Item:
ON3842

Original WWII U.S. Named 101st Airborne 506 PIR 3rd Battalion Named Helmet

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The 506th Infantry Regiment, originally designated the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (506th PIR) during World War II, is an airborne light infantry regiment of the United States Army. The regiment served with the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. The regiment's Company E ("Easy Company") actions during World War II were featured in the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers (supplied by IMA).

This is remarkable! A genuine WWII U.S. Paratrooper M1 Helmet with front seam and swivel bales with Westinghouse parachutist liner named to a CAPT. HELMIG. Period painted with 506th PIR spade on each side, tic mark at 9:00 indicating 3rd Battalion.

This all original U.S. Army 506th Paratrooper Helmet came from a large East coast collection. It was displayed with 506th items on a mannequin for several years. The name of the soldier Capt. HELMIG is penned or stenciled on the small sizing strap, to the interior rear. This helmet was in the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, "Screaming Eagles, think Band of Brothers!

Shell is a November 1943 production McCord manufactured helmet shell with production batch number 774A stamped inside front under brim. It has a front seam stainless steel rim. The helmet has all original paint over the original cork finish with the 506th Spade and 3rd Battalion Tic at 9:00. Lieutenant Bar on the front and officers bar on back, all period applied, not a replica or repaint. Normal wear on the paint, mainly around the rim. There are no major dents, only some small dings to the helmet as would be expected with a period piece. It has the original sewn to the bale chinstraps.

The liner is a Westinghouse Parachutist Liner, with manufactures mark stamped lightly on the inside of the liner "W" in a circle. The liner has original paint finish, and has that period used look, and in great shape. It is complete with the original correct green color parachutist webbing for this liner. The sweat band is original, with the correct color suspension system.The chin cup buckles are of the 1943 chemically treated iron style. This helmet would have seen war in mid to late 1944 or early 1945 through the end of the war. The shell has the soldiers name on the back head sizing strap "CAPT. HELMIG" Early correct fastener clips are used as retainers. Leather chin strap is original, nice brown color, black coated brass cam, secured to liner using rounded studs.

This is the epitome for Original WWII U.S. Helmets, this is the helmet that all the top collector’s desire. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to own a true piece of history!

506 PIR in WWII

The regiment was initially formed during World War II at Camp Toccoa, Georgia in 1942 where it earned its nickname, "Currahees", after Currahee Mountain which is located inside the boundaries of the camp. Paratroopers in training ran from Camp Toccoa up Currahee Mountain and back, memorialized in the HBO series, Band of Brothers, with the shout "three miles up, three miles down!". The Cherokee word, which translates to "Stand Alone", also became the unit's motto. Members of the unit also wear the spade (?) symbol on the helmet outer and the Screaming Eagle patch (indicating membership of the 101st Airborne Division) on the left sleeve. During World War II, the only commanding officer of the regiment was Colonel Robert F. Sink. As such, the 506th was sometimes referred to as the "Five-Oh-Sink". On 10 June 1943, the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment officially became part of the 101st Airborne Division, commanded by Major General William Lee, the "father of the U.S. Army Airborne".

At the completion of their training at Camp Toccoa, Colonel Sink read an article in Reader's Digest about how a unit in the Japanese Army broke the world record for marching. Sink believed his men could do better than that, and as a result, the regiment marched 137 miles (220 km) from Camp Toccoa to Atlanta, where they then boarded trains to complete their transfer to Airborne School in Fort Benning, Georgia. This march was conducted over 75 hours and 15 minutes, with 33.5 hours being used for marching. Only 12 out of 556 enlisted men of the 2nd Battalion failed to complete the march. All 30 officers completed it, including the 2nd Battalion's commander, then-Major Robert Strayer. Newspapers covered the march and many civilians turned out to cheer the men as they neared Five Points.

The 506th would participate in three major battles during the war: D-day landings, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. (They would have participated in Operation Varsity, which would have been three combat jumps, but SHAEF decided to use the 17th Airborne Division instead.)

The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment was activated at Camp Toombs (later renamed Camp Toccoa), Georgia on July 20th, 1942 and was commanded by Col. Robert Frederick Sink. Sink was born in 1905 in Lexington, North Carolina. His interest in the military began as a teenager after spending hours listening to relatives and friends recount their First World War experiences. In 1923 Sink entered the military academy at West Point and graduated four years later. He served in the infantry until 1940 when he heard about the formation of a parachute test platoon. The platoon made its first jump on August 14th and by the middle of September the War Department authorized the establishment of the 501st Parachute Battalion. Sink immediately volunteered and served as a Captain under Major William M.Milley. He was then given the task of activating the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)and became its first commanding officer, a position he held throughout the entire War.

It was rumored at the time that senior members of the War Department's civil service had the unprecedented idea of creating a 'super unit' recruited directly from the civilian population. The civil servants did not believe that the regular army could supply the quality of soldier required to fill the ranks of such a regiment. It was correctly assumed that the principle of civilian volunteers would raise the countries moral after the recent Japanese humiliations like the attack on Pearl Harbour and the invasion of the Philippines. The 506th became the first such organization and with great energy and determination Col. Sink put into effect one of the most rigorous training schedules any WWII American military unit had been required to undergo.

The Regiment was divided into three battalions. The 1st was commanded by Lt Col. William Turner, the 2nd by Lt Col. Robert Strayer and the 3rd, by Lt Col. Robert Wolverton. Wolverton was universally loved by his men because he put them first, even before any officer in the Battalion. He was born on October 5th, 1914, came from Elkins, West Virginia and like Sink was West Point trained. He graduated from Command and General Staff School, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1942 shortly before taking command of the third battalion.

Each battalion had four companies and the third's were designated HQ, G, H and I. The regiment spent its first few months at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, where 7,000 raw recruits were subjected to the grueling training regime. This was known as 'A' Stage, it lasted thirteen weeks and was designed to eliminate all but the very strongest. By the final week nearly 5,000 men had fallen by the wayside!

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