World War Two Original US M2 Airborne Paratrooper D-Bail Helmet Shell

Real World War Two US M-2 airborne paratrooper d-bail (also sometimes called d-loop, c-loop, and d-bale) helmets are extremely hard to find.  Many military collectors are unfortunately not able to add one of these rare helmets to their collection because of their scarcity.  I have already posted an article about one of these helmets on this site and it can be found in the archives under the category of airborne helmets and liners.

Pictured in this post is the most recent acquisition.  This helmet shell recently surfaced at an estate auction.  There was no airborne liner in it when it was found by the picker at the auction, but I still consider myself very lucky to have been able to acquire it.  The shell exhibits all of the traits that you want to see on an original M2 airborne paratrooper helmet shell.  The bails are the exact correct size and are attached as they should be on an original.  The chinstraps are made of the correct materials and the male snaps are the correct type of snaps.  The dimples on the rim between the bails are present.  The heat stamp falls within the correct range for these helmets.  Something that I found especially interesting is that the heat stamp number on this helmet is only 2 away from the previous M2 airborne paratrooper helmet that I have written about on this site.  This indicates that these helmets were most likely manufactured at about the same time.

Original M2 Airborne Paratrooper Helmet Shell Interior

M-2 Airborne Helmet Shell Side

M2 Airborne Helmet Shell Rear

Original M2 Airborne Paratrooper Helmet Strap

Real M2 Airborne Helmet Chinstrap

Original M2 Airborne Paratrooper Helmet Bail

M2 Airborne Helmet Top

Real M2 Airborne Paratrooper Helmet D-Loop

Heat Stamp On Real M2 Airborne Paratrooper Helmet Shell

WW2 Paramarine Dress Uniform

This World War Two USMC Parmarine dress green uniform belonged to a member of the 2nd Paramarine Battalion.  He was with the 2nd Paramarine Battalion during all of their campaigns in the PTO.  This uniform is part of a much larger grouping to this veteran.

The uniform has an Australian made Paramarine patch on the upper left sleeve and a parachute striker on the left cuff.  The Australian made Paramarine patch was very popular with the Paramarines during the war.

He has attached a piece of red felt underneath the patch.  This practice was common among Marines from many different  types of combat units during WW2 and is referred to by collectors today as a blooded patch.  His jump wings are US Army style sterling pinback wings and his ribbon bars are the wider USMC/Navy version.


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WW2 US Buy That Invasion Bond Poster by R. Moore

WW2 Buy That Invasion Bond D-Day Poster

There were hundreds of posters created by the US government during World War Two.  They were used to do many different types of things. This poster is one of my favorites because I love the subject matter.

It was created by the US Treasury to help sell war bonds in 1944.  It was by the artist R. Moore and depicts a landing by US troops from landing craft on to an enemy held beach.   The troops are under heavy fire from enemy artillery and and troops as they storm the beach.   I think the action packed subject matter is very appealing.

This particular poster is fairly hard to find today.  They do not often come up for sale and when they do, they usually sell for a price higher than comparable other US bond posters.

Date on the poster

WW2 US 10th Mountain Division Ski Troop Hat


WWII 10th Mountain Division Ski Troop Hat


World War Two Mountain Troop Ski Cap


WW2 Mountain Troop Ski Hat Interior

This is an original US mountain troop ski cap.  This type of cap was made specifically for US ski troops during World War Two. It is considered the second pattern, it replaced an earlier version of the ski cap that had a chinstrap that was connected to the side flaps.  Also, two ventilation grommets were added to each side with this version.  This second pattern of the cap came into use in 1943.

These hats are most known for their use by the famed 10th Mountain Division during WWII.  During World War Two, the 10th Mountain Division spent time training at Camp Hale in Colorado.  After their time in Colorado, they spent a little time training in Texas at Camp Swift before being shipped overseas to Europe.  When they arrived in Europe, they were sent to the Italian campaign were they engaged in heavy fighting in 1945.


World War Two F4U-1C Corsair Pilot Plotting Board Grouping

corsair 4 watermarkThis plotting board belonged to a World War Two Navy pilot who was a member of VF-85.  He was with VF-85 while it was serving on the carrier USS Shangri-La from November 1944 to September 1945.  Fighting Squadron Eighty Five flew F4U-1C Corsairs while fighting the Japanese during the Okinawa campaign and saw heavy combat.  After Okinawa, they flew missions over Japan until the end of the war.

