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308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

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.... but I had to get it. It's not bad shape, with a

  1. #1

    Default 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    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.... 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: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    During the war soldiers commonly put the address directly unto the helmet and shipped them home just as this is so the writing probably is "original". The F.S.B. usually indicated Field Signal Battalion. M.H.J. Birren is actually Murrel or Merle H.J. Berrin and in 1920 the family did live on Arcadia Ave. in Peoria. Hope this helps out.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    NICE HELMET WITH THE ADDRESS,,,

  4. #4

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    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.

    This is plausible...however, why would someone need to paint the address on after it had arrived at the location? And if the label was legible enough for to copy the address from after it had arrived...why bother?

    The paint on the helmet is quite good, and it may have been picked up in this condition. Granted, the areas missing paint have rusted a bit, but not enough to have bled through the painted on letters. Since it was a combat helmet, one would not expect it to be pristine when originally picked up as a souvenir. I don't think soldiers back then, as now, gave much thought about keeping the paint fresh and nice for the benefit of future collectors.

    The painted on letters could have been done in addition to the label as a precaution by the soldier sending it back just in case it fell off in shipping. I would not be dissatisfied to have this.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  5. #5

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    Quote by Eagle View Post
    During the war soldiers commonly put the address directly unto the helmet and shipped them home just as this is so the writing probably is "original". The F.S.B. usually indicated Field Signal Battalion. M.H.J. Birren is actually Murrel or Merle H.J. Berrin and in 1920 the family did live on Arcadia Ave. in Peoria. Hope this helps out.
    Hi, Ahhh Ha, I see, the 308th Field Signal battalion good to know this, thanks. Yes, you are correct, I agree, I have seen this type of postal addressing done by soldiers with many objects, not just helmets. Very strange to us today, but common I see back then.

    Thanks for the info on Mr. Birren. I wonder how the helmet got out of his Families possession. This always amazes me. I will try to do a little more research on Soldier Birren.

    Regards, Steve

  6. #6

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    This is plausible...however, why would someone need to paint the address on after it had arrived at the location? And if the label was legible enough for to copy the address from after it had arrived...why bother?

    The paint on the helmet is quite good, and it may have been picked up in this condition. Granted, the areas missing paint have rusted a bit, but not enough to have bled through the painted on letters. Since it was a combat helmet, one would not expect it to be pristine when originally picked up as a souvenir. I don't think soldiers back then, as now, gave much thought about keeping the paint fresh and nice for the benefit of future collectors.

    The painted on letters could have been done in addition to the label as a precaution by the soldier sending it back just in case it fell off in shipping. I would not be dissatisfied to have this.
    Hello Steve, I had thought maybe it was done maybe 60-70 years ago by the vet, maybe his son or other in his family before the label went missing. I have asked the seller what the label said before he boxed it to send to me, and it is the same info as on the outside painted letters, plus it has some sort of round ink stamp from military acceptance censors or another. I'll get some good pics of the complete helmet when it arrives.

    Seller sent a couple more pics to me, and I now agree.. I think it was done at same time it was sent back, it has just survived well.

    And YES!!! I am very happy to have this helmet. It will go well with a WWI German stick grenade I have just added to my grenade collection, here look......... ( I made the stick, it was missing. Still have a little more fine tuning to do on it )

    Regards, Steve
    "Dr. Ruby"
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    both the the helmet & stick grenade are going to make a really nice display together!

    I think the helmet must be a battlefield pick up, maybe at the end of the war they removed the liner and chin straps so they could use the metal for scrap? and the soldier picked it up before going to the scrap pile?

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    Hello Steve,

    Good luck on your research on Mr. Birren. If these items could talk it would be very interesting on their travels. My collection ranges from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam and I often wonder just where the items were and the story of those who held them. At times family members just don't want the stuff anymore, I have actually been given WWII and Vietnam items by the vets who brought them back and just wanted someone to have them that would appreciate them.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 308th F.S.Bn. Help Please- M1916 Helmet

    [QUOTE=Eagle;107732]Hello Steve,

    Good luck on your research on Mr. Birren. If these items could talk it would be very interesting on their travels.

    Hi, thanks. I will post more if any further info can be found out.

    Regards, Steve

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