Camouflage M35 Single Decal Army Helmet with G.I. Bag
A very fine example of an M35 single decal army helmet that was camouflaged for combat, still within the named U.S. Army M1936 Musette bag in which the American officer who captured the helmet brought it home from the war. The helmet was a souvenir of Captain Darwin A. Johnson, from Lewsiburg, Pennsylvania, and from whose estate the helmet and associated materials were acquired. Johnson was an Army Aviation Engineer who served in Europe on the headquarters staff of the 358th Fighter Group.
The helmet exterior was painted in a two color camouflage scheme, with the original exterior field gray paint being covered with areas of paint that are grass green and red-brown. The interior of the shell still exhibits the original field gray paint. On the left side of the helmet there is a bit of paint loss that permits about 10% of the army eagle decal to be clearly seen beneath the camouflage paint. The left interior side of the helmet is marked "Q62", indicating a relatively large size 62 shell that was manufactured by the firm of Quist in Esslingen. The air ventilation rivets are separately inserted into the helmet, establishing it as a Model 1935 example. The interior leather liner is complete and intact, although the drawstring is not present. The chin strap is complete and remains on top of the front edge of the helmet. The helmet is in overall excellent, combat used condition, with a striking camouflage paint scheme that is almost entirely intact, even on the top of the dome, where paint is so often lost from a combat helmet.
The helmet is contained within Captain Johnson's U.S. Army Model 1936 musette bag. The interior of the cover bears a manufacturer designation and the date of 1942. Also inside the cover are the name, laundry mark, and full service number of Darwin Johnson. Additionally, still attached to the bag are a U.S. Army "Customs Declarations" form and a U.S. Army "Hand Baggage" identification form. Both of these tags are named to Captain Johnson, and one is dated October 7, 1945.
Also with the helmet is Captain Johnson's copy of "Orange Tails", a history of the 358th Fighter Group that was printed in Europe in December of 1945. The book includes text and numerous photographs on this combat group, and a roster of the Group's Headquarters personnel in the book includes Captain Darwin Johnson as a member.The book is hardcover, 9 by 12 inches, and 217 pages in length.
Also with the group are 26 black and white photographs, each about 4 by 5 inches in size. The photos were presumably taken originally by the 358th Fighter Group's photographer. There are a few photos of individual members of ground crews, and some photos of equipment, but most of the photographs show crashed or damaged P-47 Thunderbolt fighters, as well as several photos oa a crashed P-38 Lightning.
The grouping also includes a 3 page memo, dated 30 April 1945, with Captain Johnson's name written in the upper corner. The memo was addressed to the commanders of all squadrons within the group and it sets for a summary of operations, by squadron from December of 1943 to April 30, 1945.
Included is the public auction flyer for the sale of the estate listing "combat helmets".