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Mystery item found with a metal detector in Georgia

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military33 of 49Remembering my father on this New Year's Day Box of 100's of WW II V-Mail letters
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Posted 3 years ago


(261 items)

Several years ago I was metal detecting on the Georgia coast, near St. Mary's, when I found this item and have not been able to identify it.
It is made of brass, measures 1-3/16" across, by 1-3/4" in height.
As you can see, the back has two clips, looks like it clipped down over something.
Any ideas?


  1. ThriftyGypsy ThriftyGypsy, 3 years ago
    Hi packrat-place, awesome item. Definitely looks like a German Nazi item. Could possibly be a hat insignia. I am sure that some people on here will have an exact answer for you, but I wanted to chime in. Hope you are having a good New Years Day !
  2. packrat-place packrat-place, 3 years ago
    ThriftyGypsy, thank you very much. Peaceful New Year for a change.
  3. tlmbaran tlmbaran, 3 years ago
    looks like a WWII German pith helmet insignia.....
  4. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 3 years ago
    I was thinking pith helmet insignia too. I wonder how it ended up on the Georgia coast.
  5. stepback_antiques stepback_antiques, 3 years ago
    Tlmbaran and Chrisnp are correct, it is a WW II German pith helmet shield. The third prong on the bottom is missing. How it ended up on the Georgia coast is a mystery. There is a remote, possibility that it came from a sunken u boat. In 1941 German u boats sank five ships off the coast of Georgia. Throughout the war a total of twenty two u boats were sunk off the U.S. coast from Maine to Florida, and including a couple in the Gulf of Mexico. Between 1941 and 1942 five u boats were sunk off the coast of North Carolina, and two off the southern tip of Florida. Pith helmets were not standard issue on all u boats, but some boats did carry them. During the war people were finding all sorts of things that would wash up on the shore from sunken ships, and u boats, even bodies. This depended on the currents, for things would turn up sometimes hundreds of miles from where a ship actually sunk. The prongs are bent over, so at one time it was actually on a helmet. A pith helmet is made of canvas and cloth, and usually had two shields. The other shield was black, white, and red. In time, the helmet would eventually disintegrate, leaving the two shields in the sands of the shallow coastal waters. Through the years there are storms and hurricanes churning up the sands, and washing up items on the shore long after they went to the bottom. This is not the standard Kriegsmarine pith helmet, because it has a border around the shield, but the eagle is gold as it should be. This type of shield was made though. As with most armies and navies, if there were shortages of certain items something would be substituted in its place. Like I said before, this is a possibility, why would someone be walking along the shore with a pith helmet shield?
  6. packrat-place packrat-place, 3 years ago
    Thank you very much stepback_antiques. You have a truly amazing knowledge of military items, my hat goes off to you.
    Thank you very much tlmbaran & Chrisnp, you both pegged it also. I had no idea what it was.
    I have found all sorts of strange things over the years, a friend of mine found a buried set of dentures with gold fillings.
    Thank you vanskyock24, walksoftly, & officialfuel.
  7. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much Deanteaks
  8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
    Strange things show up. I grew up near a post where German prisoners were held during the war. While exploring as a kid, I found (on gov't property) a german helmet with a bullet hole thru the front, big hole in the sloped back & blood stains on the liner. Absolutely made no sense! Why would a POW have a helmet? Why was this in the woods of AL?

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