Original German WWII USGI Bring Back Trench Art Trophy M42 Helmet dated August 23 1944
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an amazing bring back trench art helmet, decorated by a USGI and sent back to his parents as a memento.The helmet itself is a M42 (model 1942), and no longer has the liner or chin strap.
The rear interior of the apron has a faintly stamped manufacturer's code and size: ckl66, indicating it was manufactured by Eisenhuttenwerk AG, Thale Harz. Towards the end of the war, the ET marking was discontinued in favor of three letter code ckl. It is quite hard to see due to the green paint that was used to decorate the helmet. It is also marked with lot number 2505 on the underside of the rear skirt. Size 66 is a nice large size that can accommodate liners from 58cm to 59cm or US 7 1/4 to 7 3/8. Size 66 shells are much harder to find and are therefore more valuable to a collector.
The unique aspect of this helmet is that after the soldier captured it, they decorated it quite nicely on all sides of the helmet. The sides have painted German National Eagles with black and white paint, and on the top of the helmet there is a big Swastika. There also is some writing in white and red, however it has unfortunately partly worn off, so it cannot be entirely read. A customer however has told it probably reads:
Zu der Teufel
This basically translates to "To the Devil with the Führer (Hitler)"
The Front of the helmet has a big USA painted, with a message that thankfully can be easily read:
From Your Son
Somewhere in France
The rear of the helmet is also clearly dated August 23, 1944. It looks like at some point, protective lacquer was applied over the entire helmet, though that is now flaking in placed.
Overall a really nice condition helmet with a USGI trench art design, perfect for any WWII Display!
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