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Riddell parachutist helmet


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Hello

 

Do you have in your collections such a rare item as Riddell parachutist helmet? If so show them. In the meantime I prepared small historic lesson.

 

Best regards :)

 

Greg

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Many moons ago I had one along with a balloon suit named to Lt Fulk 501st BATTALION but sold them in lieu or more combat related items. I know they are termed "Riddell" helmets by collectors but I'm curious if there were more manufacturers of these, Early pictures indicate there were also clear versions of the this training helmet and I know of one in a collection.

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Early pictures indicate there were also clear versions of the this training helmet and I know of one in a collection.

Hello Bob

 

Thanks for reply. What do you mean when you write "clear versions"? Do you mean lack of metal reinforcing in the form of a flat riveted end-to-end?

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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Thanks Johan, I forgot the USA was a pioneer of plastic and composite materials ;)

 

Clear Riddells were used most likely not only in embrionic phase of the US airborne forces. Here it is a pic of March 1944 and all-black 555th PIB which was trained relatively late war but they still wear transparent Riddells.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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Would it be possible for anyone to post one or two color pictures of the original helmets?

Waiting for the first forumer-owner of the Riddell's para helmet who perhaps will post his ultra rare item for us I propose one more historic pic I have just found.

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BTW

 

These are the comments to the Band of Brothers TV series:

http://www.101airborneww2.com/bandofbrothers3.html

 

The Riddell helmet has good comment. Do you know what Riddell helmets were used in this movie? The originals?; very good replicas?; or were they computer-generated on the actors' heads? They are so expensive and rare today that it is hard to believe that the collectors would give their Riddell helmets for the movie.

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When I first started collecting again, in the mid 70's, I was offered a new Riddell helmet in the army marked box. I'm not sure of the price but it was around $50 to $75. That wasn't what I was interested in at the time so I passed. That is one of the thing I have kicked myself for many times since. If memory serves that one was a clear version.

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER, SADLY, HAS PASSED AWAY

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I was offered a new Riddell helmet in the army marked box. I'm not sure of the price but it was around $50 to $75.

Heh,... good old days... bye1.gif

 

And one more gentleman in his Riddell helmet -- Maj. Gen. William C. Lee.

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  • 8 months later...

One more interesting picture -- this time of 1943 and from the US Navy infrastructure (I am not sure, either Moffett Field or Lakehurst related to lighter-than-air training).

 

They are the USN parachute riggers testing the parachutes for the Naval Airship Training Command. Their Riddell helmets seems to be other type than used in the US Army then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello all,

I just ran across one of these helmets for $200 but it was made by Rawlings I beleive, I did not buy it because I purchased a rare 90th Division Panoramic unit photo instead. Is Riddell the only manufactuer used for these types of helmets? The one I saw appears to be dead on example of what is posted here (not the transparent one). If Rawlings were used is it rare and is it a good price? I would be happy to pick it up for someone and trade for 90th division items if anyone is interested. I saw some one else asking if there were various manufacturers but I did not see an answer. Look forward to learning something out of my specialty.

Tyler

Tyler Alberts
Historian
90th Division Association / www.90thdivisionAssoc.org
&
Owner
Combat Reels
US Signal Corps Film Footage / www.combatreels.com

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I saw these helmets yesterday in a documentary about the preparation for d-day. It was a small film showing paratroopers getting training. I saw it on National Geographic, perhaps it's on youtube. I tought people might appreciate it. I can't find the movie unfortunely, else I would have posted it here.

 

Eric

"Hey, bloody bucket division, our bucket, your blood."

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The Riddell helmets were the latest technology in 1940-1941. Riddell was the only maker of high-impact, shatterproof and crack-resistant plastic; other football helmets were made of leather (like the ones in the navy picture posted).

 

The very first ones used by the early Army paras were BORROWED from the West Point football team and had to be returned in mid-summer 1941. They -- about 20 in number -- were painted gold with a black stripe (the stripe was a seperate piece of steel banding). The Para School then tried to buy others, direct from Riddell -- but Riddell said they could not keep up with the football demand (big buyers) and Benning would have to wait, so there was nothing but the A-8 khaki cloth aircrew toques to wear. Finally Riddell called to say Benning could have four dozen helmets -- what school colors did they want them painted in? Benning said "Screw the colors, just send 'em." So they were clear. Riddell could not provide them in olive drab, lacking such "an odd school color", so Benning eventually got around to painting them locally. The shade of OD varied BTW and sometimes the stripe was painted OD, but the matte paint tended to chip and flake off the metal. The factory, even after Pearl Harbor, may never have shipped them in any OD finish, which is why they show up almost throughout the war (Stateside). I have one that is probably post-WWII make, painted with the dark semigloss OG vehicle paint, over a gray primer.