Plotting boards were used by naval aviators to hold their maps, checklists, and other documents they would need for their missions.  They were designed so that they could be removed from the aircraft and taken into the ready room by the pilot for their mission briefings.  The top of the board was a clear plastic that allowed a pilot to take notes in an erasable pencil and to see the map underneath it.

This plotting board is part of a larger grouping and belonged to a naval aviator who was nicknamed Tiger by his fellow pilots.  Tiger managed to survive the loss of three Corsairs he was flying.  The first occurred during training when a fellow pilot ran into his plane and tore off part of his tail.

The second occurred while Tiger was making an attack against an airfield on Okinawa.  He was hit by anti-aircraft fire and bailed out over the water.  He was rescued by a PBM that landed off shore and picked him up.

The third time occurred when he was part of a strike group that attacked Japanese airfields on Kyushu.  His strike group engaged in heavy aerial combat with Japanese fighters and after the fight, he ran out of gas on the way back to his carrier.  He ditched in the water next to a US destroyer and was picked up.

His plotting board is a real time capsule.  The plotting board still contains the maps and documents from his last wartime flight on September 2, 1945.  This was the date of the formal surrender signing in Japan and his unit was one of the air units that flew in the huge fly overs to commemorate the signing of the surrender by the Japanese.  The next day, September 3, 1945, his unit VF-85 was relieved and transferred to a another ship to be sent home.

World War Two US Navy Submarine Service Recruiting Brochures

Submarine Recruiting Brochures 2 watermarkThese two original brochures were made by the United States Navy during World War Two in order to recruit men for the submarine service.  They are both similar in that they feature eye-catching graphics combined with some text discussing the benefits of the submarine service.  Some of the benefits that are mentioned are the better quality of food, constant action, increased responsibility, etc.  I like them both, but the top one I think has very powerful imagery and is my favorite WWII US submarine recruiting related item.

The US submarine force rapidly expanded during WWII, so they were always looking for new recruits.   Items like these were given out in hope of convincing brave and adventurous men to join the submarine service.

WW2 USMC Marine 1st Raider Battalion Guadalcanal Captured Japanese Flag

guadalcanal japanese flag front ww2One of my favorite types of WWII militaria are Japanese signed flags (they are called Yosegaki Hinomaru in Japanese) with capture history.  There are lots of WWII Japanese signed flags available on the market today.   If you look on the internet, there are dozens for sale at any one time.  This is because they were one of the most popular souvenirs for WWII vets to bring back from the War.  What is hard to find is a signed flag where you have iron clad documentation about the history of the flags capture and/or the Veteran that brought it back.

This flag came directly from the son of a 1st Raider Battalion Veteran and is part of a larger group that I own to that Veteran.  When I got it, his son also included of photo copy of a newspaper article that ran in the Veteran’s hometown paper.  The article shows the flag and also talks about it being captured on Guadalcanal.

Although I don’t read Japanese, certain phrases appear often enough on these signed flags that I do know the meaning of them.  On this flag, in the right hand vertical column, where the characters are bold and large, from top to bottom the first 5 kanji characters say ” I pray your military fortunes are long lasting”, Ki Buun Chokyu in Japanese.   This was a very popular phrase on signed good luck flags and appears on many of them.

Please note that I have also attached a photo of a piece of paper with Japanese writing on it that came from this same Veteran.  I do not know what it says, if anyone can give me any kind of a translation, I would be most grateful and would love to update this article with that info.  Also, if anyone can give me any help with the translation of the other writing on the flag, I would also be very grateful and would update this article with that info.

WWII USMC 4th Marine Raider Battalion Australian Made Uniform

Marine raider uniform ww2

This WWII USMC Australian made uniform belonged to a member of the Marine 4th Raider Battalion and is part of a larger grouping that I own from this Marine.  During the early part of World War Two, American made dress uniforms were impossible to acquire for Marines stationed in Australia and New Zealand.  So these Australian made battle dress uniforms were obtained by the Marines.  They were usually worn like this, with only a shoulder patch and rank insignia.  Early in the war, Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (EGAs) collar insignia and ribbon bars are usually not seen in period pictures on these uniforms.  The small twill Raider patch like the one shown, were often seen on Raider dress uniforms during the War.

