German Fallschirmjäger Camo Chicken Wire Helmet w/Provenance

Condition:  Excellent

Model: M38

Pattern:  Spray Camouflage over Chicken Wire

Product Description: An unbelievable and extraordinary rare German Fallschirmjäger Camo Chicken Wire Helmet with US veteran provenance. This German Fallschirmjäger Camo Chicken Wire Helmet was brought home by Pfc. Frank Prichard. Prichard was an MP in the 34th Infantry Division of the US 5th Army in Italy, the so-called “Red Bull” division. Pfc. Prichard served two years of combat duty in the Mediterranean Theater, mostly in Italy. The grouping is complete with a nearly intact photo album showing his period of service overseas, which inlcudes a photo of him supposedly packing the paratrooper helmet and the italian flag, as well as his whistle, MP armband, a photo studio portrait, smaller photo, a so-called “yard long” photo of his unit, two West Point jackets with one set of trousers and head cover, a tan US Army Enlisted Man’s Service Cover, a 48 Star American Flag, and the Italian Flag mentioned in the period photo of Pfc Prichard packing the helmet and flag to mail home. The paratrooper helmet is a typical M38 helmet which has had chickenwire camouflage added and affixed to the helmet by tying it into the liner system as well as over the helmets edge. A section of wire can still be seen pushed through one of the liners pads. The helmet is sprayed over the wire with green and red camouflage paint, with remnants of the camo paint still visible on the wire. A Luftwaffe 2nd pattern decal can be seen under the camo paint. The helmets interior remains completely untouched since the war; the straps had been field cut usually symbolizing this helmet was taken off a dead or wounded paratrooper. This is an absolutely amazing German Fallschirmjäger Camouflage Chicken Wire Helmet grouping that we are proud to be able to offer.

Historical Description: The helmets used by WWII German soldiers were issued with a variety of solid paint colors applied at the factory. Different units deployed to combat zones had different methods to break up the iconic German helmet silhouette, for camouflage purposes. Some units issued fabric covers or camouflage nets. In other units, helmets were painted with camouflage colors. Among the most widely utilized camouflage paint finishes were solid tan for desert environments, solid white for winter use, and the tri-color camouflage scheme known to collectors as “Normandy” pattern camouflage. This camouflage style was certainly used in Normandy, famously by Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 6, and also by many other units. But it was also used by various units in all the occupied countries along the German-fortified “Atlantic Wall.” The Normandy camouflage scheme is characterized by the use of red, green, and tan/brown/yellow paint. In some cases, the entire helmet would be oversprayed with the tan base color, and then areas would be further oversprayed with the red and green. Other helmet painters chose to simply spray areas with the various colors. These paints were, generally speaking, the same pigments supplied to units for the purposes of camouflaging vehicles. The paint was usually applied in unit work shops, using industrial type spray guns, rather than by the soldiers themselves. Every painter had his own style, and there were probably infinite variations in the way the helmets were camouflaged. Normandy camouflaged helmets were regarded by enemy GI soldiers as attractive souvenirs, and they remain very desirable collectibles today.


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