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SNLF Helmet

Article about: Hello all,I thought I would post a few pics of the very first Japanese helmet I ever acquired.It was the piece that ignited my interest in Japanese militaria. A friend of mine who was an ext

  1. #1

    Default SNLF Helmet

    Hello all,I thought I would post a few pics of the very first Japanese helmet I ever acquired.It was the piece that ignited my interest in Japanese militaria. A friend of mine who was an exterminator at the time, saw three helmets in the closet of a gentleman who had been a PT boat commander during the war.The vet said they had picked them up in a destroyed Japanese landing craft they came across while on a patrol. My friend bought all three.Unfortunately due to my limited funds at the time I was unable to afford the other two, one of which had the cover. This helmet has the stenciled anchor which was painted before the installation of the liner rivets.I have seen other original examples without the yellow paint on the front rivet and was wondering if any fellow forum members happen to have a similar example to share for comparison and discussion?.Regards,Geoff

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  2. #2
    MAP is online now


    Stunner Geoff. I've been wanting one of these for a while. had a chance to pick up a shipboard one a little while ago but there were a few too many question marks.

    Seriously jealous (in a good way) of you collection!! And love your photographs.
    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

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    Liner pads look pristine in comparison to the shell.

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    Looks brand new off the shelf! I'm thinking it's owner likely didn't make it out of that landing craft!

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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    Nice helmet Geoff! It is my understanding (I am not a helmet guy), that navy helmet liners don't have the Showa date stamps in them, as the army ones. Because of that, you don't know the date of the liner, although stencil anchor helmets are usually from later in the War. Is it safe to assume that the paint on the front rivet pin is missing because the helmet was refurbished with a new liner at some time? I assume too that this must have been done regularly, both in the field and whenever Supply needed to repair or update the helmets. Whenever the rivets are removed, you run the risk of breaking one or both of the wings on the rivet. I wonder too if the re-issuing of helmets accounts for the various names that are sometime encountered inside the lid, and then lined out or painted over.

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    Hey Mike,I am sure it is possible that the liner could be replaced in the field, as a matter of fact Here is some additional info from Nick Komiya's excellent article in the pinned section of this forum The Evolution of the Japanese Army Steel Helmet (1918-1945) revised and expanded version.

    Army Regular Ordinance 4525 of July 26th 1932 followed through on the helmet’s change to a clothing item by instructing all that henceforth gas mask and helmet orders were to be placed with the Clothing Main Depot. This announcement also clarified the rule regarding repair of damaged helmets, which became the responsibility of the unit. Later shipping manifestos show that field units received all the necessary pieces ( liner, padding pouch for liner, rings for the straps, star insignia and paint ) to be totally self-sufficient in repairs.

    I suspect there was a similar Ordinance for the Navy as well however, I cannot say for sure.Unless there was catastrophic damage to a helmet it makes sense that it be refurbished when needed.I am sure there were many that were of no further use to their former owners who were either wounded or KIA. Regards,Geoff

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    This is a top shelf helmet!

    I don't believe there is anything to indicate that the helmet liner has been replaced.

    There are examples where the anchor was painted after installation of the liner, and like this one, where the anchor was painted prior to installing the liner. If the front rivet was loose, you'd see the yellow paint under it. I believe examples like this one, are harder to find.

    The liner is in top condition, and there are other examples of liners in great condition in these later helmets as well.

    Hopefully Jareth will take a look, but I think it's original.



  9. #9


    Thanks Geoff and Russ. Regarding the liner, we can say that a late war helmet should have a newer looking liner in it, in general anyway (later in the war, less use, newer looking). So, for examples like the one we see here, were the liners installed in one location, and then painted in another? Or Are we just making educated guesses as to why we are seeing this style? The next thing I am wondering is why would they not fully paint the anchor as they had in the past, including the rivet, hence again my circuitous musings.

  10. #10


    Hey Mike,Speaking of musings, Mine is that helmets May have been shipped in crates nested inside each other without the liners installed to conserve space.(More helmets in a crate) The liners being installed at the destination or depot. This might also account for the " Touch-up stripes " typically seen on Army helmets.
    Many miles of bouncing around on the way to a unit or depot could result in rubbing and wear that would need to be touched up after installation of the new liner.The quality of workmanship varies significantly from helmet to helmet from carefully and neatly done,to just plain sloppy! Just a theory of mine.. why else paint a "stripe" around a helmet??? Regards,Geoff
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