Dating Vietnam War Helmet Covers

Growing up in an Army Navy store was an amazing experience and one of the first things I learned how to do as a kid was read a government contract date. My dad taught me what the labels on different items meant. From WWI field gear to what was current issue and cutting edge in the early 80’s. Everything had some type of label, marking or code to give you a clue to when it was made for the department of defense.

If you are just starting out one of the most important things to remember is DSA stands for – Defense Supply Agency and is seen before, during and after The Vietnam War. Anything you see with DLA is not wartime issue. The letters stand for Defense Logistics Agency. This marking is seen starting in 1978 and into the early 90’s.

DSA – Defense Supply Agency  (Early to Post War 1977)

DLA – Defense Logistics Agency  (1978 to early 90’s)

I’ve tried to group the contract dates with a photo of a Nam era cover.  It’s always nice to see what an example looks like. It should be noted that Mitchell Pattern covers are now being reproduced and are available online. Most examples do not have contract dates, but as time passes you most certainly see exact copies start to show up. Reproductions are not a bad thing, but just a sign that supplies are becoming more limited and the demand is growing for examples to display or use in film or historic reenactments.
It is still a great time to find minty and even new old stock examples.

Below are a range of dates starting with 1959 and ending with 1977. Hope this helps and good luck dating any cover you run across.

USMC Project Number 5501 DC & TSC DIR. MFG. 4 February 1959
USMC Project Number 5850 DC & TSC DIR. MFG. 10 December 1959


P.O. No. 5002-62 1962
DSA 1-811-C-62 1962


DSA 1-1940-63-C 1963


DSA 1-3839-64-C 1964
DSA 1-4540-64-C 1964

DSA 1-6600-65-C Late 1964 – 1965
DSA 1-6680-65-C Late 1964 – 1965
Contract No. 5432 1964*
Contract No. 5626 1964*
Contract No. 5654 1964*
Contract No. 5656 1964*
Contract No. 5858 1964*
Contract No. 7005 Late 1964-Early 1965*


Contract No. 7057 Late 1964-Early 1965*


Contract No. 7219 Late 1964-Early 1965*
Contract No. 7332 Late 1964-Early 1965*


Contract No. 7882 (this could be a 1-7332 printing error, but the number exists) Late1964-Early 1965*
Contract No. 8027 Late 1964-Early 1965*
Contract No. 8056 (Twill & Cotton Patterns) Late 1964-Early 1965*
Contract No. 8116 (Twill) Early 1965*
Contract No. 8133 Early 1965*
Contract No. 8189 (Twill) Early 1965*
Contract No. 9005 (Twill & Cotton Patterns) Mid 1965*
Contract No. 9085 Mid 1965*
Contract No. 9196 Mid 1965*
DSA 100-2157 Late 1965-Early 1966
DSA 100-3937 (Twill & Cotton Patterns) Early 1966
DSA 100-67-C-0713 (Twill) Capitol Fur 1967


DSA 100-67-C-3697 1967
DSA 100-68-C-2168 1968
DSA 100-68-C-2188 1968


DSA 100-69-C-0944 1969
DSA 100-69-C-1921 1969
DSA 100-69-C-1701 1969 ERDL Duck Version


DSA 100-69-F-U992 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1969
DSA 100-70-C-0822 1970
DSA 100-70-C-0823 1970
DSA 100-70-F-V075 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1970
DSA 100-73-F-U289 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1973

1977 Example

DSA 100-74F-U060 (Real Train) Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1974
DSA 100-74-F-U524 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1974
DSA 100-74-F-U919 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1974
DSA 100-75-F-V289 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1975
DSA 100-77-F-U393 Mnpls Soc f/t Blind 1977

Feel free to make the blog a favorite on your phone or tablet web browser. Having these dates can help you when you are out in the field hunting for parts and pots. Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for our next post when we talk about M-1 Helmet liner variations and dates seen from the 1950’s to the mid 70’s. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

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