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M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

Article about: Hi, I have just bought this helmet. I mostly collect WW2, but I just like this for some reason, so I bought it. I might have paid too much....\\$250, but I had to get it. It's not bad shape, w

  1. #1

    Default M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

    Hi, I have just bought this helmet. I mostly collect WW2, but I just like this for some reason, so I bought it. I might have paid too much....$250, but I had to get it. It's not bad shape, with a paper label remains on the inside rim. I have not seen close what it says yet until it arrives in about a week.

    I think the red letter painting might have been done a little later than when it was originally sent back here to the states. I think maybe it was painted on to preserve what is said on the disintegrating paper label on the inside rear rim. Just a theory. The painted letters are fairly old and show some age, just not like rest of helmet??

    I looked up the 308th F.S.B.?? and all the info that comes up is the "Lost Battalions" Is this correct? I could not find the F.S.B meaning.

    Does someone know exactly what Division or Battalion? this Soldier, "M.H.J. Birren" fought with? Any more info on this Vet's souvenir helmet will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Regards, Steve
    "Dr.Ruby"
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  2. #2

    Default Re: M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

    It looks like the soldier sent the helmet home, by army mail....on the helmet is the sender (ie the soldier) and also the delivery address (ie his parents address)....what do you think about that.......

  3. #3

    Default Re: M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

    Quote by darrenj40 View Post
    It looks like the soldier sent the helmet home, by army mail....on the helmet is the sender (ie the soldier) and also the delivery address (ie his parents address)....what do you think about that.......
    Hi, Thanks, here is what I think about that. Yes, I agree.

    I knew this, this was a common thing, and have seen many, many times before on all kinds of things, not just helmets.

    I was just wondering if the red lettering address was period done, or maybe a little later. There is also a paper label on inside w/ same info, so it is possible when it was sent back originally, it only had the paper label, and not the painted letters.

    Now that is in hand and I have looked at it closely, it looks like painted letters are period done, and was probably on the helmet also when it was mailed back, along with the paper label.
    It really is impossible to know for sure now, either way i like it, it's a nice condition old helmet.

    I also was not sure about the FSB Bn. which is I found out is the "Field Signal Battalion"

    Regards, Steve

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

    I am from Peoria, IL and my grandfather served with the 308th Field Signal Battalion in WWI. A large group of Peoria men enlisted together and left, served and came home together. For years my grandfather was in charge of the reunion held here in Peoria each year and I attended many of them. I believe the helmet you have was sent home by a gentleman by the name of Murl Birren who was a good friend of my grandfather's. He was one of the men I met many times at my grandparents' home. I have pictures that belonged to my grandfather and will check to see if I have any of Mr. Birren among them. My grandfather enlisted with two of my grandmother's brothers and a cousin's husband and i have pictures of all of them together. My great-uncle Bob was the correspondent of the group and wrote letters home which the family shared with the local paper. They were printed and I have copies of many of them. The originals I gave to one of my cousins who's father wrote the articles. I will check on the picture of Mr. Birren and attempt to contact you with anything more I may glean from grandpa's belongings. Regards, Marty

  5. #5

    Default Re: M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

    WOW ! - Great information Marty. Welcome to the Forum.........!

    What do you think about THAT, Steve ! ? !
    Regards,


    Steve.

  6. #6

    Talking Re: M1916 German Helmet What Bn is This? Help Please

    Quote by Marty View Post
    I am from Peoria, IL and my grandfather served with the 308th Field Signal Battalion in WWI. A large group of Peoria men enlisted together and left, served and came home together. For years my grandfather was in charge of the reunion held here in Peoria each year and I attended many of them. I believe the helmet you have was sent home by a gentleman by the name of Murl Birren who was a good friend of my grandfather's. He was one of the men I met many times at my grandparents' home. I have pictures that belonged to my grandfather and will check to see if I have any of Mr. Birren among them. My grandfather enlisted with two of my grandmother's brothers and a cousin's husband and i have pictures of all of them together. My great-uncle Bob was the correspondent of the group and wrote letters home which the family shared with the local paper. They were printed and I have copies of many of them. The originals I gave to one of my cousins who's father wrote the articles. I will check on the picture of Mr. Birren and attempt to contact you with anything more I may glean from grandpa's belongings. Regards, Marty


    Hello Marty, welcome also to the forum! Indeed that's most interesting info you have provided, thank you very much! I will look forward to maybe seeing a photo of Murl "Mr. Birren" It's interesting to note that his fathers initial's are M.J. Birren, and Murls initials are M."H".J. Birren...maybe his father was also named Murl?... and then that maybe the "H" added to his son's name was another family member or relatives initial?? which is a fairly common practice back then, and even today....



    And hello Steve.... (nice name as I've told you before)...what do I think about that?.....I think Marty's info is fantastic! and a great and amazing example of one of good qualities of the internet...the information highway!
    In fact due to the help of internet, I had an interesting and emotional incident recently. I just spoke 4 months ago to the 88 yr old tail gunner of the B-24 crew of my Uncle Buddy...1st Lt.Marvin R. Weiner, KIA 1943 (my mom's brother) The gunner "Sgt" Charles A. Raabe is doing very well for his age and living in Wisconsin. He was still sharp as a tack, and was quite happy to get a call from me and talk about his Officer and friend and WW2 exploits. He said flew 39 missions with my Uncle and remembered him and knew him well. He said he was a great Officer, all the crew liked him, and he was a real funny and nice guy. He also remembered the exact day my Uncle was chosen to replace a sick navigator on another plane and crew. On that day in Sept. 1943 the plane and crew my Uncle was chosen to fly with was shot down, and he was killed on the one and only mission with that crew and plane.
    They were on a bombing run of the marshaling yards in Salonika Greece....He told me that all the rest of his and my Uncles original crew #48, 385th Bomb Group, 15th AF, survived their 50 missions and the war...and it was just a very unlucky day for my Uncle Buddy to be picked to fly as a replacement navigator....My mother who is now 92 also got to speak to him...a very emotional time for her also and "Sgt" Mr.Charles A. Raabe no doubt. I've had all my Uncle's medals, some navigation items, one of his caps and uniforms, crew photo's, dozens of his letters home, a very unique 4 foot long!!! short snorter, a capri bell, navigator wings, and many other of his AAF items...even the flag from his coffin. I've had the items since I was 7 or 8. He and these items and my father's WW2 items are what started me on a lifetime of interest in WW2 history and collecting....I started a thread about my Uncle's posthumous Purple heart medal a while back if interested to see some of these items and a picture of him and crew.....Mr. Raabe is standing in back row, I think 3rd from left if I remember, it's too early.... no coffee yet this morning

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