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Canadian DR helmet converted Post war to Airborne Helmet

Article about: Good day Gents I have been offered this helmet which is supposed to be a Canadian Army Postwar conversion of a War time dated Dispatch Riders helmet to a Airborne helmet I have walked away f

  1. #1
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    Default Canadian DR helmet converted Post war to Airborne Helmet

    Good day Gents I have been offered this helmet which is supposed to be a Canadian Army Postwar conversion of a War time dated Dispatch Riders helmet to a Airborne helmet I have walked away from this helmet a few times now but something keeps drawing me back for another look at the details .
    There is very little published information out there concerning this type of conversion and most of that can be found is in the book by Roger Lucy Tin Lids In the late 1940s and early 1950's as Canada began to rebuild her Airborne forces and the Mobile Strike Force. They had enough British AB helmets for the PPCLI, but the RCR and R22R did not have helmets.There was an extreme shortage of Mk II Airborne helmets and needing to out fit two other Army groups the decision was made to convert existing Mk I DR helmets that were in military stores to meet the need.
    The Dispatch Rider helmet was turned 180 so the brow pad became a neck support , the skirting was cut off ,dome pads were added and the shells were drilled out to accommodate new leather harnesses and chinstrap's in the Mk I configuration the requirement had been for 500 but it is possible that they converted some more the exact number is not known.
    The helmet shells and liners will both be dated 1944 the shells were manufactured by C.L./C (Canadian Motorlamp Co. ) and are dated as such on the rear interior of the helmet just above the rim .
    The liners were manufactured by BS (Backstay Standards ) and bare there company logo and date and are marked with the C-Broad arrow Canadian government acceptance stamp.
    There are a few of the details about this helmet that bother me the first being the most recent paint job you will notice that there is some over spray on the back of the harness it is obvious that it has been repainted but the question is when and by whom one thing I do find interesting though is the red paint poking through which is evident on the front and back of the helmet only .
    I do know that Canadian Post war Para helmets on occasion would have unit flashes and or unit insignia painted on them in this manner and have seen two other period examples that this has been done on one being a Mk I converted Para helmet and the other an early post war Mk II that is adorned with a painted white band around the rim and a lightning bolt painted from front to back .
    One of the other details that bother me is what appears to be hand stitching on the leather harness was this done period like this ? or has this harness being made up and or repaired I can not find any other decent examples to compare it to to check the stitching on.
    The seller states that many years ago he purchased this helmet from a local dealer and it was sold to him as a war time era para helmet and has had it in his collection for some time upon further research he discovered that it was actually a converted Dispatch riders helmet he at first thought it to be possibly a reenactors helmet and then came upon the section In Tin Lids on the post war para conversion he is convinced this is one of those helmets and states for ethical reasons he has marked the helmet accordingly under the sweat band you will notice on one of the images that there are two arrows on the liner these are to point out were he has written the information .
    I am still not a 100% convinced it is original but perhaps I am being over cautious but I would appreciate some other opinions and or observations please pardon the images as these are all I have to work with at the moment.

    Regards Mark K
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  2. #2
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    I can't add much more to what you have writen but here are some pics for you.
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  3. #3
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    Thanx for the reply tinlid what are your thoughts on the stitching on the harness and the paint .
    I appreciate the images I am even more curious as to the red paint poking through

    Regards Mark K

  4. #4
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    Those straps are either very good condition or fakes, they don't seem to match the rest of the leather on the helmet for wear.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Thanx for your opinion the harness stitching makes me nervous as well as does condition and wear tough call on this one for me.

    Regards Mark K

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