This helmet cover and set up is one of the earlier versions that would have been issued to troops after the development of the 1959 USMC Mitchell Pattern leaf cover. The cover is dated 1962 and is made of a light cotton duck material. The material has a stiffer feel to it and has a bleed in the way the print looks on the reverse tan side.
I found an early war steel pot with anchor marked hardware on the chinstrap and decided to put together a minty example of an earlier 1960’s M-1 helmet. Earlier and mid war steel pots normally come with anchor marked hardware. This is a good method for checking to see if the helmet is Nam era.
This early war liner also has the studs for the leather helmet liner chinstrap. These chinstraps are still available and are similar to the WWII versions, but have an anchor stamped inside the buckle. The anchor is a sure sign of an early to mid Vietnam War era example.
When I was a kid my dad had a giant white canvas laundry bag filled with thousands of M-1 helmet liner leather chinstraps. We still had brown buckle, green buckle and black buckle surplus back in the late 90’s.
We sold them for years to collectors. It’s all gone and supplies like that will never come back. So take my advice, buy what you find now because surplus and vintage items just end up disappearing from the market before you know it. If you enjoy collecting Vietnam War Helmets now is the time to buy what you find. This stuff will dry up. A few lots will show up, but the new old stock / mint items will get harder to find and much more exspensive.
Now back to the ’62 helmet. This is my earliest dated cover outside of the 1959 versions of the USMC leaf covers I’ve added to the collection. I’ve also included a photo of the rear seam steel pot’s heat stamp.
The final photos are from the liner and I was fortunate enough to find a fairly clean ’62 contract stamped nape band. The sweatband is also late 50’s with the unfinished webbing that feeds through he buckle.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck hunting for Vietnam War Helmets. There are still parts and pieces out there, you just have to track down what you are looking for. Buy it when you find it and I hope you find something amazing.