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Item:
ONSV2251

Original U.S. WWII Vietnam War M1 "Tunnel Rat" Helmet with USMC Reversible Camouflage Cover

Regular price $295.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The M1 helmet is a combat helmet that was used by the United States military from World War II until 1985, when it was succeeded by the PASGT helmet. For over forty years, the M1 was standard issue for the U.S. military. The M1 helmet has become an icon of the American military, with its design inspiring other militaries around the world.

Vietnam War era M-1 helmet shells have a set of swivel (movable) chinstrap loops called bales and a stainless steel rim. These rims were both rust resistant and had non-magnetic qualities that reduced the chance of error readings when placed around certain sensitive equipment (such as a compass).

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original Vietnam War parts and the shell has the original dark OD Green finish. The front of the helmet cover is marked with LDR. / MOUSE / PATROL, with the rear being marked HEAD / MOUSE. This would indicate this helmet was probably used by a "Tunnel Rat" during the Vietnam war. These were soldiers who performed underground search and destroy missions during the Vietnam War. They were generally infantrymen or combat engineers, and would explore and destroy the tunnel complexes used by the North Vietnamese. Their motto was the tongue-in-cheek Latin phrase Non Gratus Anus Rodentum.

The liner is correct high pressure 1960s issue liner, made by FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY Manufactured in Akron, Ohio, indicated by the stylized F on the crown. The the rigging is intact and in great shape, with original markings visible on the sweat band, and just a bit of cracking on the sweat band leather. The helmet liner does not have the extra rear liner support sometimes seen, and the liner chin strap is unfortunately missing.

The shell chin strap is original, and the USMC cover is original and in very good condition. It has some stains and small holes around the edge, but is definitely solid, and is retained by the correct elastic fabric band around the outside. It is marked on the underside of one of the flaps with the contract information:

COVER HELMET 
CAMOUFLAGE
CONTRACT NO. 7332
FSN 8415-261-6833

These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine Vietnam War issue ones from the USMC. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!

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