The Marine that owned this uniform was with the 4th Raider Battalion from 1942 until their disbandment in early 1944.  He was next transferred to the 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division and he fought with that unit on Guam and Iwo Jima.

The letters and documents I obtained with this grouping tell a really sad story regarding this particular Marine and his family.  He was wounded but survived while fighting on Guam, but his family was incorrectly notified that he was killed in action by the Marines.   His parents believed he had been killed for a month and a half until they started receiving letters from him that were dated after the date that had been reported to them that he was KIA.  There are several letters I have with him writing to his parents assuring them he was still alive.  It looks like somebody just notated his file incorrectly.

Unfortunately, his parents had to go through this again just a few months later.  They were notified in March 1945 that this brave Marine had been killed while fighting on Iwo Jima.  This time the information was correct, he had been KIA.   I can’t begin to imagine the pain his family endured going through this twice.



WWII Japanese Army Pilot Flight Helmet And Flight Goggles

japanese flight helmet front ww2This World War Two Japanese Army flight helmet and flight goggles are a couple of standard issue items for Japanese Army aviators during the war.   Although these two items did not come with the Japanese Army flight uniform grouping I posted last week, they are both of the type that could have been worn with that grouping.

The flight helmet has the star, which is the the symbol of the Japanese Army, on the front.  This style of helmet was only worn by Japanese Army aviators, it was not worn by Japanese Naval aviators.

This type of flight goggles is sometimes referred to as cat’s eye style goggles.  There were several minor variations and many makers of this style of flight goggles during WWII, but this basic cat’s eye style of goggles was worn by both Army and Navy Japanese aviators during the war.

World War Two Japanese Army Pilot Flight Suit With Flight Gloves and Boots

japanese pilot flight suit ww2This WWII Japanese Army Aviator grouping is one my all time absolute favorite groupings.  It consists of the Japanese Army flight suit, flight gloves, and flight boots.   I obtained all of these items directly from the Veteran that brought them back about 15 years ago.

I was attending a local show in the late 1990s when a gentleman in his late 70s came up to me and started chatting.  He told me that he was a WWII Veteran and that he had a box of WWII Japanese pilot items in a box out in his car.  He wanted to know if I would be interested in them.  I said I probably would and asked if we could go look at them.  We went out to his car and in the trunk were these items stuffed in the wooden box that he had mailed them home in.  The box still had his WWII military return address on it along with the WWII era postage!  He told me that they had not been taken out of the box since he sent them home.  I will add a picture of the box at as soon as possible.

I took all of the items out of the box, told him what they were, and made an offer to purchase all of them.   He told me he wanted to walk around the show a little bit and think about it.  We both went back into the show and I waited hoping he would come back.    He did and he agreed to sell the items to me.

He mentioned to me that he had found these items while fighting in the Philippines during WWII.   The fighting was still going on and it was difficult to mail boxes, but he said that he was friends with a runner who had the ability to mail things home for him.

During WWII, the aviation personal of the Japanese Army and Navy wore different types of uniforms.  All three of these items are Japanese Army and were worn by pilots and aircrews.  The flight suit is an electrically heated type.  It still has the electrical prong and cord that was plugged in to heat the suit.  The flight gloves are made out of a very soft suede and are fur-lined.  The flight boots have rubber soles that were designed to help pilots grip their pedals.

As we were parting, the Veteran mentioned to me that he was lucky that these items had survived.  He said that he had mailed home many boxes of WWII Japanese war souvenirs during the War.  His family kept them for a while, but eventually got tired of all of the boxes in the basement and threw everything they could find in the trash.  He said that this box had been covered up in a corner and that the family just overlooked it during the time when they were they were throwing things away.

Please keep in mind that I am interested in all types of WWII Japanese pilot and aviation items.  I am especially interested in purchasing items directly from World War Two Veterans or their family members.  If you have any of these items you consider selling, please contact me via the information on my War Souvenirs Wanted page.