Named Helmets - type and style
I've noted some generalizations about named helmets and would appreciate your views.
It seems that named helmets aren't in the majority of helmets. When named helmets are found, it appears that the use of last names (surnames) are most common, with the initial of the first name rarely used, but more common than a full name. Rank abbreviations with last name are fairly common, but unit designations or serial numbers with (or instead of) a name are not very common. Size and style of writing or painting varies. When paint is used it often appears to have been applied with what looks like anything from a small paintbrush to something coarse like the end of a small rope. I've only seen white paint (now often an ivory color from age), though I am sure there are some variations. I think it's interesting to note that while ink was often written on the leather, I see little to no examples of ink discoloration or smears despite sweaty heads rubbing against the ink markings.
I've found that the type and style of how a name was applied often varied between the services:
Heer: Generally white paint on the back skirt of helmet shell. Sometimes dark wax pencil on back skirt of shell. On very old liners, occasionally a custom stamped cloth tag with name sewn or stapled to leather.
Luftwaffe: Pen written on leather headband - for M38 (FJ) on the very top of the inside of leather, near size stamp. Occasionally white paint on the back skirt of helmet shell. Sometimes dark wax pencil on back skirt of shell.
SS: Pen written on leather. Occasionally white paint on the back skirt of helmet shell. Sometimes dark wax pencil on back skirt of shell. Never (or maybe rarely) have I seen any SS Runes written on the inside of SS helmets, unless they're fakes.
This may be a gross overgeneralization, which is taken from viewing a few hundred helmets (mostly photos) but I'd appreciate your comments based on your experience. Photos as always are appreciated.
02-24-2015 02:04 PM
With SS helmets I beg to differ, most SS helmets personalized I have handled have the SS runes written before the first initial and last name, sometimes followed by a unit abbreviation. Also seen anything from pen or pencil on leather to massive green paint on the rear skirt (was a recent out of the woodwork pickup I researched to a Das Reich veteran, helmet was an SS dark green camo), seen from runic and two initials to very detailed unit descriptions and feldpost numbers. (which are a gold mine for research).
Here on my ex Heer M35. JS inside one of the fingers.
Thanks for your comment Doug. As our resident authority on the subject, you'd know best regarding SS helmets.