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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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ARVN Helmet Camouflage schemes & covers in photographs.
Old 05-19-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
Patrick Dempsey
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Default ARVN Helmet Camouflage schemes & covers in photographs.

Hello all,


after looking through a few images the other day, i was reminded of the varied schemes and patterns used by the South Vietnamese military on their steel helmets.

We are all familiar with the classic ARVN Ranger types, but there are other patterns that can be seen in period photographs that are equally striking and unique.

I will post a few to illustrate, please feel free to add any period photos you have found!

This example (on the left) is possibly my favourite. Another scheme can be seen on the right also.
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File Type: jpg 2 ARVN Camo Helmets.jpg (87.0 KB, 671 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:17 PM   #2
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A monochrome image, but a striking pattern!
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File Type: jpg ARVN Camo Helmets.jpg (114.6 KB, 665 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:19 PM   #3
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A great shot of a camo helmet and a cover...
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File Type: jpg 21st ARVN - U Minh forest 1970.jpg (227.5 KB, 670 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:20 PM   #4
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A detail of the above.

Whilst he is indeed ARVN Ranger, the scheme is superb.
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File Type: jpg ARVN Ranger IV Corps GREAT CAMO Helmet.jpg (236.4 KB, 670 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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And just to show that not every helmet was so dramatic, here a paratrooper has a basic "spotch" pattern.
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File Type: jpg ARVN Airborne with camo helmet rework.jpg (77.0 KB, 662 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Here is a picture of troops from the 42nd Vietnamese Ranger Battalion. The 44th Bn also had helmets with the same yellow and black pattern.
I will have to veryfy if both units may have used the same colors and pattern.

This may have been possible, in that they were located close to each other, and often conducted multi-battalion operations.

I know of a existing original helmet brought back by a advisor to the 42nd, and will try to obtail photo's.
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File Type: jpg Marine DI (175).jpg (151.1 KB, 659 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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Here is a picture of the 34th Ranger Bn. Command Group ('66-'67) operating out of War Zone C, awaiting the helicopters to arrive for extraction. As you can see there is a variety of head gear, even one that was captured. Soft hats did not provided protection, but was far more comfortable. I am located to the right of the Bn. Commander who is wearing dark glasses. The reason we wore soft hats was probably due to the fact that the Bn. Commander formerly served with the French Army.


The picture also shows the type of uniforms worn and weapons and equipment
carried. The motar is a 82mm that was one of the weapons captured on that particular operation. On operations we did not carry 81mm motars but used a 60mm along with a 75mm recoiless rifle which was far more heavy than a RPG.

When I was with the 38th Battalion each Company 1-4 along with the command group had different colors in there helments. One color would be the primary color ( ie, a blue, yellow, green, purple, brown), with the rest of the colors being also used by other companies as secondary colors.

Color helments or scarfs were commonly used to identify units on operations. The Rangers did not fear being identified by their bright colors. It was used for its psychological effect on the enemy.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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Here is the famous photo of Capt. Devlin at a awards ceremony. I will try to find a colored copy.
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File Type: jpg Devlin.jpg (17.3 KB, 649 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #9
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I am positive that both the 42nd and 44th Ranger Bn used similiar colors for their helments. What I just noticed is that Devlin's helmet has the black panther and star on it, while the 42nd' helments are just plain.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:37 PM   #10
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Here is the picture of the 34th Ranger Bn.'b Bo Chi Uy.
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File Type: jpg Command Group 2.jpg (133.5 KB, 652 views)
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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I do not know the battalion number or the date (I would say around 1964), still a cool photo:
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:10 PM   #12
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Heres a picture I have in my collection. The soldier seems to be using a homemade helmet cover.

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Old 05-19-2009, 06:25 PM   #13
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Heres a neat picture. Unfortunetly I cant find any info on it.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:45 PM   #14
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See the photo in post #8, probably the 44th Ranger Bn.

The 42nd Ranger Bn. design was like a ram, not horizontal stripes and without the black panther and star.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezman View Post
I do not know the battalion number or the date (I would say around 1964), still a cool photo:
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:41 PM   #15
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Aloha Dennis,

thanks for taking the time to post the extra shots and share your recollections.

You have not changed much in the years since the photo was taken. Out of interest, what were your initial thoughts upon seeing helmets such as these? It must have been quite different to the US system of the time?

Quote:
I know of a existing original helmet brought back by a advisor to the 42nd, and will try to obtain photos.
That would be wonderful if at all possible and i am sure would be appreciated by our fellow members.



I do like the photo posted by Digilio of the painted liners.

Here is another example of the geometric type in wear. Almost reminds me of a WW1 German style.
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File Type: jpg Geo camo.JPG (108.1 KB, 631 views)
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