This style of WWII airborne Hawley paratrooper helmet liner was the first liner produced to go into the M2 d-bale paratrooper helmet. They were manufactured using a pressed fiber material that feels very similar to cardboard. Thus, they were not very sturdy and had a tendency to fall apart during use. They were manufactured using this material because at the time it was the only material that could be easily molded into the shape of the helmet shell.
Soon after the development of the Hawley liner, a couple of new processes for helmet liners were developed using low and high pressure composite materials. These new processes were used by companies like St. Clair and Inland for their liners. It was not very long before production of helmet liners for the M2 paratrooper helmet was switched to these companies.
Since these Hawley paratrooper liners were manufactured for only a brief period of time and are very fragile, they are extremely rare and hard to find today. Originals of this style of Hawley paratrooper liner are found in only a few private airborne and M1 helmet collections today.
This particular WWII Hawley paratrooper liner originally belonged to the same paratrooper who owned the M41 paratrooper jump suit I posted a few weeks ago. He was an early member of the US Airborne forces and retained several of these early airborne items after World War Two ended.
Airborne Hawley Paratrooper Liner Front
Airborne Hawley Paratrooper Liner Back
Airborne Hawley Paratrooper Liner Top
Airborne Hawley Paratrooper Liner
Airborne Hawley Paratrooper Liner Left Side
Airborne Hawley Paratrooper Liner Interior Close Up
This M1C paratrooper helmet is a later produced M1C than the one that was previously posted. This is indicated by the rear seam and the olive drab colored chinstraps. The liner is a Westinghouse paratrooper liner.
This helmet and liner was found together by a picker about a year ago. This helmet is not identified, but I was still very happy to add this helmet to my collection. It has become very hard to find these helmets in excellent like this one is.
M1C US Airborne Rear Seam Paratrooper Helmet
M1C Airborne Rear Seam Paratrooper Helmet Side View
Pictured is an early US paratrooper uniform item. It is commonly referred to as a balloon suit, balloon jump suit or balloon cloth jump suit. This was one of the earliest uniform items specifically designed for US paratroopers. It was designed to be worn by paratroopers as an outer garment when making their parachute jumps. It was only experimented with for a brief time. Most photos show it being used in training in 1941. By 1942, it had been supplanted by other uniforms like the M42 jump suit. Although it was only used briefly, photos taken at the time show that many of the paratroopers who would later go on to have prominent positions in the 101st Airborne Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 11th Airborne Division, 17th Airborne Division, and 13th Airborne Division during World War Two, got their jump training wearing this uniform.
Since it was only used for a short period of time, and also because during this time the size of the US Airborne forces were very small, very few have survived. They are considered very rare and only a handful still exist in collections today. I was very pleased to add this rare uniform to my military collection.
This group was purchased directly from a paratrooper of Company D of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He was with Co. D, 505th PIR during their jump in Normandy during D-Day and was with them until the end of the war. He was wounded in Holland during operation Market Garden. It consists of his dog tag, jump wing sewn on to a 505th PIR oval, ribbon bars, wrist bracelet with his name, Good Conduct Medal engraved with his name, CIB, cap disc patch, 82nd Airborne patch, collar discs, purple heart, 2 American invasion armband flags, paperwork, other misc. insignia, and a number of photos (only a few of which are shown here), including one showing him standing with his Browning.
The thing that I like best is the piece of the parachute canopy fabric that he had many members of Company D, 505th PIR sign. Also pictured are some of his German souvenirs which he brought back including a German armband and a skull removed from a German visor cap. American soldiers in WWII were known for their love of acquiring captured souvenirs from their enemies. Insignia like these were particular favorites because they were easy to carry and mail home. Please note that in order to maintain the Veteran’s privacy, we have intentionally blurred his name on the paperwork, bracelet, and dog tag in the photos.
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