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Help with helmet markings?


Nickman983
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Picked this one up last week and I've been a bit stumped with the markings. Shell is a FS/SB McCord, I believe the heat stamp is 530A so a converted fixed bail, and came with a pretty decent mid war MSA liner. Given the wear on the shell I'm not 100% certain the chinstraps are original to it or if they're a collector addition. It's a bit of an ugly duckling but for whatever reason I'm a bit of a sucker for these kind of interesting helmets. The liner is unmarked except for a very faint laundry number penciled on the rear but the shell has an aproximately 1"x1" yellow square on the front and ZD 43 painted in red on the rear. Both the yellow square and the ZD 43 are underneath the top most layer of paint.

 

The only reference I've come across so far to yellow square markings is a helmet on page 260 of Pieter Oosterman's The M-1 Helmet of the World War II GI. However, that marking is larger and on the rear of the helmet with no known significance. Beyond that it kind of reminds me of the red/orange squares often associated with shore parties but that's just going off of placement/size of the square marking.

 

If anyone has any thoughts on what these markings might indicate I would appreciate the insight!

 

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I feel like it could be some tactical marking whose meaning way lost to time Nick. I like the oddballs too. Used to own this one and the meaning of it just used to gnaw at me.
 

I like the set! Nice pickup maybe someone has more info on yellow squares 

Z

2382FC93-F202-4032-B79C-AE4443D9BD4A.jpeg

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Not saying this is definitive to your helmet examples however your photos immediately reminded me of Navy Seabees although in Vietnam versus WW II and I found this online: 

 

World War II “Shore Party” Helmet

 

This WWII combat helmet, with a small one-inch red square, was worn by Chief Petty Officer Frank L. Allen.

 

With the need for larger amphibious missions, the "Shore Party" concept became a vital part of amphibious operations. These forces marked routes inland, organized the beach, directed units and supplies to the front, and controlled stragglers and prisoners. As the Marine Corps could not find enough engineers and other personnel quickly enough to suit their needs, five Naval Construction Battalions ("Seabees") were transferred to the Corps to augment their engineer regiments in the Shore/Beach Party role. CM1c Frank Allen's 18th Naval Construction Battalion was one of these units and would become the 3rd Battalion, 18th Marines (Naval Construction) on 23 April 1943. As a part of 3/18, Allen participated in the fierce combat for Tarawa.

 

Allen's Shore Party-marked Marine Corps M1 Helmet is the NMMC’s first documented artifact showing the use of the trademark Shore Party "Red Patch" in World War II. An original 1944 order in the museum's reference collection, notes the use of a "one inch red square on the front and back of helmet" and a "one inch by three inch" red stripe on each trouser leg below the knee". While popular in modern Landing Support Battalion lore, no previous examples of this type have been identified before by the museum.

 

While this example has a cover that is marked it is possible other Seabees simply marked their helmets.

 

126171381_10158055150777880_2634179358935512885_n.jpg.ac0ddea0529d9083ff0fcd7e9512e924.jpg

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2 hours ago, Paddyd00 said:

I feel like it could be some tactical marking whose meaning way lost to time Nick. I like the oddballs too. Used to own this one and the meaning of it just used to gnaw at me.
 

I like the set! Nice pickup maybe someone has more info on yellow squares 

Z

2382FC93-F202-4032-B79C-AE4443D9BD4A.jpeg

 

 

Yea, I figure that might be the case, I've got a couple helmets with unknown tac markings. It bugs me but that's part of the fun with these helmets isn't it?

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45 minutes ago, snake36bravo said:

Not saying this is definitive to your helmet examples however your photos immediately reminded me of Navy Seabees although in Vietnam versus WW II and I found this online: 

 

World War II “Shore Party” Helmet

 

This WWII combat helmet, with a small one-inch red square, was worn by Chief Petty Officer Frank L. Allen.

 

With the need for larger amphibious missions, the "Shore Party" concept became a vital part of amphibious operations. These forces marked routes inland, organized the beach, directed units and supplies to the front, and controlled stragglers and prisoners. As the Marine Corps could not find enough engineers and other personnel quickly enough to suit their needs, five Naval Construction Battalions ("Seabees") were transferred to the Corps to augment their engineer regiments in the Shore/Beach Party role. CM1c Frank Allen's 18th Naval Construction Battalion was one of these units and would become the 3rd Battalion, 18th Marines (Naval Construction) on 23 April 1943. As a part of 3/18, Allen participated in the fierce combat for Tarawa.

 

Allen's Shore Party-marked Marine Corps M1 Helmet is the NMMC’s first documented artifact showing the use of the trademark Shore Party "Red Patch" in World War II. An original 1944 order in the museum's reference collection, notes the use of a "one inch red square on the front and back of helmet" and a "one inch by three inch" red stripe on each trouser leg below the knee". While popular in modern Landing Support Battalion lore, no previous examples of this type have been identified before by the museum.

 

While this example has a cover that is marked it is possible other Seabees simply marked their helmets.

 

126171381_10158055150777880_2634179358935512885_n.jpg.ac0ddea0529d9083ff0fcd7e9512e924.jpg

 

Thanks for the input. That was my first thought as well, though I've only seen shore party markings as being done in red/orange so the fact that it's a yellow square makes me a bit unsure if it could be something else. I'm kinda leaning towards something navy but that's just a gut feeling.

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