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Looking for Opinions on My Battle-Damaged M42 SS Helmet

Article about: Hello everyone! I'm a new member and excited to finally be an official part of the community! This is my first post! I have a battle-damaged M42 SS helmet that I picked up at an estate aucti

  1. #1

    Default Looking for Opinions on My Battle-Damaged M42 SS Helmet

    Hello everyone! I'm a new member and excited to finally be an official part of the community! This is my first post! I have a battle-damaged M42 SS helmet that I picked up at an estate auction a long time ago that I was hoping you guys could give me your professional opinions on. As you can see by the pictures, it's just the shell, and it got hit pretty good by what looks to be both bullets and shrapnel (has great entry/exit holes). It has a consistent patina with some rusting and pitting, some scuffs and scratches, and most of the original green paint on the outside is gone, however the inside still retains a lot. The shell is marked "CKL 66" and "3175" (looks to be 3175 but hard to tell exactly due to rust/pitting). Now, as with any SS helmet these days, the decal is the main concern. To me it looks like an ET SS decal (ET second pattern SS decal, whichever term you want to use). However, I've had one person tell me it was legit, and another tell me it was a reproduction decal, so I'm looking for a second opinion and some clarification.

    In regards to the decal, I've looked extensively at it under a magnifying glass (as well as the rest of the helmet), and noticed a few very small inconspicuous scratch marks that went from the metal onto the decal, which have the same patina and consistency as other small and inconspicuous scratch marks on other parts of the helmet, what I would consider consistent with normal wear and tear (having been a US Marine I know how gear gets treated!). To me they do not look like they were done purposely nor surreptitiously to make the decal or helmet look aged or worn. You'll also notice there is no attempt to conceal the left hand side of the decal. Also, I noticed a few spots that had some minuscule color intensity variations on the decal, where the parts that sunk down lower along the contours of the metal of the helmet are minutely brighter than the parts that where slightly raised above along the contours and thusly more exposed to the elements and daily usage. I also noticed very small specs of rust that formed along the edges of the decal where it had chipped away. Lastly, I can't see why anyone would go through the trouble of putting a decal on a battle damaged shell that has no liner nor chinstrap that wouldn't be worth nearly as much as one with all the parts.

    So, what do you guys think? I'm no expert and I know this subject is often very subjective and speculative, so I would appreciate your professional opinions. I tried taking some pics from different angles in different light. However, if any additional pics are required to better help your assessment just let me know! I appreciate all of you guys' time, consideration, and help! Thanks!

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  3. #2


    Hello Preston and welcome to the forum. I must admit that I am sorry to say that I am not keen on this being an original et decal. The runes are of the correct style for a ckl helmet but the left and right "breaks" to the shield appear much to sharp for me, they should have a nice "soft" turn for an ET decal. I have posted an image of my ET decal for comparison below. I am sure Doug will answer soon and confirm one way or the other , he has a massive collection of original SS helmets but I feel he may sadly agree with me. Leon.Click image for larger version. 

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    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

  4. #3


    Thanks for the welcome and salutation Leon! That's unfortunate to hear, however I value your opinion. I've read tons of forums about this topic and looked at a lot of pictures too in an effort to educate myself. I guess I don't quiet have the eye for it, because some ET decals look like they have a clear "soft" break and then others look like they have a, what I would consider, something between a "soft" and a "hard" break, yet get described as a "soft" break. It's kind of hard to tell, at least for me. However, despite all of this compelling information to the contrary, I still find myself slightly doubting what I hear because of how my decal looks on the helmet when I have it in hand and when I look at it under the magnifying glass. It looks so natural and the patina, scratches, wear and tear, etc are so uniform and effortless over all the surfaces of the helmet to include over the decal. I see the same on my M35 double decal Heer and M40 Luftwaffe helmets (which I know are real). It must be a really good forgery then, because it sold me! Also, to restate once again, I don't see the point of making a clever forgery out of just a busted up shell with no parts (esp getting it from an estate auction that had few other military items). Regardless, I appreciate your opinion and input! I'm still learning and I welcomed anyone else's opinions/input! Thanks guys!!

  5. #4


    I agree with Leon on this one.

  6. #5


    The point would be for the forger to make an extra
    $300 -$400 or more on a helmet that is only
    worth about $60-$80. I agree though,
    wait for further opinions.........


  7. #6


    Unfortunately, the decal is, unquestionably, bad.

  8. #7


    Thanks for the posts and opinions guys, I really appreciate it!

  9. #8


    Unquestionably a bad decal and it's an easy one to spot for conscientious collectors of SS Helmets.

    Sorry for the bad news.

  10. #9


    I hope you didn't pay a lot for it.

  11. #10


    Yeah, not good at all

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