German-Helmets.com  - The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945

    Collector Topics:  Rare and Unusual - Veteran Painted Helmets

Souvenir and Veteran Captured  Helmets

One of the more interesting of collectibles are those helmets which have been hand painted with the names and locations that a particular veteran saw service time.  These helmets are unique in the sense that each is very different from the other and all have been hand personalized by a veteran.  Souvenir and veteran painted helmets are common only to Allied soldiers of the UK and the US, although some can also be found among those who served with Canadian troops during World War II.

The style and type of decoration applied to these hand painted helmets varies greatly.  Depending on the skill of the soldier who painted the helmet, the decoration can be very artistic or quite simple in nature.  Most helmets of this type have fancy labels and designations that denote the actual place in which the veteran actually lived or was stationed.  These labels can sometimes be countries or towns as well as the names of battles or larger campaigns.  Of course many souvenir helmets bear no hand painted labels but still represent a "wartime trophy" in that they have come back from the war in the duffle bag of an Allied serviceman.  Many of these souvenir helmets bear testimony to the fierce combat seen during World War II.  Such a helmet can be seen in the photographs of an M1940 Combat Police helmet brought back by a US Serviceman with the 487th Engineers, as well as the Luftschutz helmet captured by Robert L. Williams of the 506th Parachute Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division.

Helmets with painted battle locations on their surface are not necessarily sought after collectibles when it comes to those who prefer unaltered original examples.  However, the interest in these helmets is enough to have created a small niche within the helmet collecting community where many actively seek this kind of helmet because of their unusual appearance.  Of course, helmets of this kind can also be "faked" in the sense that anyone with artistic ability could alter an original helmet to make it appear like an original.  Fortunately, this has not been a widespread practice since the majority of collectors do not actively seek this kind of collectible as their primary goal.

If you have an interesting veteran painted helmet that you would like to share photos of please contact the webmaster for further information.

 

A Veteran Painted Luftschutz Helmet.

Overview

Each section of German-Helmets.com is divided into separate Information Tracks that outline important details, facts, and historical notes pertaining to steel helmets used by the German Armed Forces during World War II.  

Information Tracks are organized by subject matter and their content is directly related to the service arm or organization to which each topic is related.  Topic areas that bridge one subject matter to another are cross linked within each Information Track.

This Information Track provides historical facts pertaining to souvenir and veteran painted helmets.  Individual links related to this subject are outlined below.

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