 

This info came to from the late LTG Wm. P. Yarborough, who as a CPT was the Equipment Officer of the Provisional Parachute Group. He designed the Army jump wings in the same period and later was the first General Officer in Special Forces.

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The Riddell helmets were the latest technology in 1940-1941. Riddell was the only maker of high-impact, shatterproof and crack-resistant plastic; other football helmets were made of leather (like the ones in the navy picture posted).

Hello,

 

Thank you very much for this interesting information. Below there is a mixed group of leather and Riddell helmets as used in the 517th PRCT.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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Gregory: All these are Riddell plastic, none are leather. The two on the left have been painted, the two on the right have not.

 

Another Riddell anecdote: The first CANADIAN paras were trained at Ft Benning and, when the Canadian tng cen was set up at Shilo, Manitoba, it got loads of US gear, including parachutes, M1942 jump suits, M-1/M-1C helmets, and Riddells. As I studied photos of the era, the Riddells were few and far between, with most jumpers wearing M-1C liners (only, steels infrequently seen). It seems the Maitoba winters (and maybe spring and fall, too) were too inimical to the plastic football helmets. In cold weather, when hit -- on the ground or the doorway of the aircraft when exiting -- they SPLIT! Yet the canvas-resin material of the liners did not....

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Hello,

 

Gregory: All these are Riddell plastic, none are leather. The two on the left have been painted, the two on the right have not.

Ooops, perhaps small difference between shape of ear sections of those helmets misleaded me. Thanks for correction.

 

Another Riddell anecdote: The first CANADIAN paras were trained at Ft Benning and, when the Canadian tng cen was set up at Shilo, Manitoba, it got loads of US gear, including parachutes, M1942 jump suits, M-1/M-1C helmets, and Riddells. As I studied photos of the era, the Riddells were few and far between, with most jumpers wearing M-1C liners (only, steels infrequently seen). It seems the Maitoba winters (and maybe spring and fall, too) were too inimical to the plastic football helmets. In cold weather, when hit -- on the ground or the doorway of the aircraft when exiting -- they SPLIT! Yet the canvas-resin material of the liners did not....

I am thankful for this info because 1st CanPara is one of my favourite subjects. When George Pepper painted 1st CanPara servicemen he portraited them with steel para helmets. I did not know that also the Canadians jumped with the liners only on their heads. If I am not mistaken so far I saw only Paramarines wearing infantry-type liners for jumps instead of full set of para liner/para steel pot.

 

Best regards

 

Greg

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  • 1 month later...
BTW

 

These are the comments to the Band of Brothers TV series:

http://www.101airborneww2.com/bandofbrothers3.html

 

The Riddell helmet has good comment. Do you know what Riddell helmets were used in this movie? The originals?; very good replicas?; or were they computer-generated on the actors' heads? They are so expensive and rare today that it is hard to believe that the collectors would give their Riddell helmets for the movie.

HI gregory,

I live near Toccoa GA and in the museum in the downtown they have a Riddell helmet in thier display case which I recall has a note that it was used in the movie. Remember they can re-make anything for a movie.

T. Bowers

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BTW

 

The Riddell helmet has good comment. Do you know what Riddell helmets were used in this movie? The originals?; very good replicas?; or were they computer-generated on the actors' heads? They are so expensive and rare today that it is hard to believe that the collectors would give their Riddell helmets for the movie.

 

Hi Gregory, Regarding the Riddell helmets used on Band of Brothers I supplied equipment to the series and worked on set for a few weeks under my business name of ' Norman D. Landing'. I recall that the Riddell helmets used in the series were reproduction, the reason being that they all needed to look brand new issue for the scene they were used in. I can't recall the exact amount I think it was either 10 or 20, these were kept under lock and key as they were so expensive to produce, however these quickly disappeared from the set ( like crap through a goose ) after the scene had been shot.

 

A great deal of effort was made to be true to the clothing and equipment that would have been used during WWII.

I supplied 350 sets ( jackets & trousers ) of used ex-Norwegian M-43 copies, these being very close to the U.S. made M-43 sets. However there were a number of reproduction M-43 sets made so that when they first appear they looked brand new and featured the sheen that new M-43 material has. Then once the battle scenes were being shot they used the ex-Norwegian sets to show wear and tear and muddied clothing.

 

A small point of interest was I supplied the 350 sets at the beginning set up of the movie, and when they actually arrived at the scenes for the use of these sets they had virtually all disappeared from storage, so I hurriedly had to re-supply another 350 sets.

 

Cheers ( Lewis )

 

Retired owner of Norman D. Landing, Militaria.

.

Young enough to care and enjoy militaria - Old enough to remember as surplus

 

" Life's too short for reproductions "

 

 

Life is like a tank of gas, the closer you get to a quarter tank, the faster it goes 

 

.

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