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Early M-1 fixed bail short strap with what looks like an "8" painted front and back and early an Westinghouse liner


P-59A
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I just picked up an early front seam, stainless steel rim, short strap, fixed bail M-1 helmet with an early Westing house liner. The stamp on the bill is 32B  3. I haven't seen that before, but 32 is an early run. The liner has unpainted hardware with the wire loop sweat  band. The front and back of the lid have what look like the number 8 painted on it. Im not sure what that denotes.

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M24 Chaffee

That looks like a nice old set! To me, from the photos, the painted number looks like a 3? I’m not sure what a number 8 or 3 would stand for but I’m sure someone on here can help with that. The discoloration on the shell almost looks like camo. Nice pick up!

 

Frank

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1 hour ago, M24 Chaffee said:

That looks like a nice old set! To me, from the photos, the painted number looks like a 3? I’m not sure what a number 8 or 3 would stand for but I’m sure someone on here can help with that. The discoloration on the shell almost looks like camo. Nice pick up!

 

Frank

Thanks! The outer shell color is OD. Its just old and dirty. As for the number I agree its hard to say for sure. I haven't looked at it supper hard yet, so far I haven't found a name or number anyplace.

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Theriddler

Try a bit of UV light might make the number stand out a bit better.

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Burning Hazard

Very nice set! the early cast buckle on the chinstrap is a bonus on top.

 

I have an interesting picture taken of the 92nd ID during WWII with a stylized '3' painted on their shell, possible connection?

 

Pat

Unknown Helmet 2 92nd ID.jpg

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elh1311

I see both an "8" and a "3". Interesting and a very nice helmet. 

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1 hour ago, Burning Hazard said:

Very nice set! the early cast buckle on the chinstrap is a bonus on top.

 

I have an interesting picture taken of the 92nd ID during WWII with a stylized '3' painted on their shell, possible connection?

 

Pat

Unknown Helmet 2 92nd ID.jpg

So Pat, Do you have any thoughts on what the number means? I can't say this is a 92nd helmet to the exclusion of all other units , only that it could be. 

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doyler

early double wire buckle sweatband too. Nice unmessed with set.

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So, after looking really hard at the number I am convinced it is indeed the number 8.

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I reached out to J. Murray about this helmet and this was the reply. Does that sound about right?                                                                                                                                                "J. Murray Inc. 1944 <jmurrayinc1944@gmail.com>

9:07 AM (11 hours ago)

to me

David,

 

Cool find! I wouldn't know specifically what the number means. However, it has been my experience that numbered helmets are for "racking" purposes or training purposes. Soldiers would line up in a numbered queue. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Racked helmets are usually USN. As the helmet would be stored in a quick access stack, often numbered."

 

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elh1311
8 hours ago, P-59A said:

I reached out to J. Murray about this helmet and this was the reply. Does that sound about right?                                                                                                                                                "J. Murray Inc. 1944 <jmurrayinc1944@gmail.com>

9:07 AM (11 hours ago)

to me

David,

 

Cool find! I wouldn't know specifically what the number means. However, it has been my experience that numbered helmets are for "racking" purposes or training purposes. Soldiers would line up in a numbered queue. 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Racked helmets are usually USN. As the helmet would be stored in a quick access stack, often numbered."

 

Some of the collectors who specialize in Navy helmets have said the same thing. For example, you'll have a gunnery station and since that was typically an extra duty rather than a primary duty, helmets were kept at the station instead of with the individual sailor. They would be numbered according to specific duty at the gunnery station. Just an example, one of thousands I'm sure. 

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Burning Hazard

Not all numbered helmets were Navy.

 

Why some combat helmets had large numbers added is a mystery; lots of stories from veterans how they removed all shell markings/insignia as it made them targets for snipers.

 

Pat

M1 Helmet with 30.jpg

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Big Bear

Could the numbers be for rallying troops together into their units?

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From Top Pots "

What an excellent helmet!!!  I would say that the "8" was applied at some time for some training purpose, where they were simply numbering the wearers to assign them a position somewhere or to be quickly identified.  There are a number of period photos showing such numbering, I believe and excellent colour one exists in Mark Reynosa's THE M1 HELMET.

An example could be a rappelling course who may have students attending the class.  They might number the helmets for use during the duration of the course, knowing full and well, that these shells were constantly being repainted or worn with a helmet cover.  Alternatively, it could have been applied to a whole platoon attending, etc... .  It's just an example and I believe that is what it may be.

I hope this helps!"

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