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U.S. Navy Petty Officer D Day Helmet

In Military and Wartime > Military Helmets > Show & Tell and Military and Wartime > Vietnam War > Show & Tell.
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Posted 7 years ago


(350 items)

This original U.S. Navy M-1 helmet was a diamond in disguise. I wanted to branch out from collecting WW II militaria, so I thought I would start collecting Vietnam militaria since this area is more affordable. I knew nothing about U.S. helmets at the time. I found this helmet in Michigan at a small antique store.

The helmet had a Vietnam Mitchell cover on it and it was very cheap. I bought the helmet without taking the cover off. I got home and took off the cover and saw the red chevrons on a wide painted grey band all around the helmet. I went online and started to look up Vietnam used U.S. helmets. This helmet looked nothing like the ones I saw. The color was different, the liner different, and why were there red chevrons and a grey band on the helmet? The owners name was stencilled on the reverse side of the sweatband along with a serial number which was partially worn away. With a little more research I realized that I had a WW II Navy helmet.

I was now disappointed that I did not have a Vietnam era helmet. Almost a year later by chance I saw a picture of a landing craft driver on D Day wearing the same type of helmet. With a little more research I found that this indeed was the type of helmet used by Navy personnel on that historic day.

To be sure, I brought the helmet to a military show to have others examine it. After several people familiar with U.S. helmets looked it over, it was agreed that it was genuine. One made an offer which I declined, for I decided to be the keeper of this important piece of WW II history, at least for a while.


  1. Max, 6 years ago
    sorry but it can't be a d-day helmet as it has swivel bails. However, it looks very good, congratulations !

  2. Shoreparty Shoreparty, 6 years ago
    I am very jealous of your fantastic find: a rare helmet! I collect USN helmets and I am looking for one of these for my own collection!
    As far as Max's comment on the swivel bales...Max you need to check your research: "In October 1943, the QMC decided to modify the chinstraps loops on the M-1 helmet to a hinged “swivel” bale variety. Production of this type of shell began in 1943. Due to this fact, it most certainly was issued to many of the ground and support troops en route to the UK prior to the Normandy Campaign."
    I own several swivel bale helmets, all ww2 vintage. Again, great find on the USN beach battalion helmet!

  3. Max, 6 years ago
    Hi shoreparty,
    Yes, I am aware of this dates, no problem on it. But I am sure that swivel bales helmets weren't present on the beaches on D-day! First picture of a swivel bale helmet in France (Normandy) is July or August 44. It is a beautiful navy helmet, it has maybe been used on mulberries or ships in 44 in Normandy or maybe in Sicily, Provence but definitly not on D-day


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