WWII M1 Helmet & Jungle Camo Westinghouse Liner (69th Infantry Division Veteran)
This early-WWII M1 helmet set is ID'd to a veteran of the 69th Infantry Division, 880th Field Artillery Battalion, Private Harold "Hal" V. Oling, serial number 37271723. View the Veteran's Information section for more details regarding Pvt. Oling's service in the European Theatre of Operations. The McCord manufactured fixed loop helmet shell's heat stamp of 242C dates the helmet's production to August 1942. It retains its original olive drab factory finish, cork texture, and khaki chinstraps. The chinstraps exhibit brass hardware. The steel shell is marked with the laundry numbers of two different servicemen. S-4070 may belong to Robert Sullivan - also a veteran of the 880th Field Artillery Battalion. The Westinghouse manufactured helmet liner is truly exceptional. It showcases an original factory-applied jungle camouflage paint scheme - and is quite possibly the nicest one I have ever encountered. Westinghouse was tasked with providing a camouflaged and lightweight solution to the steel M1 helmet, which caused considerable noise trekking through the islands of the Pacific Theatre. In turn, Westinghouse developed a camouflage template consisting of two green tones and one rust-brown tone to be applied over the liner's standard olive drab paint via a stencil. Jungle liners are quite rare due to the fact that nearly half of all those produced were repainted solid green at the factory as it was shown to be dangerous to wear the liner without a steel helmet. This example is the last iteration, with green-painted steel A-washers, dating the liner's production from mid-1943 to mid-1944. The liner's factory finish is in near mint condition. The khaki suspension is strong and intact. It comes complete with its original Gem Dandy, Inc. headband, khaki neckband, and green-buckled leather liner strap.
Duluth, Minnesota resident, Private Harold "Hal" V. Oling, serial number 37271723, was a veteran of the 69th Infantry Division, 880th Field Artillery Battalion. After enlisting, he trained as a communications specialist at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In a hand-written secondhand account, Pvt. Oling's son tells of the wounds his father experienced during the Battle of the Bulge. There appears to be some embellishment within this account, but is mostly accurate. A 69th Infantry Division publication shows that Pvt. Oling was actually wounded technically one month after the Battle of the Bulge ended on February 27, 1945, outside the village of Amel, Belgium. As a wireman, he was tasked with repairing allied communication lines, when he and Lieutenant Zimmerman were barraged by German artillery fire. A shell hit near the two soldiers, killing Lt. Zimmerman and severely wounding Pvt. Oling's entire right side; his final pay stub describes these wounds in detail. He was evacuated the same day and returned to the United States to recover at O'Reilly General Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where was honorably discharged in March 1946. Made available to the new owner are several wartime photographs, a hand-written acount from the veteran's son, Pvt. Oling's final pay stub, and Volume 55, No. 2 of The Fighting 69th Infantry Division Association, Inc. (below).