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World War II: 1939 ~ 1945
United States of America (All Branches)
Named Lots & Groupings

Selling Price: $8885 - Postage in the U.S.A. is: $25
No compelling or dramatic combat stories here, just the top bring-back effect of Lauren Nelson who was a T-5 Corporal in a completely rear-echelon unit performing water purification duties within the ETO with the 1ST Army. The man died many years ago and the daughter decided to unload some of the items the man brought back. I tried researching the soldier, as "water purification" was specific to the 1ST Army with that function being handled by the 300TH Engineers, but he does not show on the web page roster for that unit, although that unit web page does not list every man known. As is typical, the family had zero knowledge of the soldier's unit or war-time actions. I saw the Ike jacket, it had the ETO ribbon with 4 battle stars (correct for the 300TH Eng.) and a good conduct ribbon with the Engineer collar discs and the 1ST Army patch. Not a shred of paperwork exists. No Discharge papers - nothing.

The good news is that the man brought back some unusually fine SS items, to include an enlisted man's sleeve eagle as well as this stupendous SS Helmet - reissued with hand painted rare unit insignia.

As to this item:

The items this veteran brought home were family kept until recently. This is the nephew of the Normandy KIA 505TH Parachute Infantry veteran Joseph Cyril Fitt, whose estate I also purchased from the living brother of Joseph here in Utah, and after that, another family member brought these items forward. Joseph's living brother here in Utah, had another brother, whose son married a lady and these effects were from the ladies father - so it a relative of Joseph Cyril Fitt's by marriage only. However, the items are noteworthy, regardless of the source.

Clearly, the helmet is a re-issue. It is also large. As many SS helmets are, it is a QUIST manufacture, being noted of more robust and thicker steel than many other era German helmet makers. The shell is a QUIST 68 cm with a large 9 finger liner that has the date 1942 on the liner. I do not like pulling these liner bands back too far, as they can bend and then you have screwed up the investment somewhat, but the date 1942 is clearly visible on the zinc coated steel band, so it is a late M-40 helmet, as the M-42 came out in 1942 with the same date as the liner. Now, the liner is the ever desirable 61 cm 9 finger beauty that is not dry, not cracked and in excellent condition. It is the original liner and the three split pin rivets are a tad bit loose, but not replacements, have never been off and have the original press to them.

The helmet has the era darker green paint, not the very late war Feldgrau, and as stated, the helmet looks like it was era repainted because there is clearly the remains of an SS silver foil RUNES showing in a lot of detail beneath the hand-painted runes. That is the exciting part, and if you get a loop out, you can see where there is some red paint dots coming through on the other side of the helmet, where a red shield with white circle and the black swastika decal should have bee, but were also painted over. Safe to say, a double decal, that was painted over as per regulations and then user painted with runes, and a superb Skull and Crossed Bones design over a Swastika on the other side.

The helmet has some 90% or better of the original paint showing, and on the top there is one very minor ding that is almost indistinguishable in the images, and some minor oxidation inside the crown that comes off with a bit of rubbing, but I did not want to mess with it, so the helmet stays as I found it.

I cannot say enough about the condition of this extra-large helmet. Soft liner that is intact, original drawstring too, the presence of double decals, the presence of hand-painted war-time SS insignia with both runes and elite Skull and crossed Bones over a Swastika and all this brought back by the most un-imaginable source. Not a combat vet, no paratrooper stories from the Bulge, just a guy pumping water!

Nothing amiss, and all other aspects are text-book perfect.

100% forever guaranteed as an original, era and brought back by this veteran.

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