libertate
2 hours ago, CavalryCombatant said:

I believe I know which dealer you’re referring to, and I find it odd how they can stock so many wartime helmets if they only buy from the Goverment, unless they buy A LOT.  In my experience it’s maybe one in twenty? That’s not even counting the fixed bail shells.   I certainly haven’t dealt with surplus as much as some of the guys here, but from what I’ve seen at most of the “modern” surplus stores are buying “stuff” by the duffel bag, which could become a source for questionable helmets. 

I’m very hesitant to comment on the actual paint of the helmet, but the sharpie is definitely not what I’ve seen before in Vietnam period helmets.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen similar ones before, but it’s almost always on 1980’s NG style helmets.  I really would have a hard time seeing this used before the mid 1970’s, if the markings were/are legit.  I have a theory I’m playing around with, nothing super factual as of yet, but could you post a picture of the bales?

I appreciate you chiming in, CC. I think the key words here are "bought a lot". In speaking to one of the staff members, I was told they've already got crates of them in their warehouse from a bulk purchase that goes way back. From the sounds of it, items on their website become "out of stock" when each selection of helmets becomes depleted, requiring the warehouse staff to open a new crate and sort through the helmets, disposing of any they feel are "too far gone". Many of those I've purchased that have insignias and names also happen have damage (structural cracks or missing bales), so they may have been placed in a reject pile to begin with.

Is it too far fetched to think that a Vietnam-era corpsman helmet could've had a cover placed over it and been issued to any number of troops thereafter until it was retired when the M1 was replaced in '85? I'd like to reiterate that I've come across helmets with names and service numbers in them spanning more than one conflict; we know it was common practice for helmets to be reissued, so I see that as a non-issue. Am I wrong in my thought process here?
 

I've included some photos below. I apologize for their poor quality, as my phone's camera is next to worthless. This demonstrates the finish wear present around the rim, especially the rear. Hopefully the photos I've included of the bales will suffice for your purposes.

 

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