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Iwo Jima Helmet

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    #16
    A Wickedly WONDERFUL piece of history!
    Always on the lookout for quality WWII U.S. Paratrooper items! tlckkibler@msn.com

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      #17
      For clarification, did your grandfather pick up the whole helmet, or just the helmet cover?

      Jean-Loup
      Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

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        #18
        Just the helmet cover. I snagged the helmet just to display it.

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          #19
          Figured it out: In 1943 the USMC started using UNIS (Unit Numerical Identification System) for marking vehicles, clothing, equipment, etc.

          In the case of my cover, the half circle designates 4th Division, then the numbers work backward, in this case 25th regiment, 3rd Bn, L Co.
          Attached Files

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            #20
            Great helmet cover! Piece of history!

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              #21
              I can confirm that your UNIS is from the 4th Marine Division. However, based on my understanding of UNIS, he is from "K" Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Infantry Regiment.

              Here is mine. This helmet and camo cover were worn by Pfc. Theodore Loney in Iwo Jima. He landed with the first waves on February 19th (D-Day) on Yellow 1 Beach. He was also in the 4th Marine Division. He won the Bronze Star in Saipan and the Silver Star in Iwo Jima. Thankfully, he survived the war. UNIS marked camo covers are very rare. Pfc. Loney's UNIS is for "A" Company of the 4th Pioneer Battalion. Here is a link to a more extensive thread that I posted a long time ago on Pfc. Loney: http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...ighlight=loney

              I do have what I consider to be a pretty extensive collection of UNIS marked jackets and field gear from the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions (most of this stuff was from the Iwo Jima campaign) in case you guys are interested.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by WalterB; 01-19-2012, 09:54 PM.
              When you go home
              Tell them for us and say
              For your tomorrow
              We gave our today

              --Inscription in the 5th Marine Division cemetery,
              Iwo Jima 1945

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                #22
                Ya definitely, that'd be cool to see.

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                  #23
                  Follow up gents. I tracked down the family, got to talk with his sister-in-law who I couldn't believe was still around and still sharp! They sent me these photos today!
                  Attached Files

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                    #24
                    Calvin
                    Attached Files

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                      #25
                      Great piece of history.
                      Out of curiosity, what was your grandfather doing there at the time? It seems a bit strange for a US service man to keep an US cover from another soldier as a souvenir.
                      Autopsy of a Battle, the War in Southern France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZrhUoRdsAQ

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by Jean-Loup View Post
                        Great piece of history.
                        Out of curiosity, what was your grandfather doing there at the time? It seems a bit strange for a US service man to keep an US cover from another soldier as a souvenir.
                        Not as a souvenir. Rather, I suspect his grandfather picked it up to use in replacement of his own. I have a unit marked combat jacket issued to a platoon sergeant who was killed in Iwo Jima and the jacket was picked up and subsequently used by a former para marine who also served in Iwo Jima. I think that during a campaign, equipment of WIAs/KIAs that was still serviceable was collected and made available to the troops during (and perhaps after) the ongoing campaign.
                        When you go home
                        Tell them for us and say
                        For your tomorrow
                        We gave our today

                        --Inscription in the 5th Marine Division cemetery,
                        Iwo Jima 1945

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                          #27
                          Great thread

                          Great grouping...Always great to connect a person to the items. RIP Marine !

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                            #28
                            Jean, good question. I've wondered that myself. My grandfather was Army Air Corps and landed on Iwo (I believe) several times. The only confirmed date I have that he was there was about a month after this Marine was killed.

                            He did say that he had several Marine friends that were on the island. Perhaps it was his? But the odds of finding a fallen buddy's old gear would be next to nil. So I think it was probably a souvenir. A little odd. He did grab a Japanese helmet and a few other items from the island as well (which I have), maybe he wanted it to have something from both sides? I don't know.

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                              #29
                              Beautiful cover with one heck of a history!

                              Fritz

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by theinglebaby23 View Post
                                Jean, good question. I've wondered that myself. My grandfather was Army Air Corps and landed on Iwo (I believe) several times. The only confirmed date I have that he was there was about a month after this Marine was killed.

                                He did say that he had several Marine friends that were on the island. Perhaps it was his? But the odds of finding a fallen buddy's old gear would be next to nil. So I think it was probably a souvenir. A little odd. He did grab a Japanese helmet and a few other items from the island as well (which I have), maybe he wanted it to have something from both sides? I don't know.
                                Possible, but I bet it was a reissue. I've seen it done before within the same unit between the living and with KIA clothing.

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