This Blog is about the World War II 109th Combat Engineers of the 34th Infantry Division who served in North Africa and Italy. Send your stories or photos to email@example.com and we will add them to the blog.
July 12, 2010
WW1 and WW2 era helmets
I collect WW1 and WW2 era helmets and militaria. When I removed the liner frame(it didn't have a liner) from a recently acquired US M1917A1 helmet, I found some black markings inside the helmet that appear to read "109 ENG.". There are other markings but unfortunately time has worn them away. I posted pictures of my new helmet in one of my favorite military forums, and a kind gentleman there pointed me to your blog. I've enjoyed what I've read of your blog and I thought you may be interested in my helmet's markings. Does this helmet look like a lid from the 109th? I've attached the pictures that I have.
Thanks for your time.
Hi Jason: I joined the 109th Engineers, a National Guard unit in South Dakota in 1939. We had the old WW-I uniforms and helmets at that time. The wrap leggings, broad rim campaign hats and the whole bit. We still had the same equipment when we mobilized in Jan. 1941 and went to Camp Claibourne, LA. During the summer we started getting WW-II clothing and I think were issued the new helmets in the fall of 1941 about the time of Pearl Harbor but I am not sure of that. They were a lot more useful and a big improvement and we were glad to get rid of the old ones. Better protection for the back of the neck and ears etc. We could use them as a seat when in mud or snow and could take out the liners and make a fair washbasin out of the metal part. By time we got to North Africa, we had a string mesh over them which supposedly served to soften the outline or reflection but probably did more for our morale than for our safety!
Your Model 1917 helmet is probably one of those we dumped in 1941. Or it could have been excess equipment left behind in the SD National Guard units when we mobilized.
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