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Elwynn's Old FS/FB M1


Ryan Reese
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Ryan Reese

I was in the SE Pennsylvania area earlier today and I poked my head in a pawn shop for a second. Took a quick look at the knives and watches then my eyes locked on two Kevlar helmets. One PASGT & 1 USMC LWH, both marked at $50. Interested in the LWH, I negotiated the price down to $30 and asked if they had any other military stuff around. The guy that I was working with quickly said, "No" but the boss mentioned that he thought there was some stuff in the basement. A couple minutes later he comes up with two steel pots, one M1 and one French looking thing. Without looking too interested, we both agreed on $30 for the M1. I tried not to smile too much, pulled three twenties out of my wallet and jumped in the car.

 

Turned out to be a clean looking front seam, fixed bail pot and a paratrooper liner with a guy's name & SN written (and crossed out) on the sweat band. 729 heat stamp. I immediately had a bunch of questions so I wanted to bring it here for some answers. After snapping some pictures I jumped on Google and searched for the (used to be) owner of this helmet. Elwynn T. Thayer. The first search result put me right on him. Born in 1942, lives in Michigan and a phone number... So I called and he picked up! We had a great little talk and I asked if I could mention his information and our conversation on USMF. He was delighted.

 

So here's what I retained from our conversation...

Elwynn T. Thayer (SN 16676549)

Enlisted (not drafted) into the U.S. Army on November 3rd 1960

After basic training he went to Fort Rucker, AL to learn Aircraft Maintenance

Then to Fort Bragg, where he was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. 

His next and last assignment was to Stuttgart, Germany. VII Corps Artillery. There, he worked on the Bird Dog aircraft. Elwynn said that he doesn't remember when exactly he would have written his name in the helmet but he thinks that it would have been during his time in Germany.

Separated in 1963

 

Here are my questions...

- The chin straps is pretty dark green. I would expect khaki material for a FB that hasn't been messed with. And if it were "rebuilt" wouldn't they use clip on chip straps instead of sewn on straps?

 

- I'm a little thrown off by the chin strap clasps and hook. This green paint looks out of place like it was accidently put on there instead of actually being painted green. The clasps also has no markings. Shouldn't there be an Anchor on there?

 

- Does the finish on the pot look original? I'm not an expert on cork finish but it doesn't seem like sand. The color seems right.

 

- My basic USMF research tells me that the liner is from 1951-1954 and it seems to have additional paratrooper strap points. Please correct me if I'm wrong. You'll see the liner markings in a close up shot, not sure what they mean. From top to bottom I see...

     "32"

     Westinghouse symbol

     upside down CAPAC symbol

     "5"    and   "1" on either sides of the CAPAC symbol

 

Thanks to John for fielding all of my random M1 questions! And thanks to USMF for the continued education!

 

Pics inbound… it will take a few minutes to keep them all from turning sideways. 😒

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Ryan Reese
2 hours ago, RedLegGI said:

Sounds like you got a great deal on the LWH as well.  Pics?

It’s my first LWH too so l couldn’t pass it up for $30. I have a bag of surplus Velcro and pads so I’ll get around to cleaning it up and find at MARPAT cover for it sometime. 

D2E2481E-5A1C-4FAD-A22F-C09EFEB3C563.jpeg

B4EDA6BD-6585-4E30-AB9E-2248313E42B5.jpeg

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RedLegGI
1 hour ago, Ryan Reese said:

It’s my first LWH too so l couldn’t pass it up for $30. I have a bag of surplus Velcro and pads so I’ll get around to cleaning it up and find at MARPAT cover for it sometime. 

D2E2481E-5A1C-4FAD-A22F-C09EFEB3C563.jpeg

B4EDA6BD-6585-4E30-AB9E-2248313E42B5.jpeg

Can't beat that!

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sgtdorango

Nice buy!...love that korean war era paratrooper liner👍🏻 You done real good....mike

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Ryan Reese

Thanks guys. I know that I went a bit long in the original post but I’d love to hear ideas on the pot itself. Here’s my main question…

 

The chin straps is pretty dark green. I would expect khaki material for a FB that hasn't been messed with. And if it were "rebuilt" wouldn't they use clip on chip straps instead of sewn on straps?

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